Photograph by Bronze Photography
Though there are more than 200 items on the menu at Mama’s Grill, the Heartstopper clearly stands out as a regional gastro-treasure. Sure, you can get some great burgers, pasta, a hot brown, homemade soup, and some pretty amazing sandwiches. But the Heartstopper would be outlawed by the FTC as insider trading if cholesterol were sold on the New York Stock Exchange. It starts with garlic fries sprinkled with that Greek secret recipe seasoning that every Greek-influenced restaurant seems to know the secret of. Then they pile on Jack and cheddar cheeses, bacon bits, red onions, diced tomatoes, jalapeños, plus a side of ranch (so you can add your own sedimentary layer). It’s not edible with fingers—you’ll have to use a knife and fork. This may be too much of a dish for those of sound mind; I think I saw four or five distraught people trying to commit suicide with a Heartstopper while I was there. Mama’s pretty much does everything well. They do comfort, like the New York strip and opened-faced roast beef. They do trendy, like chicken marsala and a blackened tilapia sandwich. They do bar food, like the jumbo fried shrimp and wings. They do chili any way you like it. But most important, if you order the Heartstopper, they do CPR. And the Williamsburg Fire Department is close by with the defibrillator, should you try to finish yours and someone else’s.
4227 Allstar Dr., Williamsburg
Breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days
Originally published in the November 2009 issue.