Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Food Adventures in & around North Mississippi

Well folks i've made a few trips up into the North Mississippi area over the last few weeks for reasons that i'd just as soon not discuss. While in the area though I tried to make lemonade out of the lemons I had been handed. Luckily for me this area has more than it's fair share of locally owned eateries serving some unique & not so unique foods.

Some of the eateries I stopped at not only lived up to the reputation I had heard about but were even better while others just didn't cut it. I'll start with the one that became my favorite during these trips & that I ate at, at least once every trip. This little place goes by the name of Exlines Pizza ( ) & is located right off of I-55 on the east side at Stateline Rd. in Southaven Mississippi. Though it's name says pizza this is not what I stopped by there for nor did I ever try any of the pies they put out. What I went by Exlines for was a Delta Style Tamale, I know tamales at a pizza place, just doesn't sound right but some folks from the area who had relocated to Hattiesburg, MS. had said they serve some of the best ones in the state. It just so happens that I agree with these folks after trying them, these Delta Style Tamale's are by far some of the best ones, if not the very best that I have had the pleasure of eating. From what I understand the same person has been making them for them for many years now & I hope they continue making them for many more along with training someone to make them when they no longer can. So if you find yourself headed into Memphis on I-55 with a hunger pain, just go ahead and get off at Southaven & pull into Exlines on the hill, heck they even have a BBQ place called Topp's next door and a donut shop on the backside of the building just in case someone with you doesn't like Tamle's or Pizza. Oh yeh, the staff at Exlines was great every time I was there & you can also buy the Tamale's frozen to take home with you and enjoy at a later date.

While we're in Southaven i'll mention the place right down the road from Exline's that has gotten national recognition for it's food but just wasn't all that great to me. This place would be Jim Neely's Interstate BBQ ( ). After seeing and hearing all of the hype about this place I guess my expectations were just to high. I went in expecting to get one of the best pulled pork BBQ sandwiches that I had ever eaten and ended up with just an average sandwich that was to dry & had very little smoke flavor to it. I will say for the money it was one biggest sandwiches i've bought, but I would have been happier with a great sandwich that was half it's size.

Now while in the area I had some of the BBQ from Coleman's in Hernando Mississippi right off of I-55 to the West of the interstate. I don't normally support franchised eateries if I can help it, but had many a good memories as a child of the Coleman's on Hwy 45 South in Jackson, Tn. & the one in Counce, Tn. and really had no idea there were any of them left. Anyway the BBQ from here in my opinion was a whole lot better than that at the place mentioned above, it was moist, and not only had a smoky aroma but you could even taste a little of the smoke. So if your in the area and want a decent pulled pork sandwich i'd give them a try, but if you want to eat somewhere all your friends have heard about on TV then by all means go up a couple more exits and try the other place.

While we're still in the Memphis area i'll mention 2 chains that I ate at per some great friends request who had driven over from Jackson, Tn to visit with me while I was in the area. The 1st was Kooky Kanucks ( ) and the only good thing I can say about this place is the beer was cold & my company was great while the food was almost average but overpriced & the service, well it just wasn't. This is the one located right across from the Peabody in downtown Memphis. The other place where the food wasn't worth the money spent but the service was at least really good & friendly was Logan's Roadhouse ( ) on Winchester Rd. at Exit 16 going North or 16 B if headed south on I-4o between Memphis and Jackson, Tn. Service wise this place was great, me and my friends were just setting around catching up on things and not paying any attention to the time, well they closed at 10 but didn't even say anything to us till 11, which was really surprising but very much appreciated.

Ok, now we're going to head south east over to Corinth, Ms where I had a blast just looking for a couple of places I had heard about.

The 1st was the White Trolly Cafe' on highway 72 East, which I had heard had really good slug burgers. Well, I had heard right, it was worth the couple of extra hours of driving time coming home just to stop by this place and enjoy a slug burger while chatting with the owners & local patrons. My only regret here is that I didn't have enough room to try some of the white beans they were serving while I was there. If you like slug burgers and are in the area by all means give these folks a try or just stop in for what I guarantee will be some great southern cafe' type cuisine. I'll be going back by when i'm up for the slug burger festival in a few weeks.

Now the other reason I wanted to drive all the way from Memphis to Corinth before heading South to Ellisville, Ms. was to also try some Tamale's I had heard about from a uncle that still lives in Selmer, Tn. He told me these were some of the best he had ever ate and that I just had to try them. Well as far as the best, we'll just say the best he had ever ate ( read my opinion about Exlines above ), but I will say they were the most unique Tamale's I had ever had. These Tamale's are about the size of a Cigarillo but just longer, and if they have any meat in them it is mixed in with the dough. Now these tamale's are packed full of flavor especially to be no bigger than they are. They really were very good, just not what I was expecting out of a Mississippi Tamale but I will be back by both places I tried while I was there on any future trips I make thru the area. The 1st Tamale shack I stopped at was Dilworth's on Taylor Street ( ) and the other was PJ's Tamales on Tate Street just right around the corner from Dilworths in a little Red building. The folks that own and run PJ's were awesome, it was fun just chatting with them. Now both of these places serve similiar Tamale's offered in paper or husk's ( corn husk ) and you really can't go wrong with either, but i'd suggest a few from each if you are in the area, just for the little differences. I will say these tamale's are some of the best buys you'll get anywhere & both locations will also sell you frozen ones to go with Dilworths even giving you an instruction sheet on the proper way to cook them. The folks that own PJ's also have a fullservice restaurant in Booneville, Ms., but I didn't get the chance this trip to try it.

For those of you who took the time to read this Thank You very much and if you made it this far and are ever near Southaven or Corinth do yourself a favor and give one or more of these places a try.

Ya'll have a great day now...