Cooking is a steady trait in Dana Carter’s family. Carter’s mother, ever comfortable in the kitchen, passed on her tasty Southern-style recipes to her children, who have in turn passed them on to the family’s next generation.
Carter has brought those recipes and much of her family to the Mount Vernon Deli as its new owner.
Redubbed Mama Reacer’s at the Mount Vernon Deli, Carter and her family—including a niece and nephew who are certified chefs and Mama Reacer herself—have expanded the hours and menu with plans to do even more.
“Everything is fresh,” said Carter, a Del Ray resident and lifelong Alexandrian. “We have fresh fish on Friday and Saturday. We have fresh greens. … It’s all fresh-cooked, Southern-style food at a family-owned restaurant.”
Carter has expanded the hours to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, adding dinner choices such as pork chops, fried chicken and hamburger steak with gravy for $10 and fried tilapia or whiting for $12. Dinner orders include a choice of two sides, including collard greens, cabbage, candied yams and mashed potatoes straight from Mama Reacer’s recipe file.
There are daily specials and pies and cakes have been added to the menu. There's also a kids menu with a variety of chicken orders.
Carter is keeping the deli’s popular breakfast menu and is still opening the doors at 7 a.m. The $3 egg sandwiches have made the place popular with the contractor crowd and created a steady customer base over the years.
“We want to honor the existing customers,” Carter said, adding that she would like to expand the menu down the line.
The lunch menu also offers familiar sandwich orders.
Carter is keeping the green and white Mount Vernon Deli sign above the entryway. She has big plans for the interior, including a stack of Motown record covers from decades past for wall decorations and even a jukebox to liven up the atmosphere.
“I want this to be a place for people to come for lunch and dinner, be comfortable and just chill out and have a conversation over good food,” Carter said.
The Mount Vernon Deli is located at 1606 Mount Vernon Ave.
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