Ma & Pops Diner knows home cooking at its best

Tasty discovery: Lunch special: Babyback ribs

Price: $8.95

Destination: Ma & Pops Diner. 5242 Olde Towne Road, Williamsburg. 757-565-0366.

Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays-Thursdays (closed Fridays).

A lot of restaurants tout their home cooking, but I felt close to the real thing the other day at Ma & Pops Diner.

A reader had recommended this unpretentious eatery, formerly called Dusi's Cafe & Deli. It's tucked into a strip shopping close to Longhill Road.

When I stopped in for lunch, I heard lots of chatter from the kitchen. A couple sat in the corner of the dining room helping a young student with his math homework.

The open kitchen looks out on two small dining rooms with tables and booths. Throughout my meal friends stopped by to talk to the staff.

The simple menu features subs, wraps and sandwiches such as Crispy Chicken, BLT and Reuben. But the lineup of specials — tilapia, pork chops, chicken and dumplings, and babyback ribs — sounded more tempting.

I chose the ribs, which came with a biscuit and two sides. The half-dozen ribs were meaty and not fall-off-the-bone, with a tangy barbecue sauce. I chose green beans and sweet potato casserole but got to try the mac 'n' cheese as well because of a mixup in my order. Of the three, the sweet potato casserole was my favorite: creamy and full of spice without being to sweet.

Cakes and other desserts are great choices here as well, according to a reader who tipped me off to Ma & Pops. — David Nicholson

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