With Mother’s Day right around the corner and my ever-growing hunger to find Boston area restaurants I can lay claim to frequenting, I thought it only appropriate that I review Hungry Mother. On several occasions since moving to Charlestown some eight months ago, dinner and a movie has meant a farm-to-table feast at Hungry Mother, followed by an indie flick across the street at Kendall Square’s Landmark Theater. It’s an easy progression from meal to movie with the restaurant just a two-minute walk from the cinema, and one I wish I could treat my own Mamma too this Sunday.
Offering a sustainable menu of locally sourced New England cuisine, Chef Barry Maiden uses French techniques to arrive at thoughtfully prepared dishes that do more than hint at his Southern roots. Not unlike the restaurant’s setting, its menu is at once sophisticated and comforting, inventive and familiar. The dining room is minimally appointed in a stark pilgrim style with flourishes of contemporary design features that lend an almost literary finesse to the space.
Having opened their doors in 2008, Hungry Mother was an early adapter in to the trend toward celebrating Southern cuisine. With a plethora of fried chicken and barbeque pits popping up in every direction, Chef Maiden’s menu brings to Cambridge an elegant alternative. Not that he doesn’t prepare his fair share of fried food! The menu at Hungry Mother changes seasonally, but do try not to miss the crispy-skinned cast iron chicken served with silken pillows of French gnocchi and seasonal vegetables, or the blackened lemon pepper catfish now served with a Carolina rice pilau of asparagus and fava beans. Start your meal with a smattering of small plates, including: the boiled Virgina peanuts finished with Maine sea salt, the country ham and pimento cheese plate, New Orleans style BBQ shrimp & grits, or for the more adventurous among us, the hot smoked braised beef tongue on toast. You’d be remiss to skip the sorghum butter cornbread or vinegared collard greens, but do also leave room for a slice of homemade pie and an espresso-spiked after dinner cocktail.
Admittedly, it’s a lot to squeeze in to just one meal, so I keep going back for more. Proudly flying my frequent diner flag.
233 Cardinal Medeiros Ave
Cambridge, MA 02142
Neighborhood: Kendall Square/MIT