My husband and son are about to go on a long weekend trip to Vicksburg, to the civil war historic park. This is completely out of any of our areas of competence foodwise, all of us being from parts north. My husband says ask about barbecue, but I don't even know if there is barbecue there particularly? If there is, they would want to try it, but also should probably be warned about any differences from Chicago barbecue. Also, I know my son would love some southern fried chicken. My husband wants to know if it is too early for fried green tomatoes, which is the one southern dish we do know and love. And grits? He has never had grits, so anything to know about eating grits, when, where, with what? I guess they are probably looking for classic southern food, nothing upscale, just good food, not too far from the park, most likely. Any and all suggestions would be appreciated to help introduce them to southern cuisine! (and if there are any particular food specialties that should be brought back to me in Chicago, hey, that would be a great bonus!)
I haven't been to Vicksburg in several years, but there was a restaurant in an old home,called Walnut Hills, that served traditional Southern food at round communal tables (the type that rotates so everyone can serve him/herself). The food was delicious and very similar to what I (a native Mississippian) ate while growing up.
It's probably a little early for fried green tomatoes.
If you've never had grits, they will remind you a bit of coarse cream of wheat. They are a breakfast side dish, good with ham and eggs or whatever, and I just eat them with butter and salt. (I wouldn't touch them until I was about 35, so I'm not really a grits authority.) Don't put sugar on them, ewww!
Barbecue will primarily be pork. A chopped or pulled pork sandwich is wonderful--ribs too, but I don't know any local places. Ask around.
Hot tamales, of all things, are a big deal in the Mississippi Delta, especially in my home town of Greenville. So for a real Delta specialty, they should try Solly's Hot Tamales.
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Our family was just in Vicksburg and we liked Rusty's Riverfront Grill. It sits on the river in downtown on Washington Street. This is where the locals go--and usually you have to wait 20 or 30 minutes for a table. The food is fresh and flavorful. Grill-type fair as well as Southern specialties: hamburgers, po boys, grilled chicken salads, fried green tomatoes, cajun seafood gumbo. The chocolate peanut butter pie is heavenly. Don't leave without ordering a slice.
Beechwood Restaurant and Lounge @ 4451 Clay St., Vicksburg, MS. 601 - 636 - 3761.
Cafe Anchuca @ 1010 1st East St., Vicksburg, MS. 601 - 661 - 0111.
Cuzz's BBQ @ 4001 U. S. 61 S., Vicksburg, MS. 601 - 636 - 1923.
Country Junction BBQ @ 1416 Washington St., Vicksburg, MS. 601 - 634 - 6828.
Goldie's Express BBQ @ 3313 Pemberton Square Blvd., Vicksburg, MS. 601 - 636 - 2551. *
Goldie's Trail BBQ @ 2430 S. Frontage Rd., Vicksburg, MS. 601 - 437 - 3661.
Main St. Market Cafe @ 902 Cherry St., Vicksburg, MS. 601 - 634 - 8088.
Roca Restaurant and Bar @ 127 Country Club Dr., Vicksburg, MS. 601 - 638 - 0800.
Rusty's River Front Grill @ 901 South Washington St., Vicksburg, MS. 601 - 638 - 2030.
Walnut Hill's Restaurant @ 1214 Adams St., Vicksburg, MS. 601 - 638 - 4910. *
While you're in Vicksburg, you have to try out the Juke Joint Restaurant and Blues Exhibit at 1415 Washington St. in downtown Vicksburg. My husband and I were traveling through last week and just happened upon this eatery at lunch time. We had planned to grab a quick salad or sandwich but made a drastic change when we saw the lunch buffet: crispy friend chicken, smothered pork chops, yummy chicken and dumplings, tender field peas, cornbread muffins, yams, braised cabbage. It was just too good to pass up, and was easily the best meal we had on our entire week-long trip. After cleaning our plates, we pondered over the blackberry cobbler, but better sense prevailed. Oh my, I wish I were there right now!