Home / Dining & Events / Dining / Mama Knows Italian Food
Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Mama Knows Italian Food

Eggplant Parmesan

Mama’s Italian House will take you home with great flavor, great service.

Mama’s Italian House offers fine home cooking

Periodically, 318 Forum’s always-hungry reporter visits a local restaurant and tells you about the experience.

When I was growing up, we had these great Italian family dinners about once a month.

Everyone gathered at my grandparents’ house. Their parents were from Italy, so with the lineage, you know the food was good. Pasta, Italian sausage, stuffed artichokes — the list goes on and on. I would eat so much that I begged people not to say anything funny because it hurt to laugh.

Both grandparents have long since passed, and no one bothered to write down recipes — if there were any.

I say that as a prelude to my first visit to Mama’s Italian House (5747 Youree Drive, Shreveport). The restaurant opened last December, but I only visit an eatery once it has at least a month or so under its belt. It wouldn’t be fair to judge a place too early. Thinking enough time had passed, I recently asked a friend to meet me at Mama’s for a Tuesday night dinner.

The restaurant doesn’t have a website, only a Facebook page. There, I found the menu ahead of our visit and got an idea of what Mama’s serves. Before both of my feet were in the door (I’m not exaggerating), Emily greeted us from behind the counter. Thus began a night that featured some of the best service by the friendliest server I have encountered in a very long time.

Marinara with meat sauce, meatball and sausage.

Eggplant Parmesan

Mama’s Italian House side salad.

Upon arrival, we were Mama’s only customers and were invited to sit where we liked. The restaurant has a casual atmosphere. Some — not all — of the chairs are peach and lime green. There was a nice mix of music playing and a television on one wall.

As the name implies, Mama’s Italian House features Italian food. However, other types of food are also offered. If you don’t have a taste for chicken parmesan or lasagna, the menu includes a fish platter, a fried steak finger platter, subs, salads, sandwiches and other non-Italian foods. But when I go to a place with the word “Italian” in its name, I eat Italian food.

When Emily brought our menus, she immediately explained their layout. There were seven appetizers to choose from, including an option to pick three items for one price. My friend and I decided to share an order of mozzarella sticks ($8.99).

Mama’s Italian House makes their bread from scratch, daily. It is a long loaf style with a generous coating of butter and garlic.

Before long, Emily brought out a tray with six breaded, fried triangles and a serving of marinara sauce. This would be a good time to tell you that Mama’s makes their own sauce and all but one of their own salad dressings. They also make their bread from scratch daily.

The mozzarella sticks looked beautiful and tasted even better. They had sprinkles of cheese on the outside and thick, gooey cheese on the inside — the kind that stretches long when you take a bite. And they were served hot! If you are a frequent reader of these reviews, you know that’s important to me.

For our entrees, we both wanted Italian dishes. My friend loves eggplant, so I knew before she ordered that she was going to have the eggplant parmesan ($15.99). She also chose to have meat sauce, which was a small upcharge. (I was in a good mood, so I told her to splurge.)

I was torn between the marinara and the veggie pasta. After consulting with Emily, I chose the marinara, served over spaghetti ($15.99). I also added meat sauce.

There was an option to add two meatballs and/or two sausage links for a little more money. Since Mama’s prices seemed reasonable, I decided to live a little. But I was torn between the meatballs and the sausage. That is, until Emily offered me one meatball and one sausage link for the same price.


Each entree comes with garlic bread and a side salad. The bread, which was a long loaf, tasted homemade. It broke thin and had a nice coating of melted butter and garlic. The salads weren’t anything special. Some of my lettuce looked a little aged.

As Emily approached with our meals, my eyes opened wide. There were huge amounts of food on each plate. I took note of the prices before ordering and was pleasantly surprised with the amount of food we received for the price we were paying.

My dish was outstanding! Spaghetti covered in marinara with meat sauce filled the large bowl. It was topped with parsley flakes, which made for a beautiful presentation. The sauce and pasta were hot and delicious.

My meatball and sausage were served in a separate bowl, both smothered with marinara and decorated with parsley. Of the two, the sausage was by far my favorite. It was warm and tender and had a little kick. On the contrary, the meatball was borderline cold and soggy.

My friend’s homemade fried eggplant, with marinara, mozzarella cheese and a side of spaghetti, also filled her plate. She enjoyed everything. In fact, she said it was the “best ever.” She said the eggplant was crispy, and the meat sauce was seasoned “just right.”

There weren’t any desserts on the menu, but I asked Emily to be sure. She said they do offer three or four desserts, but they were out of everything. I guess that’s a sign Mama’s desserts are popular, but we were disappointed. Then again, we ate a lot of food and still had enough to take home.

The cost of our meal before taxes and tip was $46.01. That was a bargain for the quality and quantity of food we enjoyed. However, know that you will pay an extra 3.5% if using a credit card (as noted on the menu) and that Mama’s suggested tip amounts are based on the total, not the sub-total.

Except for a couple of minor hiccups (worn-looking lettuce and a cold meatball), Mama’s Italian House was outstanding. The food, prices and service make it a no-brainer for me to award the restaurant Four Forks. If you haven’t tried Mama’s, I suggest you run, not walk, and enjoy a terrific Italian meal in a laid-back setting.

Just like I did at my grandparents’ house all those years ago.


The Forum News