Matthews Cafeteria is in a low lying, single story building along Main Street in Tucker, next to the railroad tracks. A decade ago the building, the cafeteria and its food was a landmark in Tucker and it retains that status to this day. These days, having been featured on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives”, it has suddenly acquired a fame it didn’t have before. And I have to be grateful for Matthews new ‘rock star’ status, because without it I couldn’t have convinced my wife to go back there and try it once again.
We were lucky: the line merely began right by the trays and silverware this time. It’s not uncommon to see the line out the door. As in a classic cafeteria, you get to choose what you want to eat. It begins with salads and desserts, proceeds through to the entrees, then sides, then drinks. I had the chicken pot pie, my wife and daughter had the fried chicken. My accompaniments were turnip greens and green beans, my wife had green beans and carrots, my daughter mash potatoes, gravy and fried okra. Serving size, for the most part, varies between large and extra large. The chicken breast my wife received was enormous.
The seating inside is plain, red and white checked tablecloths on tables that easily seat 4. Need more space? Scoot some tables together. The food? I think their sides are excellent, and they are made in the southern style. I tried every side we ordered and they all were very good. The pot pie was extremely good, real chunks of chicken (and the occasional small bone) in the serving. I had a bit of fried drumstick, also good. The desserts suffer a bit compared to the excellent entrees and sides, but overall, the food is quite good.
Afterwards, I was stuffed.
Verdict: Highly recommended, excellent food, exceptional value, if you can get there during their regular hours.
2229 Main Street
Tucker GA 30084
PS — For those who wonder, the episode of “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” that features Matthews can be found on Youtube. And Wayne Wolf, a food blogger who started about the same time I did, has a nice brief review of Matthews.