Southern Cooking in Mississippi
Don and I decided we needed the perfect last meal!
On the last day of our trip through 9 southern states, we wanted to make sure our last meal was memorable! While Don drove down Old Highway 61 through the Mississippi Delta, I cheated with the i-phone to find a restaurant. We would have "come across" it anyway. It was right on the highway.
The Old Country Store and Restaurant
This was perfect! This old store has stood for over 130 years just outside Lorman, Mississippi. A recent paint job makes it look a little spiffier than some photos I had seen on the internet.
I was relieved to see the inside wasn't spiffed up for tourists. There were white cloths on the tables, but the floors were left worn and creaky and the shelves of sale items were more thrift shop than antique designer goods.
As soon as we entered the restaurant through the big wood doors, Lonie greeted us and nearly shooed us towards the buffet area in the back. She asked us what we wanted to drink as we reached for buffet plates. In the back we could hear the clanking of pans in the kitchen where the owner, Arthur Davis was rushing to fry up one more batch of fried chicken.
Mr. D and His Chicken
"Homemade fried chicken!" the cook hollered as he rushed towards the first buffet stand with a steaming pan of crispy chicken.
It became clear in a moment that Mr. D (as he is called) is the owner and the only one who is allowed to make the chicken. "I make it every day! I am the Chicken Cooking King!" He announced. I wondered how he kept his white Piggly Wiggly apron so clean. But in this photo it looks like there's another red apron underneath? Maybe he throws the white one on when he comes out to greet.
More Than Chicken
As you can see from my plate, there's a lot more than chicken to choose from. I even had two kinds of okra for lunch. Ribs and sweet potatoes, black-eyed peas and collards! This was an amazing feast for $11.00! The internet claimed Mr. D made the best friend chicken in Mississippi. I'm not really an authority, but it was piping hot, cripsy out and juicy in. I can't think of any better.
Ready to Dig In
Just as we sat down to sample our feast of southern cooking, we had a nice surprise!
A Story and a Song
Mr. D took a break from his cooking and came out to greet the small group of diners. He told us a little about his past. He offered a lot of thanks to his mother and his grandmother, then treated us to a song! In a sweet soulful voice he sang about his grandmother, the Queen of Cornbread! I could sure picture Mr. D standing in front of a church with his voice and stories! (To see Mr. D- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Fd2JYQC6Jo )
After we finished, we hung around for a while. There was something about the place that made you want to linger.
Of course we also were forced to linger becasue I think Mr. D is also the only one allowed to work the cash register and we hadn't paid. He was busy with some chicken for a while.
Things to See
At least there was a lot to look at. After examining the curious rolling ladder and wondering what kinds of goods used to be on the top shelves long ago, I studied the walls and doors that were covered with yellowed business cards. I so wish I could have asked more questions, but Mr. D hardly had time for chatting with all his cooking, singing and money-taking.
On our way out, we took time to visit with the sweetest cat who had greeted us when we arrived.
Nice Way to End a Trip
This dining adventure was the best way to end a 2-week road trip. This kitty was the best way to finish a 1-hour lunch break!!
11/2/2012 12:32:00 am
Oh my goodness, your blog is making me hungry as I see all your latest entries, Beth! I laughed that you had 2 kinds of okra from the Old Country Store Restaurant buffet...and loved the link to Mr D singing! some great stuff here!
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The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.