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Grits @ Mrs. K’s Diner, Philadelphia

by on August 27, 2015

No, I’m not in Philly. No, the memory of grits isn’t what has shocked me into silence these last few months.


Yes, I’ve finally been to a Diner. Yes, my curiosity has been deeply aroused by Guy Fieri and his ‘Diners, Drive-ins and Dives’. No, I haven’t done the other two but you bet I’m gonna. Soon.


When we walked in Mrs. K’s, carefully selected from one of the many guide books and articles I read, there wasn’t a lot of room. I had to stand around the bar stools – where we’d opted to sit, for a little while.


Eventually, we sat down and got into the flow. I’ve always wanted to try Shrimp & Grits, thanks to David Chang and here, right here was my opportunity. But instead of Shrimp, one was going to get served steak, because Philly.

The grits came – creamy, speckled and…gritty. The interesting thing? Topped with a knob of butter.


Grits refers to a ground-corn food of Native American origin that is common in the Southern United States and eaten mainly at breakfast. Modern grits are commonly made of alkali-treated corn known as hominy. Grits are similar to other thick maize-based porridges from around the world such as polenta; Source: Wikipedia


I struggled through the first few mouthfuls before Mrs. K’s mum – Mrs. K was at work I think – added some cheese, a slice of processed cheese, grilled till melted.

_DSC3675It was better but I wasn’t feeling it totally, so I added some chipped steak, and a whole lotta pancake syrup and then it was bearable. And all I could think of was Akamu, pap – a smooth, cooked mixture made from fermented corn. Essentially fermented corn starch. _DSC3670

Grits. Polenta. Akamu – all corn-based, all different and tres intressant. 

To my Nigerian palate, it’s gritty akamu, ogi, pap. Of corn. Just processed in a slightly different way.

While our pap is soaked, ground and the starch extracted, this is generally treated with an alkali-solution, dried them milled. The result, pap with bits. 

We have our pap with milk and sugar, a sweet pap while grits are mostly served savoury with salt, pepper and cheese. And shrimps and a host of other things.

I found it hard going to have it salted which is why I  went for a sweet and sour ‘kettlecorn thing’ with syrup. It was interesting to try, that box now firmly ticked.

I would love to try it at Momofuku though. Anything from @davidchang ❤. There. One American adventure down. Grits had. We’re more similar across cuisines than we know – I loveeeee the discoveries.

Are you a fan of grits?

In Philadelphia? Check out Mrs. K’s

325 Chestnut St
Philadelphia PA, 19106

(215) 627-7991

http://www.mrskscoffeeshop.com/[wpurp-searchable-recipe]Grits @ Mrs. K’s Diner, Philadelphia – – – [/wpurp-searchable-recipe]