Perhaps we all should have been listening more closely when Janis Martin, chef and owner of Tanuki, predicted 2016 to be the Year of Mae. With PoMo food critic Karen Brooks recently calling out Mae as one of the two best pop-ups of 2015, there's no time like the present to acknowledge that chef Maya Lovelace's Mae has settled in in the former Carver Room behind Old Salt Marketplace (5027 NE 42nd Ave). The pop-up, or whatever you want to call it—even Lovelace doesn't have an exact title—moved into the location last year, and Lovelace says Mae will remain there for the "foreseeable future." Each week, Mae holds one Appalachian dinner.
Appalachian dinner? Yes, Lovelace serves ferment corn kernels that pop like caviar using some of the South's most prized heirloom corn (Southern heirloom grains feature prominently throughout); fried chicken with the ghostly aura of funnel-cake sweetness; and addictive pimento cheese with ham. (Check out the recent menu below for more).
For now, Lovelace and her team handle reservations, which means the only way that you can get them is by signing up for Mae's mailing list. You'll receive an alert when each dinner's reservations open about seven days in advance, and you just respond to the email. Lovelace says, "We ask for a suggested donation of $65 for supper, in an attempt to make our meals accessible for those in our industry. We request that people pay what they felt their meal was worth to them, once it's all said and done."