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Take Out Tuesday: Big Mama's Kitchen & Catering

Posted at 10:29 AM, Feb 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-16 11:29:05-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — A Sunday soul food dinner is one way many families, particularly in the African American community, show love for each other.

They spend time preparing delicious food then sit around the table together to enjoy it.

3 News Now anchor Serese Cole visited Big Mama's Kitchen and Catering where that soul food tradition lives on, along with Big Mama's legacy.

“Big Mama's is a place where you can get a meal that was cooked like you were sitting in your grandmother's kitchen,” said owner Gladys Harrison.

For 14 years, Big Mama's has been serving up plates of delicious soul food.

“Many of our recipes have been in our family for over 100 years. They are recipes that were passed down from Big Mama's grandmother Lilly, down to her, and then down to me and then down to a fourth generation,” said Harrison.

Of all those recipes, they’re best known for their oven-fried chicken.

“During a busy week, we go through about five cases of chicken," said Harrison.

Their famous chicken is marinated in secret seasonings and buttermilk overnight.

After a nice coat of flour, it's actually fried in the oven—crispy and juicy.

“Just like Big Mama would have made,” said Harrison.

The catfish is also a big hit.

“I think we have the best fried catfish in town,” said Harrison. "We make our own tartar sauce and when you eat fish at Big Mama's, it’s a whole process.”

There are also traditional soul food sides like collard greens and everything sweet potato.

While the number of people dining inside the restaurant since the pandemic has gone down, catering is up.

“We bring individually boxed meals to your office or even deliver them to your employees. Everything is in a box...your meal, your dessert, our cornbread, honey butter,” said Harrison.

They've added take and bake to the menu.

“With so many families at home with the kids and working at home, folks are busy. We thought, 'How can we help people during this time?' So we designed some take and bake meals that are very reasonably priced,” said Harrison.

Some take and bake meals include vegetable lasagna, chicken and vegetable casserole, chicken enchiladas and smoked chicken.

Next month, Big Mama's plans on serving up something new—bar food.

They're opening a bar next to the restaurant in the Accelerator building.

“What we're hoping is that this will be the premier place in North Omaha where you can enjoy a good meal with some friends and family and have yourself a drink,” said Harrison.

She said it's just what Big Mama would have wanted—life and business back in north Omaha, with, of course, a little food for the soul.

Big Mama’s will be serving up some Fat Tuesday specials like shrimp and grits, gumbo with red beans and rice and sweet potato beignets.

They will also have fish specials during the Lenten season.

Big Mama’s is now located in The Highlander at 2112 N. 30th St.

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