There are always those people whose food you will never turn down. My friend Kiona Bowen and her mom Marcella McClarin are those people lol. Kiona and I have been friends since middle school so I have had many meals from their house, and I promise you I have never had anything from them that I didn’t like. When I found out that Mrs. Marcella was opening up a brick and mortar, Mae’s Grill and Catering, I was stoked! Now I don’t have to feel like a nuisance when I beg them to cook me something. I can just go to the grill and get it anytime.
Mae’s was named after Mrs. Marcella’s grandmother Lessie Mae Bowen of Beulaville. She was a legend and used to have a café called Mae’s Country Kitchen in Pink Hill where Mrs. Marcella worked at throughout her childhood. She is the true inspiration behind her love for cooking and all of her skills in the kitchen. The first thing she learned to cook from her mother was homemade biscuits. Come on now, who’s 1st meal is homemade biscuits for goodness sakes!? Usually, you learn how to make eggs, or grilled cheese, something simple and fast, but biscuits! Enough said I don’t even have to finish this column. You get my gist!
Mae’s Grill isn’t her 1st run at serving delicious meals to the world. She not only grew up working in her mom’s café but has been managing local and chain food locations as well as doing her own catering for many years. Mae’s opened up July 14th and is located at 1660 E. Charity road inside a J’s Mini Mart in Rose Hill. It is a family-owned and operated business. On any given day you can see her husband, children, and other close family members working at the grill.
I was in the building on opening day getting me, my dad, and my grandmother a plate. I had been wanting some homemade chicken pastry for some time, and although I do know how to make it because of laziness and my carb-conscious mind, I have been pushing my cravings to the side. I also have a slight distrust in people’s chicken pastry. My grandma’s chicken pastry gave me VERY high standards. LOL! I had the yams and potato salad with my meal (yes I went carb crazy, don’t you judge me)! And baaaaybiii! It was delicious! I had to force myself not to finish the entire plate so that I would have some left for dinner. I kept going into my plate and getting one bite at a time throughout the day. The pastry definitely passed my test and the potato salad was amazing! I like my potato salad creamy and sweet with not too much relish or pickle cubes.
Although Mrs. Marcella says that she doesn’t have a favorite style of cooking, her heart in the kitchen belongs to soul food. She said it is her passion. They have so many options, and the breakfast, lunch, and dinner specials change daily. They also sell items off the grill such as cheeseburgers, chicken salad, and wings. You won’t be disappointed with anything you get from there. To make it even better, they are just friendly, loving, good ol' country folk that want to fill your tummy and your spirit. You might come in for a good soul food plate and get some encouragement as well, and for those reasons, I give Mae’s Grill & Catering an A+!
You can check out their website for more information about their story, hours, and photos of their food at www.MaesGrillAndCatering.com