Food On Delta Blues Road Trip
We are taking a road trip from Memphis to New Orleans, mostly on Highway 61, in late June-early July. Does anyone have suggestions for road food along the way?
Our planned itinerary is: 3 nights in Memphis, 2 nights in Clarksdale, MS with a side trip to Oxford (I must pay my literary respects to Mr. Faulkner), 1 night in Vicksburg, MS, 2 nights in Breaux Bridge, LA and 3 nights in New Orleans. I've been to NO many, many times, so I don't need any help there.
We want real southern food, no chains, and have no preference between shacks or fine dining. All suggestion and recommendations are welcome and appreciated.
Why are you staying in Clarksdale. I would stay in Oxford two nights with a day trip to Clarksdale. I'm sorry but Clarksdale is not worth the trip. Madidi's is nice and Morgan's Ground Zero Blues Club is worth the visit. There's nothing else there unless you want to try Abe's BBQ but I hear he gets it from Sysco. You might run into Morgan. GZ is a dive but Madidi's is nice. They just can't seem to keep a good chef. Good food there is a hit and miss. In Oxford try City Grocery, 208 S. Lamar or the new place called Waltz. Eli Manning eats there every trip he makes to Oxford. He's building a new home there too. The Ole Miss campus a worth a trip. It's beautiful and you can tour the downtown Square, Square Books, have lunch at Ajax which has great southern food or go to William's home at Rowan Oak. I would stay Oxford at Hampton Inn or Holiday Inn Express and dodge Clarksdale. There['s no decent hotels in Clarksdale.
Going through Cleveland you can stop for lunch in Merigold just north of town at Crawdad's or the lunch spot at McCarty's pottery place. Take home some of his fine pottery while you are there. If you go down # 1 through Rosedale there's a fine place on the highway called Blue Levee. Food is as good as anyplace in the Delta. I would bypass Clarksdale and go through Oxford for two nights then go to Greenwood and stay at The Alluvian Hotel owned by Viking which is as nice as a fine hotel in NYC. Eat at Giardinia's in the hotel or down the street at Lusco's. Have lunch at Crystal Grill for fine southern food. Anyway to go through Greenville have dinner at Doe's Steakhouse.
In Vicksburg Borrello's is nice and Rusty's Riverfront Grill both downtown near the river. I live in Cleveland if you need more help. Email me at tripperattecinfodotcome if you need more help.
Blue and White cafe in Tunica has really good southern food- they serve breakfast, lunch, and supper... Hollywood Cafe in Robinsonville (call first- they keep strange hours) has a good plate lunch and some of the best fried shrimp I have ever had in the evenings- now that I think about it, I've had really good fried shrimp all over the Delta- don't know why, it isn't like they are on the ocean or anything...
As PeterB mentioned, Madidi is supposed to be really good in Clarksdale, and Abe's BarB-Q is there as well...
In Vicksburg there is a place right downtown called "Willie May's and Po' Teddy's" that has wonderful plate lunch (and I think supper too) featuring some really really good fried chicken. Also, Walnut Hills is a sit down at a communal table and start passing plates type of place that is really good...
Hope this helps!
Amy, please let us know how the trip turns out. I've been contemplating the same journey. In downtown Memphis Automatic Slim's is very good: upscale casual. I've heard good things about Itta Bena, the restaurant above BB King's on Beale St. as well. There are also abundant BBQ joints in Memphis (Neely's, Interstate, Payne's, Cozy Corner, Central, Rendezvous .....) that you can read about on this and other boards. It's all good. I've also heard good things about Madidi, Morgan Freeman's restaurant in Clarksdale. In Breaux Bridge the cajun food, especially crawfish, should be great. And make sure you get some boudin, preferably from a pickup truck in a gas station. I don't know how recently you've been to NO but Cochon on Tchopitoulas in the Warehouse district comes highly recommended. Safe travels and let us know how it goes.