Martin’s Restaurant

Sometimes on the way back from New Orleans, we stop at a little gas station just across the bridge to fill up for the trip to Montgomery and stock up on Hubig’s Pies. For years we have considered these delightful snacks to be the apex of the fried pie arts. And then we tried the fried pies at Martin’s Restaurant. We stand corrected. We’ll still stop and get Hubig’s whenever we can, and even seriously consider ordering them from the Internet, but they’re not even in the same category as Martin’s fried pies.

Getting your fried pie can require a bit of experimentation. They take some time to make – we were told to order them at least 15 minutes in advance – so it is best to request them when you order your meal. Sometimes they run out of the advertised flavors of the day. Other times they just don’t have them. Fried pies aren’t on the regular Martin’s dessert menu, so you have to ask. But when you sink into its flaky crust, lemon glaze, warm filling, it’ll all be worth it. Everything in your life up to that point will have been worth it.

Not that the other desserts are bad. On the contrary, they are both gigantic (prepare yourself for the slice of chocolate pie as large as your head) and delightful.

It’s just that in a place that’s famous for its fried chicken (and in case you didn’t know they were known for fried chicken, several dozen plaques advertising it adorn the wall above the cash register), you might expect that everything else on the menu will play second fiddle.

Not so at Martin’s. You start with the cornbread, which is dense and sweet with an intense butter flavor. The fried fish is fantastic, salty and light with just the right breading. And the vegetables are well worth a starring role in a plate of sides. They rotate from day to day — and of course some offerings are more appetizing than others (we are not fans of “congealed salad,” for example), but the tomato and okra is great, the fried okra is uniformly perfect, and they have macaroni and cheese that is actually made with cheese.

Recently we played host to a visiting musician friend from Athens. We wanted to show off the town a little bit, so we took him to the strip mall that is home to Martin’s. He pronounced the chicken “delicious” and swooned over the fried pie. We were so proud you would have thought we cooked the meal ourselves.

Kate and Stephen are Midtown residents with a cat, a garden, an old house and a sense of adventure. They write about life in Midtown here and about life in Montgomery at their blog Lost in Montgomery.

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2 Comments

Filed under Kate and Stephen, Restaurant Reviews

2 responses to “Martin’s Restaurant

  1. I can make a meal off their cornbread – best in town, hands down!

  2. Jay Croft

    Sorry, but I haven’t darkened the doors of Martin’s for quite some time. The last time my wife and I were there, the waitress obviously had an obsessive-compulsive disorder. She rushed up to our table, nervously re-arranged the condiments, chattering away the whole time while not making eye contact.

    We noticed her behavior at other tables also.

    They may be famous for their fried chicken, but why? I’m still trying to figure out why folks around here are so obsessed with fried foods.

    On a previous visit, a friend and I ordered beef tips, with gravy ON THE SIDE. The waitress thought a moment and said, “I think we can do that.”

    Lo and behold, the plates came with everything smothered in gravy, and with an extra bowl of gravy for each of us.

    As for “congealed salads,” the very words congeal my blood.

    No thanks.

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