There’s something cool about an independent business opening in a building that used to house a chain restaurant: good ol’ American entrepreneurship trumping monolithic corporate chow.

Mama E’s Bar-B-Q & Home Cooking is located inside what used to be a Kentucky Fried Chicken. They’ve completely redone the place, inside and out. Hand-painted signs that promise “daily specials” and “great barbecue!” festoon the exterior. Inside, the dining area has tomato-red cinderblock walls, a TV perched in a high corner, and a markerboard with a “greatest hits” collection of quotes by Jesus that changes daily along with the specials. There are only five small tables – the kitchen eats up most of the space.

Mama E’s specializes in takeout and catering, selling its pork and beef hot links, pork ribs, and sliced and chopped beef by the sandwich, the plate, or the pound. On a recent visit, the food was fresh, tasty, and more than satisfying. The Texas Barbecue Bible begins with the line, “In the beginning, there was sauce.” (The Barbecue Bible up in Memphis probably says, “In the beginning, there was rub” – but we’re not in Memphis.)

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