Restaurant Review: Martha’s Tea Room in Ocean Springs
You may remember Martha’s tearoom when it was on Washington Avenue downtown.
That was years ago, and things have certainly changed, and in a beautiful way.
It is now located in what looks like a beautiful private house on Government Street, although it is relatively new, and certainly not private. It also has perhaps the best porch of any restaurant I’ve been to, perfect for a leisurely lunch with friends.
Martha Reichard was the original owner, but Rhonda Villers bought her in 2016. Although she continues to use some of Martha’s recipes, Rhonda has put her own twist on a lot of things, and it’s also intimate. and comfortable as possible.
I visited my friend Diane Stevenson on a rainy day and the covered porch was just perfect. We spent two hours enjoying our lunch and sipping iced tea, how very southern it was.
When the weather is better, there are also tables with umbrellas on the uncovered terrace. The dining room follows the same theme of feeling like a private home, with light blue walls and no overly bright lights. It is not a place I would like to go in and out, but a place to take your time and enjoy food and friends.
The menu is well balanced for a lunch, with lots of salads, sandwiches and with homemade bread and desserts. Best sellers include the Chicken Chutney Salad, Chicken Cashew Salad, Homemade Okra, and a nice Reuben sandwich.
In the sandwich category, the Ocean Springer also performed well. It’s made with sliced corned beef and turkey, topped with onion, coleslaw and a special sauce and served on homemade pumpernickel bread.
There is also a chicken salad sandwich which has gained some notoriety. It’s served on a fresh buttered croissant and is made with roast chicken, Granny Smith apples, red and green grapes, and crunchy cashews.
There are also daily specials that are worth a visit. On the day of our visit specials included homemade grilled chili cheese, shrimp and crayfish stew, Margaret’s watermelon shrimp salad, chicken salad bagel, Don’s turkey sandwich and a roast beef ciabatta. You will also find gluten-free options.
I enjoyed a classic Ruben of corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Russian vinaigrette on rye bread and a good side of fries. By the way, the Reuben was invented in 1914 and remains a classic in New York Jewish delicatessens and has long been a favorite of mine.
Diane had the chicken chutney salad plate. It consisted of roast chicken, wild rice, pecans, Granny Smith apples, celery, green onions and purple grapes, served with a pasta salad and homemade nut bread.
The next time you’re out with friends for lunch, try Martha’s.
Location: 2113 Government Street, Ocean Springs
Hours: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Saturday
Phone. : 228-872-2554