Mama Dip was a great woman. She could cook, too.

Even now, two decades after I first met Mildred Council, it's hard to tell what was more impressive - the second-helpings she served of her storied candied yams or the second chance at life she served up to the many cons and ex-cons who worked at her Chapel Hill restaurant, Mama Dip's Kitchen.

If your relatives and friends visiting the Triangle are anything like mine, they always want to be taken to one of four places - the old or new Durham Bulls baseball park, the 14 Kt. Dinner Theater or Mama Dip's.