829 Main St
Niagara Falls, NY 14301-1127

Mary O's Restaurant

Cuisine: Soul Food, Barbecue, Southern

Mary O's Restaurant is a Soul Food, Barbecue, and Southern restaurant where most Menuism users came for a family meal, paid less than $10, and tipped between 15% to 18%.

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 Niagara Falls, NY

Buffalo News Restaurant Review/You'll Leave With A Big Smile

Restaurant Review / Mary O’s Soul Food
You’ll leave with a full stomach and a big smile
Updated: 12/02/07 8:57 AM

Charles Lewis/Buffalo News
At Mary O’s Soul Food Restaurant, you can literally choose your meal pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey style — blindfolded and all — and you can’t go wrong.

NIAGARA FALLS — My daughter says that if she ever ends up on death row, she wants her last meal catered from Mary O’s Soul Food, the place up on Main Street.
A big, sloppy slab of barbecue ribs, a golden glob of candied yams, a scoop of macaroni and cheese, and top it all off with a dash of those fabulous baked beans.
She doesn’t have to worry, though: The state won’t condemn you for not helping around the house. I don’t even think they consider a tough attitude a felony, at least not yet.
So she probably won’t be walking the Green Mile any time soon. Meanwhile, if she still wants soul food, she’ll have to head to Mary O’s just like everybody else. (And if she still needs punishment afterward, maybe I can stir up an after-dinner sing-along).
Niagara Falls, for all its shortcomings, has no shortage of ethnic restaurants. I can confidently say that Mary O’s is the family’s new favorite — far and away, in fact.
It’s not that they put out an awe-inspiring spread. The menu is somewhat limited. But what they do, they do well, and the choices seem to mesh seamlessly.
You can literally choose your meal pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey style — blindfolded and all — and you can’t go wrong. You will walk out with greasy fingers, a full stomach and a smile.
Comfort food? How comfortable can you get? We’re talking stretched-out, shoes off, h a ving-a-cool-one-with-a-straw food.
In a nutshell: Some of the best barbecue ribs this side of Mason-Dixon; fried fish, chicken and pork that will trigger Pavlovian responses; candied yams that are simply to-die-for; and baked beans guaranteed to put a smile on your face and a song in the air.
Oh, sure, they have other items on the menu. But they don’t need them.
Actually, let me amend that. The fried okra appetizer ($3) will convert even the staunchest foe of the sometimes gooey veggie. The homemade mashed potatoes ($2.50): nice. And the sweet potato pie ($1.75) . . . aahhh!
A rib dinner sets you back $9 and gives you plenty of food to whet the whistle. It comes with some corn bread and your choice of two sides. That means beans, fries, collard greens, corn on the cob, mac and cheese, or potato or macaroni salad.
Everything seems fresh and homemade. The salads are hearty, with the macaroni variety boasting tuna and the potato salad flavored with mustard. The girls tell me the mac and cheese was awesome, but I have to go with the beans as my favorite.
A tad sweet, they’re gooey and good, flavored with crumbled beef. That really seems to set them off nicely. You’ve got to try them.
And if the rib dinner isn’t enough, you can get a half slab for $10 or a full rack for $20.
The fried chicken dinner on a recent visit was $9.50 and offered a choice of breast and wing or leg and thigh. I picked the latter. It, along with a pork chop dinner ($8), was presented as a crispy-golden battered concoction. The batter was thick and crunchy and nicely seasoned, and it kept the meat moist and tasty.
Be forewarned: They ask for 25 minutes for the “freshdropped” chicken to cook. If it took that long, it sure didn’t seem to, but even so, it was well worth it.
My favorite menu item, though, may have been the fried fish dinner ($8), made with pea meal. That makes for a tender and flaky filet that maintains just a touch of crunchiness.
The cole slaw wasn’t exactly my favorite, which is about the only remotely negative thing I can say about the place. But that’s a minor detail.
For the true soul food devotee, you can even get things like chicken gizzards, for only $5, no less. I’m not certain what a gizzard is — I think I have an idea, and if I’m right, that wouldn’t exactly be my cup of tea — so I didn’t try it.
But don’t let my reluctance stop you.
The food at Mary O’s is like a good marriage: easy-going and complementary. And the staff are like good friends: accommodating and, well, friendly.
The place itself is homey, in more ways than one. The first time we were there, there was a steady stream of people in and out of the kitchen area, including kids bouncing noisily through the back door. Seemed like people were just dropping by to say hi.
The decor blends African culture and Civil Rights Movement in a jazzy combination of tables, booths and an old-fashioned counter.
The menu is expanding, which is good news. They’re already offering a full breakfast, and you can also get some sandwiches, subs and chicken wings. There’s a kids menu, as well, and you need not feel leery about bringing the kids along. They’ll love it.
Just think of it as momma’s kitchen.
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Mary O’s Soul Food Restaurant
829 Main Street
Niagara Falls, NY 14301
716-282-SOUL (7685)
[email protected]

Rack Of Ribs

In a nutshell: Some of the best barbecue ribs this side of Mason-Dixon;

Baked Beans

fabulous baked beans

Bar BQ Southern Food Soul Food
08:00AM - 08:00PM
10:00AM - 10:00PM
Sun,Wed-Sat 08:00AM - 08:00PM (Closed Monday And Tuesday)
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Mary O's Restaurant  Restaurant Reviews

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Mary O's Restaurant is located near the cities of Niagara Falls.
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