Big Mama’s delicious food fills up Omaha

Big Mama's Cafe
Big Mama’s is a great place to start the day

Big Mama’s kitchen and Catering serves up some big dishes. And, the food is delicious. The café is known for its oven-fried chicken, but any meal here is a winner. We enjoyed a huge breakfast one day. So much food. So good.

Lisa went with the Lake Street Special. It came with two slices of French toast, two eggs and sausage or bacon. She chose sausage.

Big Mama's Cafe
Expect full servings at Mama’s

I went with Ms. Carter’s Special of pancakes, eggs and turkey sausage. I wanted to try some of the grits, so we added that to the order.

Honestly, the food was so good, but it filled you up so quickly. I struggled to down as much as I could. But, it may have been a better idea to split our meal.

After our breakfast, we visited with Big Mama, herself. Patricia Barron has loved cooking for most of her life. When she retired from working in the telecommunications industry, she thought she’d open a small family-style restaurant. She operated a catering business out of her home for a while.

Banks passed on her applications. Our impression was that the banks likely thought she was too old to start a restaurant. Plus, most restaurants fail quickly, so was there a good investment there? Well…

Big Mama's Cafe
Sweet potato ice cream?

She decided to continue looking for a place to start up at. The former Nebraska School for the Deaf was being operated as a location for various businesses and agencies. It was here that big Mama’s would find a landing spot.

People wanted her to take over the school’s old cafeteria. The equipment was in place for what she’d need – pots, pans, stove, tables and chairs, etc.

Big Mama's Cafe
Love the food coming out of these pots and pans

So, the doors to Big Mama’s opened in 2007, and she hasn’t looked back since. The eatery is popular with Omahans. It’s located on a former school campus and has to be a destination drive for people. But, on most days, the tables and chairs are filled with hungry folks.

Big Mama’s has earned a great reputation. It’s been featured on TV cooking shows, such as Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” and Travel Channel’s “101 tastiest Places to Chow Down.” The restaurant was also featured on Sundance’s “Ludo Bites America.” A reality show built around Big Mama and her family aired on the Cooking Channel and Food Network a couple of years ago.

Big Mama's Cafe
Big Mama’s has been on national TV programs, including “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives”

Two years ago, Patricia opened a second location near the historic 24th and Lake Street district. Big Mama’s Sandwich Shop specializes in deli-style gourmet sandwiches, wraps and soups. They also have ice cream.

Any meal at either location would be a great idea. We strongly suggest checking out Big Mama’s for a great meal. Now, we need to get goin’ on that oven-fried chicken.

For more information on Big Mama’s, please visit