Through her travels, Chef Lisa came to realize that the best meals of a country are not found in its restaurants. They’re found in its homes, made with love by mothers cooking for their families. So, in addition to Mother’s regular menu where she serves food from mothers around the world, Chef Lisa highlights a different mother each month and features some of her special dishes.

The special mother is called the Mother of the Month (or M.O.M.™), and her photograph, story and menu take a prominent place at the beginning of Mother’s menu. We choose a mother that allows us to take advantage of the seasonal availability of ingredients, such as a Greek mother in the summer months and a Polish mother in the winter months.

If you’d like to nominate a mother to be the M.O.M.™, CLICK HERE and tell us something about her and her special dishes.

M.O.M. Menu



Lunch & Dinner

Mezze (Appetizer) Platter

assorted Saudi starters, served with warmed pita, including:


chopped salad with tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, peppers, onions, lemon


roasted eggplant dip with garlic, lemon & tahini (sesame paste)


roasted eggplant dip with garlic, lemon & tahini (sesame paste)

Khyar Bi Laban (Cucumber Yogurt Dip)

with garlic



Lamb Shank Kabsa

onion, tomato, spices, basmati rice, toasted almonds, pine nuts, yogurt drizzle



Crème Caramel

rich egg custard with a caramel top





Sakaenh Yaseen Alharz was born in Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia in 1961 and was the youngest of 7 sisters and 6 brothers. She went to school until she was 13 years old and married when she was 14. It was an arranged marriage set up between both sets of parents. The families knew each other because Sakaenh’s maternal grandfather married her father’s aunt as a second wife. She quit school at her husband’s request when she became pregnant and had her first child at 15. Her husband was a pharmacist and teacher and was devoted to his family. Not only did his mother and aunt live with the family, but Sakaenh also took care of his blind grandmother for 16 years.

Sakaenh made her own clothes and was a self-taught cosmetologist, cutting hair and doing make-up for friends and family. She had 8 children; 6 boys and 2 girls, 3 of whom are currently in the United States. One son, Ali, lives her e in Portland, is an engineer for TriMet, and is a friend of Chef Lisa.

Sakaenh cooks three meals a day for her family, every day. She learned how to cook from her sisters and aunts, reading cookbooks and watching cooking shows, which inspire her to try something different. She takes in all the information and then puts her own twists on dishes, doing things according to her tastes.

Chef Lisa spent an afternoon cooking with Sakaenh and learned a lot about Saudi traditions and culture. One was that she doesn’t wear her hijab at home, but if a male guest who is not family is in the house, she will put it on. Women don’t sit and eat with the family if there are any male guests at the table. Instead, the women will eat together in a room separate from the men, though many of these traditions have modernized in recent years. No matter where her food is enjoyed, it’s delicious and made with love, bil-hanā’ wa ash-shifā’ (may you have your meal with gladness and health)!

Nominate A M.O.M.

The M.O.M. menu has been an important part of Mother’s since we opened in 2000.  This allows our guests to experience both new flavors and dishes from around the world and meals prepared with love by mothers cooking for their families.  Our past M.O.M.’s include a wide variety of individuals- mothers, sisters, grandmothers, daughters, friends, and wives- and we’ve even had a few honorary male M.O.M.’s!

If you would like to nominate somebody (or yourself) to be a future M.O.M. at Mother’s, please fill out this form and return it to the host at Mother’s or [email protected].  Once we receive your form, we will contact the nominee (if possible), or you, (if it’s you or if you’d like to be the intermediary) to discuss potential dishes for the M.O.M. menu.

When making menu suggestions, please keep in mind that our M.O.M. menu typically includes an appetizer, salad and/or lunch item, 2-3 entrees (usually a meat, poultry, and/or vegetarian/fish dish) and a dessert.  When making suggestions, feel free to make your list as long as you’d like, but don’t suggest dishes that replicate those on our main menu (even if yours is the best meatloaf in the world, meatloaf is on our regular menu, so couldn’t be offered on our M.O.M. menu).

It’s likely we’ll have a bit of back and forth where I may ask you to list ingredients in a dish to gain a clearer idea of how it might taste, but keep in mind that we won’t need any recipes until after we finalize the menu.

Thanks again for your interest in the M.O.M. program.  Feel free to contact us with any questions you have!