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Dec 20, 2010 01:06 PM

Moon Lake, MS

Many years ago I was taken by a cousin in the Delta to a restaurant on Moon Lake. I do not remember the name. Does anyone have an idea of what the name of the place may have been and whether it is still around? I seem to remember the front door was kept locked speakeasy style or something like that. Maybe it was a private club? This was probably a good twenty years ago (if not longer). Will be making a trip to the Delta in the spring and am trying to put together a list of places to try and just remembered going to Moon Lake. Thanks.

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  1. I have lived close to Moon Lake all my life. About 30 miles S of Moon Lake. We used to go to Conway Twitty's which was a joint right on the lake. Good food and good music. I don't remember the door being kept locked. That was a traditional deal a long time ago. A lot of joints had a peep hole to look though when you knocked to see if they wanted you in or not. Seems like there may have been a private club there around the lake also. I will check with my old buddies.

    Meantime go to Greenwood, MS and spend the night at the 4 * Alluvian Hotel owned by Viking Range and dine at Lusco's or Giardinia's. Have lunch at Crystal Grill. Don't let folks convince you to go to Clarksdale, MS which is really declined. If you do just pass through and have lunch at Ground Zero owned by Morgan Freeman. The best food is at Hick's where President Clinton had lunch when he was in the White House.

    The Alluvian is a high class first class hotel in a great town. Lusco's and Giardinia's are old time Italian family restaurants with great steaks and seafood. Check out Doe's Steak House in Greenville, MS which is a joint but very famous with outstanding food.

    Moon Lake was great a long time ago but it's gone beyond that. Crawdad's is a great steakhouse in Merigold MS just N of Cleveland, MS and near Po Monkey's which is a famous Delta juke joint. If you get to Greenwood you may find Robert Johnson's grave.

    Here's a Delta tour link to help you out.

    Here's a link to some Delta joints.

    Alluvian Hotel
    318 Howard St, Greenwood, MS

    12 Replies
    1. re: Littleman

      Thanks for the tips. I tried to book at the Alluvian on my last trip during the summer, but it was booked out. I did manage to take a cooking class across the street at Viking and had a great time. My cooking partner was the dialect coach on "The Help", which was filming there at the time. Later on the trip, I picked up a copy of the book at Square Books in Oxford and also got a copy of "Mississippi: State of Blues" which has a pic of Po Monkey's on the cover. Had a great meal at the City Grocery on the square. Looking forward to my return to the Delta and some damn good pie at the Blue & White!

      Blue & White Restaurant
      1355 Highway 61 N, Tunica, MS 38676

      City Grocery
      152 Courthouse Sq, Oxford, MS 38655

      1. re: gourmondo

        I disagree with Littleman. A decent meal and good time can still be had at Kathryn's and Uncle Henry's at Moon Lake (at least both were open a couple of summers ago). The speakeasy you are thinking of is most likely Uncle Henry's.

        1. re: fat harry

          Harry.........If you like Uncle Henry's fine but my experience is the food and service does not warrant an hour or more drive for me. There's much better within an hour of my home. Doe's Eat Place, Lusco's, Giardinia's, Crawdad's, Lillo's, Crystal Grill and Blue Levee come to mind.

          Blue Levee
          1310 S Main St, Rosedale, MS 38769

          1. re: Littleman

            I'm not advocating going out of the way to eat at Uncle Henry's, but the poster was asking about Moon Lake. If you find yourself around the Moon Lake/Friar's Point area at dinner time, Kathryn's or Uncle Henry's is worth a shot.

            1. re: fat harry

              Harry I would go to Kathryn's or Uncle Henry's too if I was visiting or spending the night in the area. There aren't many places to stay unless you stay in the B&B at Uncle Harry's. If I was in Tunica or Clarksdale I would not go to either. There are great restaurants in the Delta but most are in Greenwood, Greenville, Leland, Rosedale and some in Clarksdale. Hick's is a good BBQ joint in Clarksdale. I don't go to Abe's anymore and I like The Ranchero. We went to the Ranch when I was at Ole Miss in the 1960's. Charlie Conerly would stop by occasionally. We used to go to Moon Lake back then and have a big time at Conway's. I vaguely remember another joint there to eat at and it may have been one of these. Let me know if you get to the Delta soon. I will take you to Crawdad's and Po Monkey's.

              There's nothing like Delta Juke Joints. Robert Johnson sang about barrelhouse at Rosedale. I was born in Rosedale and the old house he talked about was there when I was a kid.

              1. re: Littleman

                I agree, the Delta is a special, one-of-a-kind place. It has changed so much in my relatively short lifetime, I'm afraid the Delta of my childhood is gone forever. My experience is in the area from Clarksdale-north, and I have never been to Crawdad's or really anywhere else except Lusco's.

                722 Carrollton Ave, Greenwood, MS 38930

                1. re: fat harry

                  Thanks for the info, gentlemen. I have a special interest in the Delta since my father was raised there (Tunica). We still have farmland on the Ark. side of the river and it was always fun visiting the Delta and the farm just to hear the old stories from my Dad about growing up there in the 1920's and 1930's. Now that he is gone, that entire generation of my family has passed on. To a southern boy like me, food is about people and recipes and heritage; visiting places such as those you've mentioned are one way of maintaining a connection with a place and the past. Those days are gone forever along with those we loved, but sometimes, like some old home movies I have of the place in Tunica, a plate of collard greens, fried chicken and creamed potatoes can take you back, if just for a moment......I hope you have an opportunity to share a wonderful meal this holiday season - Merry Christmas!

                  1. re: gourmondo

                    Thanks Gourmondo. I have similar memories also. I have some friends from Elaine, AR. Is that near your place in AR.

                    Merry Christmas to you also.

                    1. re: gourmondo

                      In Tunica, the Blue and White still does a good breakfast. I've heard good things about Cafe Marie in the old Marie Hotel downtown, but have not been. Delta Kream sadly closed. I really like the Hollywood in Robinsonville, for the catfish hoagie and fries.

                      Cafe Marie
                      6195 Fox Island Rd, Tunica, MS 38676

                    2. re: fat harry

                      Giardinia's is an old Italian family restaurant very similar to Lusco's that was on Park Avenue N or downtown. The Alluvian bought them out and put a Giardinia's in the hotel lobby. It's similar to the old restaurant and a family member works there. You must go to the Crystal Grill for their plate lunch or steaks and seafood for dinner. It's near Lusco's.

                      Doe's Eat Place is the best restaurant I have ever been to. The steaks are cooked with a lot of gravy and the garlic bread dipped in that gravy is outstanding. The tamales and fried shrimp are great appetizers.

                      Lillo's in Leland is an old Italian family joint that's been there forever. Blue Levee in Rosedale is a neat dive also. Crawdad's was a crawfish joint at first and the owner added on several times. It's mainly steak and seafood. It's built of cypress and a lot of the area big game hunters have mounted trophy's on the walls. It must have a dozen different rooms. Neat place. And you can buy outstanding pottery in Merigold at McCarty's.

                      I'm not crazy about Clarksdale. We go on occasions but I like Greenwood and Greenville the best.


                      1. re: Littleman

                        I went to Delta Bistro in Greenwood for lunch a couple of weeks ago. I'd never heard of it, but it was pretty good. Anyone have any info on them?

                        1. re: pkimble

                          Thanks for posting that. The Crystal Grill is so great for lunch I have never thought about any other place in town. It's on Main St. by the river near Viking's headquarters. I have walked by there several times lately and did not see it. It must be less than a year old. I have been to the Fresh Market that the chef owns in Greenwood. It's not anything to write home about.