Home Cookin’

Mama Carol’s Kitchen Features Old Favorites Seasoned with Passion

by Roxanne Avery

Walking into Mama Carol’s Kitchen brings back memories of being at grandma’s house as the smell of coffee, bacon, biscuits and creamy gravy drift across the room.

Mama Carol’s Kitchen is a full-service, home-style restaurant where everything is home-cooked. They specialize in breakfast all day, large lunch portions and an array of daily specials.

Located at 636 N Broadway in Moore, Mama Carol’s is tucked into the Sooner Shopping Center, just south of 12th Street. Although their restaurant is new, owners “Mama Carol” Bingham and her husband, Bart, are not new to the business. In October 2011, the Bingham’s opened Mama Carol’s in Chickasha. That venture has been so popular that guests kept asking if they would open restaurants in other communities.

They say their customers like their prices. A daily special such as meatloaf served with a vegetable, potato, salad and bread is $6.99. Their large, hand-breaded chicken-fried steak made with Angus beef and smothered in country gravy is a customer favorite at $7.99 for the small and $9.99 for the large.

Of course, down-home cooking wouldn’t be complete without home-made pies, such as chocolate ice-box, lemon meringue and their popular coconut cream.

“We go through several of those pies every day,” Bart Bingham said.

Also on the dessert menu is cheesecake, with choices such as blueberry, turtle, strawberry and cherry. Selections vary daily.

Their restaurant marks the fulfillment of a long-time dream, Bingham said.

“I have a passion for great food,” he said.

After working in the restaurant business in high school, he always wanted to see if he could make a restaurant work. Then one day, he and Carol Bingham were eating at a restaurant in Dallas, and the food was perfect.

“The cheeseburger came out and the meat was hot, the cheese was perfectly melted, the fries were hot, the veggies were cold and fresh, and the pop was on-point, without too much carbonation. I looked at Carol and told her if we ever have the opportunity, I wanted to open a restaurant.”

Their motto is “keep it simple,” Bingham said.

But, what sets them apart from the others, he said, is their passion.

“We buy fresh daily, it’s never frozen, and we hand-bread everything. We buy the same food we cook with at home. Our bacon is hickory smoked. You can’t buy thicker bacon. Our sausage is whole-hog, which is the best money can buy. Our hamburgers and steaks are the best money can buy. And, we make almost everything from scratch.”

Bingham said they have high aspirations too. Their goal is to be second best.

“We want to be second to mom or grandma – whoever did the cooking in the family. We cook with a lot of passion. If you want a fried egg on a hamburger, we will do it. If you want peppers in your home fries, we will do it. We will do whatever you want, as long as it’s legal. I can’t serve raw hamburger meat, for example, but this kitchen belongs to our customers, and we’re willing to fix food how they want it.”

Mama Carol’s uses an efficient point of sale ordering system, which places orders directly into the kitchen, to increase the efficiency for people in a hurry, who need to get to work after breakfast or lunch.

Everything on the menu is available at any time.

“We have police officers, fireman and oil field workers on night shifts. When they come in the morning, they often want dinner. A lot of places won’t do that, but here, if they want a hamburger during breakfast hours or an omelet at 2 p.m., they can have it.”

The Moore location is open seven days a week; Saturday – Wednesday from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Thursday and Friday from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. Friday night is all-you-can-eat catfish with home-cooked French fries, pinto beans, coleslaw and hush puppies for $10.99. – 19SM

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