Dough Mama Shows Off Her Savory Skills
Easy, hearty, delicious dinner at Dough Mama South doesn’t feel like a big to-do. And that’s a good thing.
Dough Mama owner Perrie Wilkof might have missed her calling as a spy. Sure, it’s no secret that the non-baked dishes at her Clintonville café have always been a standout—namely the rich and crunchy cauliflower Reuben ($12) with a sassy, horseradish mayo-meets-homemade-ketchup sauce, and the far-from-simple salad ($5) adorned with watermelon radishes and a salty rosemary-tamari dressing.
But with the addition of dinner served only at her new outpost bordering German Village, it’s clear the baker has been keeping hush-hush just how deep her savory prowess runs.
All day Wednesday to Friday, Dough Mama’s corner eatery serves takeout- and delivery-only comfort food with a perfect dash of finesse. The menu of five or so dishes includes fork-and-knife biscuit sandwiches, individual pot pies (with rotating vegetarian and meat options) and an ode to the Midwestern tuna noodle casserole. Each one is like the work-from-home version of a classic—a little dressed up on the top but wearing sweatpants on the bottom.
Which makes sense, says Wilkof, as the menu is driven entirely by nostalgia. A casual mention of pizza bagels in their kitchen turns into a better-than-its-inspiration pizza biscuit ($12) with a kicky, house-made red sauce and melty mozzarella smothering a cheddar scallion biscuit. A love of hearty chicken soup is reinterpreted into Dough Mama’s signature cheesy biscuit drowning in a cures-what-ails-you chicken and veggie gravy ($12).
Single-serving pot pies are must-orders and not just because fillings are shrouded by Dough Mama’s flaky, buttery crusts with showy ripples. Mac ’n’ cheese ($12) is everything you want it to be—ultra-creamy and smooth béchamel with an unholy amount of cheddar cheese. Chili pot pie ($13), the meat offering on my visit, was luxuriously fatty with a texture akin to gravy; the ground beef was accompanied by homey cuts of carrot, onion and corn, and gained depth from the addition of cocoa powder and melted cheese. (Thankfully, all entrées come with a side salad
Tuna noodle casserole ($12) is the menu’s dark horse dish and one Wilkof spent years perfecting until it tasted exactly like her grandmother’s. In the end, she ditched the homemade cream of mushroom soup for the canned version (because it’s already so perfect, she says) and gussied up the dish with fresh mushrooms, onions and extra garlic for depth. Wilkof admits she put it on the menu thinking no one would order it, but it’s gotten so popular the dish sells out most nights. And rightly so.
Although you don’t have to, you should finish every carryout order with something sweet (this is a bakery, after all). A generous slice of pie, ideally Dough Mama’s salty and boozy maple bourbon pecan, is just right.
730 S. High St., Brewery District