Best Of 2013

Best Takeout Counter: Mama Josephine's

Crisis alert: You just learned that your in-laws are coming over for dinner, and you're running late from work. As you vacillate between feelings of rage at your significant other and the fear of being judged, a light pops on in your head — you can fake it with the help of Mama Josephine's. This Shaw eatery is the reigning queen of comfort food, with the perfect blend of Southern charm and Italian heritage. Although diners can enjoy the food in the restaurant's comfortable setting, the best thing about Mama Josephine's is that it allows patrons to take with them the joy of a home-cooked meal without the hassle of scouring stock pots and sweating all day over sauce. The chicken is pan fried to order, and the lasagna is an oozing, eight-layer slab of thick meat sauce, sweet ricotta and molten mozzarella. The side dishes evoke youthful nostalgia, with tangy mac & cheese and army-colored green beans. Don't forget to pick up the Southern pecan pie that you have (ahem) been baking all day. Just make sure that you dispose of the to-go containers in time.

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