I will be driving between Memphis and Clarksdale and Tunica. Per the Board's suggestions I will be eating at Payne's, and Rendevous, if I have two meals and Gus' if I get to eat three meals in Memphis. I need suggestions for Clarksdale, Tunica and places in between. I am looking for Bar B Que, Southern specialties, and as I will be with my Pescatorian friend for two lunches we need seafood or vegetarian suggestions in Clarksdale or Tunica or in route between them.
Lord what brings you here from the NE Professor. You have me thinking about my teachers in college 45 years ago. Are you staying in Memphis a few days and just driving down to Clarksdale and Tunica or do you have time to stay in the Delta. Clarksdale is a wonderful town but it's not like anyplace in the NE. It's famous for Blues.
I assume you will have a car. Drive 35 miles S on Hwy. 61 to Clarksdale, MS for lunch and a few hours touring the Blues Museum and downtown Clarksdale. 2/3 hours should be all the time you need there. Have lunch at Ground Zero, Abes or The Ranchero. Have you been to Oxford, MS. After lunch you could drive 60 miles E to Oxford and have dinner at City Grocery, Waltz or Lenora's then head back to Tunica. Go through the Ole Miss campus and walk around the Grove. Walk around the Square downtown and visit William Faulkner's home also. You might like to have dinner at Taylor Grocery in an old store a few miles S of Oxford.
The only place of interest in Tunica is Blue and White which is just plain diner chow. Go to Clarksdale then head E to Oxdord.
Abe's BBQ @ 616 State St., Clarksdale, MS 662 - 624 - 9947.
Ground Zero Blues Club @ Blues Alley, Clarksdale, MS 662 - 621 - 9009.
The Ranchero @ 1907 State St., Clarksdale, MS 662 - 624 - 9768.
Delta Blues Museum @ 1 Blues Alley Lane, Clarksdale, MS 662 - 627 - 6820.
City Grocery @ 152 Courthouse Square, Oxford, MS. 662 - 232 - 8080.
Waltz On The Square @ 1110 Van Buren Ave., Oxford, MS. 662 - 236 - 2760.
Lenora's Restaurant @ 301 C North Lamar Blvd., Oxford, MS 662 - 236 - 1144.
Taylor Grocery and Restaurant @ Old Taylor Rd., Taylor, MS. 662 - 236 - 1716.
Take time to go to Greenville, MS and Greenwood, MS. Go to Doe's Eat Place in Greenville, MS for a meal of a life time. Go to Greenwood, MS and spend the night at The Alluvian Hotel and have dinner at Lusco's. You will neve forget that part of your trip. Nothing in the NE compares to the Delta.
The Blues Museum in Clarksdale opens at 9AM. Have breakfast at Blue and White in Tunica and get to Clarksdale on Friday around 10AM. Blue and White is on the right as you go through Tunica. It's Blue and White and used to be a service station. Park at the Blues Museum in Clarksdale and visit there. You can walk several blocks N and be in the middle of downtown. Let your wife shop a bit then have lunch at Ground Zero around 11AM when they open. After lunch head back S on Sunflower by the river and stop at Hick's just to visit. Take a right on Highway 61 which is State St. Go across the river and Hick's is on the right in nice red brick building. Go in visit and get a cold drink. Talk to Eugene and look at his pictures when President Clinton visited. Then head N on State St. Stop at The Ranchero on the left for another cold drink and look at all the sports pictures there of Charlie Conerly and his friends.
Then head N on State St. to Highway 278/6 E to Batesville/Oxford. It's about 60 miles to Oxford. You should be there around 3PM. When you get to Oxford you will come to a red light and Jackson Ave. going to the left. Go straight ahead and get off at the first Exit which is Coliseum Dr. Get off on right but turn back left and cross the highway. Take your first right by the Basketball Practice Facility. I can't ever remember that street's name. You will see the football stadium straight ahead. Go to dead end at All American Dr. turn right and go past N end of stadium. You will run into the Grove. Go to the left on University Ave. and you will go past the Grove on your right and run into the Circle. Go around the circle and you will see The Lyseum which is the oldest building on campus. The James Meredith riot started in the Circle. There's a monument of him behind the Lyseum. The street you came in on at The Grove is University Ave. Take it back E all the way to Lamar. Take a right on Lamar and go about 6 blocks and take a right on Old Taylor. Go about 3 blocks and you run dead into Faulkner's home. You can drive up the gravel road in front and park and go in and visit. Go back to Lamar and go N past University Ave. two blocks and park. You are now on The Square. The building on your left is Square Books which is very famous. John Grisham has a home in Oxford. You passed it on the right just before you got to town. It sits off to the right on a hill and it's easy to see. It's just before the car dealership before you get to the first red light. He's a frequent visitor to Oxford.
Park and walk around the Square. City Grocery is two doors down W of Square Books. Neilson's to your right on the Square is a nice department store. If you walk past City Grocery on the left you will see Waltz Restaurant after you pass the Pizza joint. Going around the Square you will find Ajax which is a good country food joint. There are a couple of nice ladie's shops on that side of the Square. Downtown Grill is on N side of Square. They have a nice bar upstairs. There's a Rebel junk store around on the N side if you want to buy a Rebel souvenir to take home. Go N on Lamar and Lenora's is on the left. Have dinner at City Grocery. CG has a nice bar upstairs and you can sit outside if you like. Tell Jim Weems the manager with a beard that Henry McCaslin said hello. He will take good care of you. If Jim is not there then a cute young lady named Lauren will take care of you. I hope you have a great trip.
City Grocery @ 152 Courthouse Square, Oxford, MS. 662 - 232 - 8080.
WeKick......I don't mean to be unkind. I'm serious. Mississippi raises 99%of the catfish in the US on catfish farms. Most of them are around Belzoni, Mississippi. They raise a lot of cotton, rice and soybeans around Tunica. They do not raise a lot of catfish there. The Blue and White does not raise anything they cook. They do cook great food.
Chamoun's Resthaven on Old Highway 61 is a thirties diner run by a Lebanese family who have been cooking in Clarksdale I think since 1938. They have cream pies (coconut, chocolate) to die for. Beyond that, I love Chamoun's for what it is-- the locals lunch place (for plate lunches). I like to sit in the booths and eat Lebanese food there (even though it's medium quality).
I like Madidi a lot but don't quite love it.
Someone above suggested a 60 mile side-trip to Oxford. There are good reasons to come here-- John Currence's places are one. Currence is a Beard-award winning chef. In Oxford, his restaurants City Grocery and Snack Bar are worth a trip. He's got an old-school smokehouse behind Snack Bar, and the charcuterie (including smoked cheddar cheese made from Brown Farm Milk, all within the county) is made there from scratch.
Taylor Catfish (about 12 miles south of Oxford) is the reference point for rural catfish joint in this part of the world, and deservedly so. Worth a trip for that, but only open thurs-sun nights.
The other two mentioned for Oxford, particularly Lenora's, are definitely not worth a trip.
I would not bother with Lenora or Waltz in Oxford. They aren't worth crossing the Square for, much less traveling