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Mac Attack

I don’t know which I like better—Mary Mac’s fried green tomatoes or Miss Jo’s back rubs. Luckily, I don’t have to choose. (Heck, I can even eat fried green tomatoes while getting one of the “goodwill ambassador”’s legendary back rubs—now that’s what I’m talking about!) That’s because Mary Mac’s Tea Room is all about treating customers right; the landmark restaurant has been a benchmark of Southern hospitality since 1945. That, and, of course, it’s delicious Southern cooking. Now John Ferrell, who has owned the restaurant since 1994, shares the Atlanta institution’s story, along with 125 classic recipes in a new cookbook, “Mary Mac’s Tea Room: 65 Years of Recipes from Atlanta’s Favorite Dining Room.” The book is available for $27.99 at local bookstores; in the meantime, you can fry up some of the restaurant’s delicious fried green tomatoes at home.—Jennifer Weis

Mary Mac’s Fried Green Tomatoes
These are not hard to make. Just use fresh-cut and locally grown green tomatoes, lightly bread them, and fry to a golden brown. How many other recipes are worthy of a movie?

2 cups vegetable oil
1 large egg
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup cracker crumbs
3 firm medium green tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch slices

Heat the vegetable oil in a deep fryer or in a heavy, deep skillet to 350° F. Line a plate with paper towels. In a small bowl, beat the egg; add the milk, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and the black pepper. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cracker crumbs, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.