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Hattiesburg, MS: Where To Eat?

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diva360 Aug 15, 2012 09:46 PM

Hi All: mr. diva and I are new to Hattiesburg, and we need suggestions on where to eat and shop for groceries. We will go anywhere, from hole-in-the-wall places to more upscale so long as the food is chow-worthy; we've lived in central Texas and in metro NYC, and we'd rather find what's good locally than vainly try to find, say, Jersey-shore style pizza in southern MS. I will be adding to this thread as we try places in the hopes of generating more Hattiesburg traffic.

For now, I'll say that I like the garden patio at the Mahogany bar, and the late night food options are solid. The specialty cocktails are also quite good and properly mixed/shaken with fresh ingredients.

I picked up some gumbo for mr. diva at E and L's Seafood, and he quite enjoyed it. The roux was nice and dark and had good color. It came with some whole blue crab legs in it, and it had chicken and andouille. I plan to return and try po' boys and seafood platters.

I went to Leatha's BBQ when I was house hunting and thought it was very good, though the sauce was much sweeter than I prefer. The meat, however, was very good, as were the yeasty rolls they bring you.

I was not super impressed with 206 Front, though I'm willing to give them another shot or two. I had the spinach salad and the duck crepe appetizer and found the salad dressing bland. The duck had good flavor, but the meat was somewhat dry. I did like the outdoor seating upstairs on the balcony. This could be a good choice for a late-night drink and sandwich.

Is the Corner Market the best place to go for specialty cheeses and produce? Are there any other groceries that offer more than Winn Dixie or Super Walmart? I went to the CM on Hardy and 38th Ave. today, and was happy to see a small olive bar and a cheese case stocking more than the typical Kraft/Sargento/etc. (blech) varieties.

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  1. d
    diva360 Aug 18, 2012 12:58 AM

    As promised, I will be updating this thread as we try new places, hoping both to inform passersby and to generate more interest on CH in this area. We tried Petra yesterday, and overall, it was good to very good.

    We ordered the labneh to start (they spell it labana), and it was properly made with lemon, mint, olive oil, and some sumac. The pita that they served it with tasted like store bought, but it was still fresh enough, and I'm not sure if it's possible to find freshly baked pita down here.

    I ordered a chicken shwarma sandwich for my entree so I wouldn't get too full, and this is where the kitchen made a miss-step. The chicken was overcooked and kind of dry; I rectified this problem by slathering on the leftover labneh. Mr. diva's lamb kebab, on the other hand, was very good. It came with a salad ahead of time (romaine, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, green bell peppers) that had a nicely tangy lemony vinaigrette as well as some hummus which was dressed with olive oil that tasted strongly of green bell peppers and garlic. (I ate most of the hummus with more of the labneh).

    The lamb kebab itself arrived cooked to about med/med-well (I'd recommend ordering medium-rare, but we didn't know the SOP), and it came with some nicely seasoned basmati rice, and this dish was again garnished with sumac and some zahtar, and, despite the level of doneness, it was quite good.

    This little restaurant also has a teeny market in the back with Middle Eastern spices, multiple kinds of lentils, rice and bulghur, and canned and jarred goods such as grape leaves, sardines, dates, and other sweets. They are open late, and I think this place is well worth trying, especially given the glut of chains in the area.

    Please, Mississipians, start posting! I want to read what y'all think! I'm going to try the Purple Parrot for brunch shortly as well as Compadre's Taqueria 2 for hole-in-the-wall (hopefully yummy) Mexican. I'll post reviews once I've dined. Anywhere for Vietnamese (preferably pho or bahn mi), Korean, or other Asian? I'm willing to go to Gulfport/Biloxi for chow!

    3 Replies
    1. re: diva360
      h
      HappyHattiesburgr Nov 12, 2012 08:11 PM

      Thanks for this. We haven't tried Petra's yet, did not know about the little market either. The club sandwich at T-Bones is awesome, very different for a club sandwich and very perfect IMHO. We may have more to report over the next week or so.

      Have you eaten at the Bean Pot I think it is called In Columbia, Miss.? They are only open in the daytime except when they have arts stuff, I believe. ( Last I heard.) They are wonderful. I think it was their Cuban I had. Their coffee was great and generous plentiful refills.Must look at notes.

      1. re: HappyHattiesburgr
        h
        HappyHattiesburgr Nov 12, 2012 08:36 PM

        What was it you liked best of Tabella's & have you tried Chesterfield's yet?

        1. re: HappyHattiesburgr
          d
          diva360 Apr 15, 2013 11:18 PM

          We did try Chesterfield's, and we shared some gumbo, a salad, and the huge seafood platter (we like to graze). Everything was passable to good except for the crab cakes which came with the seafood platter. They had way too much filler and tasted more of bread crumbs and diced onions and red bell peppers than anything else. A friend had recommended the deep-fried pecan pie, so I had to try it, and while it was good, it was so treacly that it really made my teeth ache. I'm not sure why people around these parts think that if you have a good idea for dessert, adding an extra cup or so of sugar will make it better. I could have been eating walnuts, pecans, cashews, pieces of shredded blown out tires in between the layers of fried fatty crust: who could know when all flavors were obliterated underneath a taste-obliterating layer of sweetness? When I was a kid, my hyperactive little brother would suck on sugar packets at restaurants. I thought it was gross then, and I still do. Hattiesburg, stop abusing your adult patrons' tastebuds by treating us like we are perpetually ten years old.

    2. l
      Littleman Aug 18, 2012 11:43 AM

      Here ya go.

      Crescent City Grill @ 3810 Hardy St., Hattiesburg, MS. 601 - 264 - 0657.
      http://www.nsrg.com/crescent-city-grill/
      Dickey's BBQ @ U. S. 98 & Turtle Creek Parkway, Hattiesburg, MS. 601 - 450 - 1710.
      http://www.dickeys.com/index.aspx
      Donanelle's Bar and Grill @ 4321 U.S. 49, Hattiesburg, MS 601 - 545 - 3860.
      http://www.donanelles.com/index.html
      Rose's Bar BQ & Catering @ 4697 U.S. 49, Hattiesburg, MS. 601 - 584 - 8691.
      http://rosesbbqinc.com/
      Strick's BBQ @ 3802 W. 4th St., Hattiesburg, MS. 601 - 264 - 2502.
      http://www.stricksbbq.com/
      Sweet Pepper's Deli @ 5064 Hardy Street, Hattiesburg, MS 601 - 579 - 8335.
      http://www.sweetpeppersdeli.com/
      The Mahogany Bar @ 3810 Hardy Street, Hattiesburg, MS 601 - 264 - 0658.
      http://www.nsrg.com/mahogany-bar/
      The Shed BBQ @ 126 Mobile Street, Hattiesburg, MS. 601 - 336- 6755.
      http://www.theshedbbq.com/ordereze/Content/19/Summary.aspx
      Three Little Pigs BBQ @ 558 Southgate Rd., Hattiesburg, MS. 601 - 545 - 3030. *
      206 Front @ 206 West Front St., Hattiesburg, MS. 601 - 545 - 5677.
      http://www.206front.net/
      Walnut Circle Grill @ 115 Walnut St., Hattiesburg, MS. 601 - 544 - 2202.
      http://www.walnutcirclegrill.com/

      6 Replies
      1. re: Littleman
        d
        diva360 Aug 23, 2012 11:09 PM

        Compadre's Taqueria Grill was much better for authentic Mexican tacos than for Tex-Mex, as the cheese was of the white processed variety. The lengua tacos were very good, served on fresh corn tortillas with cilantro, onions, and lime slices, as they should be, and the beans and rice were also very good, as the beans had a sufficient pork quotient.

        We took some menudo to go from here, and while it wasn't as good as the menudo you can find in central TX because the broth wasn't quite as good, this version was quite suitable. It came with reasonably good tortillas and all the standard garnishes. The soup included some pigs' feet, which could be a regional variation. All in all, I would recommend this place, but I would suggest that people stick to the Mexican as opposed to the Tex-Mex options on the menu. I would love to hear about what others think about the best Mexican in the Hattiesburg area.

        1. re: Littleman
          d
          diva360 Aug 23, 2012 11:27 PM

          This is a review of C'est La Vie bakery in Hattiesburg, MS. As promised, I will post reviews of Hattiesburg restaurants as I try them, in the hopes of not only disseminating information, but also generating more traffic on this board, in particular for local users and travelers alike. (I'm used to the NYC/NJ/tri-state boards which users constantly update with current reviews.)

          This bakery is a little gem that Hattiesburg is lucky to have. I had a chicken salad sandwich on a croissant here with a fruit salad, and they were both excellent. I bought a couple of plain croissants to try in the morning for breakfast and lunch, and I hope that they are equally buttery and delicious. They have a lot of sweet pastries and cakes here, including truffles and petit fours as well as an assortment of cakes. I look forward to trying their egg dishes like breakfast sandwiches, quiches, and omelets, and I only wish that they made bread, because the bread around here that I have tried sucks.

          I am thankful to Littleman for responding to my posts and I'm putting all his responses in my places to try, but I'm hoping to hear from more of you. Let's pull together to put Hattiesburg's restaurants on the food map!

          1. re: diva360
            l
            Littleman Aug 24, 2012 02:19 PM

            Diva.......post on the Trip Advisor MS forum and you will get more results. There's not much activity on this forum about Mississippi. I will look for you some Asian joints on the coast. Good luck and keep positing. I enjoy your reports.

            A place on the Gulf Coast you must try is Trapani's at Bay St. Louis with outstanding seafood and it's right on the beach with outdoor dining. Here's a link to some GC dining from Chowhound.

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/499736

            1. re: diva360
              l
              Littleman Aug 24, 2012 03:59 PM

              Diva........Chef Scott's in Ocean Springs is a great place for Asian. And go to Beau Rivage casino in Biloxi to JIA.......

              http://www.yelp.com/biz/chef-scotts-o...

              1. re: diva360
                h
                HappyHattiesburgr Sep 20, 2012 06:21 PM

                The bread from Breadsmith that we tried was absolutely fabulous. They are on Hardy near 38th Ave.

              2. re: Littleman
                Bill Hunt Sep 18, 2012 07:19 PM

                Littleman,

                Just caught your extensive list, re: Hattiesburg, MS, and saw "Three Little Pigs BBQ." Can you shed some more light on that restaurant, please.

                I recall a Three Little Pigs BBQ in McComb, and one in Gulfport, but that was long ago. I am curious if there is any connection to those other two, of if they are unique.

                Thank you,

                Hunt

              3. l
                Littleman Aug 24, 2012 05:14 PM

                Diva.........Here's your Asian joint in HB.

                http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/161/95930...

                12 Replies
                1. re: Littleman
                  d
                  diva360 Aug 25, 2012 11:59 PM

                  Thank you for all the links, littleman. I subjected mr. diva to an undue amount of post-move shopping today, so I took him to Leatha's BBQ and a couple of drinks afterwards as a reward. As former Texans, we now both officially think that this style of BBQ is too sweet, but the smoke ring presence is great. Really, the meat is very good, and you can tell how long it's been smoked by how pink the meat is. These people are super-friendly and nice too, so I can't diss them just because they happened to grow up with a tooth-achingly-sweet BBQ tradition. Come to TX and we'll show you how to do brisket and ribs right, with no sugar and plenty of jalapenos in that sauce :)

                  We had drinks at Cotton Blues, a new restaurant in Hattiesburg, and this place has a very pleasant patio/screened in porch area that is smoker-friendly. There was a guitarist singing and playing for the mostly disinterested crowd while we were there, and I couldn't help but think that he should give up singing but play more of a back up role for more talented singers. His guitar chops were actually very good, but he didn't have a very good voice. One would think that Pine Belt artists could get together to showcase their best talents, but I might be wrong about that. In any case, I made sure that we sated ourselves on ribs at Leatha's, I had to go shop at Sam's Club and Walmart for a potluck obligation, and then I had to go to Target. It was chain store overload and I was very happy to go to Cotton Blues, even if it was for only a y a couple of drinks. I'll be posting a review of the Purple Parrot for brunch in a minute, and I'd appreciate hearing whatever y'all have to say

                  1. re: Littleman
                    d
                    diva360 Aug 29, 2012 01:08 AM

                    The following is a Purple Parrot brunch report. All in all, brunch here was very good. I had the eggs Benedict, and the eggs were properly cooked with runny yolks and a good Hollandaise. The country ham was super good--it was kind of like a cross between American-style bacon and Canadian bacon? This could be a southern thing that I'm not aware of. My entree was served with reasonably good cheese grits (they were a little lumpy) plus fresh fruit.

                    Mr. diva got the snapper done gulf fish style, with a corn and lima bean succotash and Tasso ham. He really enjoyed it, and I could barely get a bite in edgewise. Judging from the bite I was able to steal, the fish was very well-cooked, and the succotash was yummy. The variety of breads was also quite good: sweet potato biscuits, scones, and cheddar/jalapeno cornbread. I opted for the bottomless Mimosa supplement for $9.00, and Mr. diva got a couple of bloody Marys about which I heard no complaints and which were generously garnished.

                    So far, we have liked the Purple Parrot, Mahogany Bar and Grill, Crescent City, Leatha's BBQ, E. and L.'s Seafood (great po' boys--it's a hole in the wall, but don't let that stop you!), Compadre's, though I have to try some tamales I got at the farmers' market on campus, and C'est La Vie. Petra Cafe is also worth trying; I'd just avoid ordering the chicken, stick with some appetizers, and make sure to order your lamb med-rare. Once again, thanks to littleman for posting suggestions, and I'm still hoping we can get some MS food-curious posters here. Would we attract more postings if I said "educated, sexy, skinny, sophisticated, omnivorous, and city/country-friendly white female in search of good vittles of any variety. Although I have a life partner of Asian extraction who hails from San Antonio, we are both world travelers who are intrigued by intellectual, gustatory, and sensory pleasures. Seeking like-minded eating companions who have traveled or wish to do so, as well as those who don't mind eating locally and supporting home-grown businesses."

                    OK, I will admit that my Chowhound venture into personal ad writing wasn't that great, but I'm hoping to find a few more players :)

                    1. re: diva360
                      d
                      diva360 Sep 15, 2012 11:57 PM

                      Here are a variety of recent Hattiesburg eats reports:

                      Grand China Buffet: don't do it. Mr. diva had been told by co-workers about how wonderful this place was, and maybe it is OK at lunch time when they are very busy, but I doubt it. Given all the good recommendations by locals, we decided to give it a try.

                      The best part of the meal was the hot and sour soup, which was decent once we stirred it up on the buffet line to make it hot and added some chili oil. Everything else was pretty bad. Everything was cold, bland, oddly prepared, and seemed to have been sitting around for a while. The egg foo young was cold and deep fried in some kind of a batter, and that was a regrettable iteration of a dish that is actually really hard to screw up. Because it was allegedly a Chinese buffet, I found it somewhat disconcerting to see southern BBQ staples on the buffet, like brisket (which they falsely advertised as prime rib), mac and cheese, and non-Chinese-style BBQ ribs. I guess they are trying to please everyone. Maybe people like it because they can eat as much as they want and it is cheap, but we thought it was mediocre at best, and the sushi offerings were scary bad.

                      We returned to Cotton Blues for dinner, and that was also pretty forgettable. I think the highlight of the meal was the selection of dips they serve with the breads, which include cornbread and a crusty Italian-type selection. The dips included a black-eyed pea hummus which was interesting, some allegedly homemade sweet cream butter, and some herb-infused olive oil. The corn bread was OK, but the Italian bread was markedly stale.

                      I wanted to try a few different things, so I got the picnic sampler intending to share it with Mr. diva, who got a cup of gumbo and the small plate sized fried chicken plate, which included a southern-fried thigh, lima beans, and mashed potatoes and gravy. My plate came with two deviled eggs with hollandaise sauce (a clever idea), boudin and andouille sausage, grain mustard, homemade bread and butter pickles, and a small slice of brie, baby swiss, and blue cheese, as well as rabbit pate. The weird thing about this southern picnic plate was that I was supposed to eat all that meat and cheese with two small crackers and two small pieces of the toasted stale Italian bread. If a restaurant wants to serve a good sideboard with cheese and meat, there should at least be enough starches served to support it.

                      The gumbo Mr. diva got was pretty good, with a nice dark roux, but the fried chicken was terribly bland. The gravy on the mashed potatoes was similarly bland, and it needed a good dose of salt to wake it up. Be mindful that neither of us like salty food; the fare here was just not thoughtfully seasoned, and it wasn't thoughtfully-plated or well-accompanied either.

                      I want places like this to succeed in my newly adopted home. These people have obviously spent a lot of money outfitting the restaurant; the patio and the interior are beautiful and very well furnished. By the Manhattan and NJ standards we are used to, a person could drive a car up and down the rows of tables they are so far apart. But that spaciousness, charming decor, and warm southern hospitality can't make up for lackluster food. I'm waiting to be wowed by the food options in Hattiesburg, but for the most part, I've ended up being merely satisfied. I'll post a review of the Walnut Circle Grill shortly, but I'm afraid the news will be more of the same.

                      1. re: diva360
                        h
                        HappyHattiesburgr Sep 20, 2012 06:12 PM

                        Welcome to Hattiesburg, Divas.

                        Of restaurants you have been to, you haven't mentioned the Gold Post Sandwich House -- a must to be any Hattiesburger -- or La Fiesta Brava, a treasure we are lucky to have here, all you need in Mexican food and really inexpensive and perfect flan. (Four people COULD eat off that one inexpensive dessert though two can happily stuff themselves.) I haven't had anything I didn't like at La Fiesta Brava, was told by a fellow diner that he had never had any Mexican food that good anywhere, except maybe once in Mexico decades ago.

                        Have you eaten at Rose's BBQ yet? Love everything I have eaten there -- plenty of BBQ, rich and luscious potato salad, perfect baked beans. (It has been too long since I have been there, but you can't keep a girlish figure by going ALL the time.) The Gold Post has similarly wonderful potato salad to Rose's BBQ and it can be bought by the quart. Their BBQ can be bought in larger amounts.

                        You mentioned gumbo. Everything the Gold Post has is good, gumbo too -- numerous po-boys, BBQ plates, more stuff I can't recall and I don't recall their BBQ being as sweet as Leatha's though I love Leatha's dearly. Love BBQ po-boys at Brownstone's too. Didn't know that cole slaw went well with BBQ po-boys until I tried it their way. They have an interesting large red streetcar mural on the wall downstairs.

                        A friend used to rave about fresh bread at Lenny's for their po-boys, but we haven't gotten there yet, having so many good options already. After reading Yelp or one of those sites recently we will also be heading to Peter's Poboys.

                        I hear good things about Nanny's which I believe is in the former Burkett's building but haven't made it yet. It would from what I've been told be traditional Southern cooking.

                        At 206 Front at lunch I have enjoyed their chicken cacciatore and Cajun catfish (in a cream sauce). I'm probably going to have the seafood crepes next time I'm there. I think I had it once before. I've been itching to have their seafood marinara again. The small one was plenty for me. Their portabella mushroom sandwiches were good too.

                        You didn't mention Chesterfield's. Have you not tried them yet? I haven't been to their latest location but adored them in their other various incarnations. I am especially addicted to some of their pastas.

                        Another long time Hattiesburg institution is the old greasy spoon sandwich shop downtown on Main Street near Willmut that closes at 3 p.m. The owner was really rude about her right to smoke in your face back when Hattiesburg allowed smoking in restaurants so I haven't been in years, but they were famous around here for their foot long hotdogs and good curly, greasy homecooked fries and they do support the arts.

                        Love Strick's BBQ. Left them out accidentally.

                        The Shed (in Hattiesburg I mean) which someone mentioned above is closed last I heard.

                        I am sure I am still forgetting some good places and my apologies to them.

                        1. re: HappyHattiesburgr
                          h
                          HappyHattiesburgr Sep 21, 2012 03:36 PM

                          The greasy spoon downtown referenced whose name eluded me was Coney Island.

                          I hear great things about the new little grocery store and cafe that is across from the place you get your car tag.

                          I trust you have found the health store on Main Street.

                          Keg and Barrel & T Bones' food are on our soon-to-be-tried list. The T Bones' food smelled & looked so good when we picked up a DVD last time we were there that we had trouble not eating there though we had already eaten.

                          1. re: HappyHattiesburgr
                            d
                            diva360 Oct 2, 2012 06:03 PM

                            Thanks for the replies! I need to post a couple of reviews soon. I will add that we returned to E & L Seafood and the oyster po' boys were great and the red beans and rice were solid.

                            1. re: diva360
                              d
                              diva360 Oct 4, 2012 08:19 PM

                              We went to Southbound Bagels for lunch today. I had a curried chicken salad sandwich on white bread that was quite good. The bread, that is--the chicken salad itself wasn't quite to my taste as it had sizable slivers of ginger in it, and I don't like that intense ginger flavor you get when biting into ginger if it is not finely minced like I do at home. Mr. diva, in contrast, really liked his lox and bagels. He thought the sandwich was a bit stingy on the lox, but he liked everything else and remarked that the bagel, while not as good as those you can get on the East Coast, was really quite good. It's a cute little place, and exactly the kind of local business we like to support. I'm all for supporting downtown Hattiesburg spots; the area has potential.

                              I also recently tried Jiang's kitchen, which is in the back of the biggest Asian grocery store I know of in Hattiesburg whose name escapes me now, but it's in the same shopping area as Best Buy. They have lemongrass, bok choy, Napa cabbage, Thai basil and peppers, and other vegetables that are hard to find in area grocers, plus a fresh seafood counter. I got the Tokyo Chicken to go, which I requested spicy, and the kitchen delivered. I'll post a more thorough review once we return and sample more offerings.

                              1. re: diva360
                                w
                                Wendell Smith Oct 8, 2012 05:53 AM

                                My wife and I passed through Hattiesburg about a week ago. I had read where Robert St Johns had opened an Italian resturant named Tabella. We have eaten and enjoyed the food at both The Purple Parrot and The Crescent City Grill and decided to try the new place this time. Food and service was very good. In fact I think we liked Tabella the best of the bunch.
                                Tabella is located in the main shopping area just south of the other two a couple doors down from Dirt Cheap.

                                1. re: Wendell Smith
                                  d
                                  diva360 Oct 18, 2012 11:01 PM

                                  Thanks for all the posts! We really do appreciate getting local feedback, and we'd like to see Hattiesburg and its environs achieving a more prominent place on the local 'hounding Central South map.

                                  We tried Tabella, and I really have mixed feelings about the place. I understand what they are trying to do, but there are some problems with execution. That being said, you may want to take this review with the proverbial grain of salt, because we are spoiled. You can't throw a rock in Northern NJ. where we moved here from, without hitting a serviceable locally-owned Italian restaurant.

                                  We got some warm mixed olives to start, and those were just fine, though not great. They seemed a little bit old.

                                  On to the entrees. Mr. diva got the roasted salmon which came with cappelinni dressed with garlic, olive oil, and parsley, along with garlic green beans. The sides were goodt, although we though that the prevalence of garlic on the plate got a bit tiresome. Although he requested his salmon medium rare, it came out closer to medium, but he was still happy with his dish.

                                  I ordered the beef tenderloin medallions with fried artichokes and a Gorgonzola cream sauce. The problems with execution were on display here. The medallions were sliced very thinly to allow for the construction of a tower of beef fillet, fried artichokes, beef fillet, more fried artichokes, and another skinny beef fillet on top. That presentation pretty much makes it impossible to serve the beef at any temperature below medium well. I appreciated what the chef was trying to do, as I would assume he or she wanted their guests to have a bite of the filet, the fried artichoke, and the bleu cheese sauce all at once. It just would have been much better if the dish could have been served as an actual cooked-to-order filet that was then topped with the fried artichokes and the Gorgonzola sauce. The presentation of this dish, which trumped its potential flavor, is something that we have found lacking around here. It wasn't terrible, but it also wasn't great. There is no reason to take a dish apart to the extent that those who are cooking it can't get its basic elements right. If I want a medium-rare steak, then the presentation of that dish shouldn't be a hindrance.

                                  We also tried Fiesta Brava. Maybe it was an off night, and I'm adding the caveat that we used to live in TX, but man, if this is what passes for good Mexican food in H'burg, then I should be able to start a good business selling tortillas, tacos, and tamales out of the back of my house.

                                  The drinks were cheap--they offered two for one margaritas, but they were pretty sub-standard: weak, watered-down, and inundated by Rose's Lime. The waiter got my order wrong twice, and once I finally got what I thought I wanted, it still wasn't right. I ordered one of their combo platters, hoping for a cheese chile relleno and a guacamole tostada. I was first served the guacamole tostada with no reference to the chile relleno I had ordered. I wanted the whole meal to be vegetarian, which would mean that I wanted a cheese chile relleno. What was delivered to my table was a beef chile relleno, which is not even typical in either Tex-Mex or Mexican cooking. And, to add insult to injury, the lettuce that came upon my tostada was soaking wet, which is not appetizing our chow-worthy at all.

                                  Happily, Mr. diva enjoyed his T-Bone with shrimp, but that was one of the most expensive offerings available.

                                  We may give this restaurant another chance, but IMHO, there are a lot more options to try. While Compadre's doesn't havve the same Tex-Mex offerings, their taco options beat this place hands down. Go to Compadres!

                                  1. re: diva360
                                    h
                                    HappyHattiesburgr Oct 21, 2012 07:18 PM

                                    I have never had ANY problems at La Fiesta Brava, not even the one in what I consider the burbs but I haven't been to the one in the burbs in years. WHICH one did you go to? As I say, it was someone who had eaten in a great actual Mexican restaurant in Mexico who told me La Fiesta was as good as that great restaurant. We ALWAYS eat at the one on Highway 49. And no you could not compete with them as they have always been for us. Nor can the other Mexican restaurants in town. Or out. So do give La Fiesta another try or you will be missing out on one of the better reasons to live in Hattiesburg.

                                    1. re: HappyHattiesburgr
                                      d
                                      diva360 Apr 15, 2013 11:04 PM

                                      I'm sorry that I've neglected making new postings. We did try the one on HWY 49. I've got pretty high standards for Tex-Mex because Mr. diva and I lived in Texas for a while, and you pretty much can't throw a rock there without hitting a decent hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant, much in the same way that there is good Italian around virtually every corner in NJ and NY. That being said, we have really found both cuisines to be really lacking in these parts, with the exception of, say, Compadre's for Menudo and Mama Rosa's for tamales. The things I really crave, like TX-style migas and breakfast tacos, are largely missing around here. For example, for about three bucks, I used to be able to go to a corner taqueria and order two big breakfast tacos with righteous salsa on homemade tortillas in any number of places. But, there is really good fried seafood and po' boys all over this town, so we are adapting to what there is. Do y'all have thoughts about Half Shell Oyster House? I'll post a more detailed review later.

                                  2. re: Wendell Smith
                                    h
                                    HappyHattiesburgr Nov 4, 2012 04:08 PM

                                    Glad to hear that you liked Tabella. We haven't tried it yet. What did you order if you don't mind saying?

                    2. d
                      diva360 Apr 15, 2013 11:38 PM

                      I got really busy at work, but now I've got a tiny bit of time to review local restaurants Overall, we've been impressed by the variety of dining options that are available in this small town. I also relize that the designation of "small town" is relative; for mr. diva and I, this is the smallest town we've ever lived in, though I do realize that others may not share that experience, and I'm trying to be mindful of all who might be a part of my audience.

                      I think Sake Cafe might be the best choice for sushi in the area. We've tried a few other places, and their roll choices aren't very good, plus they don't seem to be very busy. We went to Oishi the other night, and neither the salad nor the "miso" soup were any good. I put "miso" in scare quotes because it wasn't really miso soup, but rather a beef consomme of some sort with a bit of mushrooms and scallions in it. Likewise, the weird dressing on the salad was more like a Russian dressing than the somewhat grainy, gingery, and bright orange concoction one might expect from a sushi restaurant. As an added affront, the iceberg lettuce was wet when dressed, a mistake which rendered the whole affair faintly slimy and less than edible.

                      Mr. diva's sashimi deluxe was passable, as was my entree, although barely so as an order of hibachi steak. The problem was that my meat, vegetables, and rice were woefully underseasoned. I doubt that any healthy dose of salt and pepper ever graced the surfaces of the components of my meal. We took my leftovers home, and I know that with a bit of sesame oil, salt, pepper, and hot peppers, we can turn these leftovers into a tasty meal. Too bad that it couldn't have happened the first time.

                      1. s
                        scarver Dec 1, 2013 11:31 AM

                        There is a new wine and spirits shop downtown-Twin Forks Wine and Provisions. They will be opening a gourmet shop with meats, cheeses, etc soon.

                        1. f
                          flagstaff69 Apr 7, 2014 07:32 AM

                          God bless you; hopefully you've managed to escape this hell hole. Living here after living in Los Angeles has been a huge culture shock. Won't be staying much longer.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: flagstaff69
                            Uncle Bob Apr 7, 2014 07:39 AM

                            So you sign up on ChowHound, and this is your very first post! It'll take a me a while to get up there, but ya want me to come help you pack??

                            1. re: Uncle Bob
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                              flagstaff69 Apr 7, 2014 07:43 AM

                              hehehe I was looking for a good restaurant for lunch! There are actually a few good places up here, but overall quite disappointing. I'll be moving when I finish school in June, and I will definitely hit you up for help moving! :)

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