By Kara Kimbrough
Finishing up my list of some – note the keyword some – of the state’s best dishes served at my (and friends’) favorite restaurants, a trip to the northern region of the state is in order. Filled with miles of scenic countryside highlighted by stunning Delta sunrises and sunsets, quaint downtown areas and bustling cities, historic homes and active college towns, the area is one everyone needs to explore at some point in life. Besides all the aforementioned qualities, there are wonderful restaurants found in almost every city and town. Here are a few to check out:
A trip to Greenwood is never complete without a stop by the famed Crystal Grill, one of the state’s oldest restaurants. Since 1933, the family-owned eatery has been drawing locals as well as celebrities and national journalists. Everything on the menu is worth a try, but two of the most requested items are stuffed shrimp and for dessert, a slice of lemon pie with mile-high meringue.
If you’re near Greenwood, you may as well drive a little further west and stop by Doe’s Eat Place in Greenville. Besides a storied past dating back several decades, Doe’s serves, quite simply, one of the best (and largest) steaks you’ll ever taste in your life. My cut of choice is the ribeye, which covers the entire plate and is large enough for 2-3 meals. With a side of Doe’s famous salad and tamales served in a rustic wood-frame building, it’s an experience unlike any other. Other locations can be found inside Biloxi’s Margaritaville and in Ridgeland.
Travel east and drop by Starkville, filled with popular restaurants like The Little Dooey. Another can’t-miss spot is Harvey’s, a staple in the college town’s culinary scene. Harvey’s is known as a great place to enjoy a steak and according to friends, the prime rib is simply the best they’ve ever tasted. Other locations are found in Tupelo and Columbus.
A little further north is Batesville, where one of the most creatively named restaurants ever, The Kennel Club Steakhouse awaits. Peruse the menu of the restaurant and you’ll find equally interesting categories like The Temptations (appetizers), Beach Boy salads and Rat Pack entrees. Favorite dishes of area chamber executives include the chargrilled oysters, French onion soup and grilled steaks with peppercorn sauce.
In nearby Oxford, a plethora of restaurants ranging from breakfast and comfort food spots to fine dining establishments await. One that stands out, probably due to my love of all things Italian, is Tarasque Cucina. It’s hard to choose just one dish, so I’ll mention two: pappardelle bolognese and linguini with shrimp in cream. With a side Caesar salad fit for the gods, you won’t go wrong with either entree.
Last, but certainly not least in taste are the steaks at The Como Steakhouse. It's been discovered by national food writers and others from outside the state, so it’s only right Mississippi residents see what all the fuss is about. If you’ve never visited the small town just north of Sardis, it’s time to stop in and visit its namesake steakhouse.
If I missed one of your favorites in this or preceding lists, drop me an email and tell me all about it.
Kara Kimbrough is a food and travel writer from Mississippi. Email her at [email protected].