Our restaurant gets it's name from our beloved "Momma Johnnie"
Established in 2014, Johnnie Mae's Seafood and Grille is a 'sister' restaurant to Slick Rick's Foods, owned by Rick Simons.
Johnnie Mae Lindsey was the sweet lady who reared Chef Rick, his brother B.W., and their mother, Mary Ann. She was born in 1913 and lived on a Choctaw reservation in the 1920s located near Mary Ann's family land. Johnnie Mae met Mary Ann's grandmother, Mary Jane Sanders, an English teacher on the Choctaw Reservation, and found herself working in their family's home as a young teenager. "Momma Johnnie" as their family called her, became Mary Ann's best friend and confidant throughout her childhood.
Mary Ann knew the impact Momma Johnnie had on her life, and she wanted her children to have the same experience. She asked Johnnie Mae to help raise her sons, Rick and B.W. Simons. Rick's favorite spot in the kitchen was the large drawer on the right hand side of an avocado-green stove. Momma Johnnie cooked on the opposite side of the stove, and he sat there soaking up all of her wisdom! Both Rick and his brother learned to count through recipes.
Stories involving Johnnie Mae and Mary Ann's paternal grandmother usually involve food. Some of the memorable sayings from Momma Johnnie are on the walls of the restaurant, as well as the t-shirts for sale inside!
"Eat ya chicken and ya peas!" ~ "Clean your plate!" ~ "I haven't figured out how to cook 'I don't know' yet!"
Johnnie Mae knew everyone's favorite foods; for the Simons and Sanders families, it was fried chicken with field peas, rice and gravy and fried okra. Memories of Johnnie Mae's food continue to connect with their family, as well as connect them to Johnnie Mae's living relatives. She had seven childre, and passed away in 1997. The memory of Johnnie Mae as a strong, southern woman who was ahead of her time is one we want to share with everyone.
We'll see y'all soon, and remember, "Don't talk with ya mouth full!"