Owners showcase homey fare and vinyls
This Tallahassee Table article first appeared in “Here’s Brunch” from Florida Politics.
Michael Robinson and Adam Kent were in the music business — Robinson, a DJ, and Kent, a partner in Retrofit Records on West Gaines Street — but both were interested in the restaurant industry as well. Thanks to an introduction from a mutual friend (record shop owner Sherod Bines), Robinson and Kent joined forces and opened the breakfast/lunch spot Ma’s Diner in September 2019.
The restaurant name “Ma’s” actually refers to their first names, Michael and Adam, but they also pay tribute to their mothers with photographs of Robinson’s mom Edythe and his grandma Lenore Rankin, as well as Kent’s mom Cheryl displayed on the wall.
The storefront eatery in Northeast Tallahassee is open and cheerful, with rows of booths and counter seating. Servers are friendly and keep your meal well-paced.
When you walk in, you’ll pass by a midcentury Zenith record player console, and behind the counter, there’s a turntable next to a stack of vinyl records. While eating, you might be listening to jazz or soul softly playing. It sets the mood. A sign states: “HiFi not WiFi.”
One of my favorite dishes is the Bannerman Bowl, a generous, savory serving of chopped tomatoes, grilled onions, green peppers, your choice of meat, and golden home fries or grits, topped with three fried eggs. My friend raved about her chicken and waffles — three juicy chicken tenders that were lightly breaded, well-seasoned, and perfectly crispy.
Another staple: the two-egg breakfast with a choice of meat (Bradley’s sausage is an option), home fries or grits and toast — we subbed a pancake for toast for 99 cents extra. Breakfast, served all day, ranges from $6.25 to $11.25. There’s a meal for “The Kiddo ” (12 and under) for $5.49. Lunch options include soup and salad, burgers and sandwiches.
Details: Ma’s Diner, 6668-9 Thomasville Road; 850-765-1910. Open 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.