Mama’s Phried and Phillys now open, and it’s awesome

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The much-anticipated second Mama’s location, this one a fried chicken and Philly sandwich shop, is now open in the old Hamburger Inn spot in Downtown Sioux Falls.

Currently in a “soft launch,” Mama’s Phried and Phillys is run by Matt Mothershead and will be open 11:15 a.m. to 6 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays.

So far, I’ve tried a Cheese Steak with Cheese Whiz (you can also get it with Swiss cheese), and some of the chicken by the piece (menu below), and I already know I’m going to be a regular.

The chicken is flat out awesome. Dredged, breaded and fried to order, the end result (I got a thigh) was a piece of chicken juicy on the inside and crisp on the outside. And that breading! Subtle black pepper, with both a toast and brightness to it, it was hard to pin down exactly what was making this thing so delicious. Let’s just say my attention to the chicken was bad for any conversation.

Mothershead says this is the chicken he remembers from his childhood, and his family taught him to make. Lucky him, and now lucky us.

Almost lost in the daze of how much I like the chicken was the Philly. Also very good. Fresh meat, again cooked to order, in a chewy bun capable of holding in all the juices from the meat and the generous helping of cheese. I got mine with onions and jalapeno, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

The space is small, always has been. But some new faux brick paneling, a new ceiling and just some good ol’ elbow grease has the Sioux Falls standard location looking good.

Combine the small space with the cooked-to-order nature of the food, and I would not call this a fast food spot at all. This is comfort food. And at $5 for a three-piece basket and fries, or $7.50 for a Cheese Steak and a piece of chicken on the side (my recommendation!), it’s also crazy affordable.

If and when you go, let me know what you think.

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