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TomFreeland's Profile

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Clarksdale, Tunica,


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

Moving to Jackson, MS - looking for local food sources

Someone asked about Stan's Meats, which is on Highway 6 between Batesville and Oxford.

First, it is locally sourced pork, raised and slaughtered in Panola County, on an old fashioned farm. Stan's was owned for a time by Dan Latham, who owned the L&M restaurant in Oxford and was before that a sausage maker for Mario Battali in NYC. The butcher at Stan's learned to make pancetta, guancialle, etc. and still does. You can buy wonderful thick pork chops that are like porterhouse steaks. They do lots of other cured meats and some sausages, including some Mexican-style products (the main butcher is a fourth-generation butcher, Mexican trained). I don't think you can find better pork.

You can also buy Stan's meats at the Farmer's Market, a produce stand on old 7 / North Lamar in Oxford, and there they also have dairy products from Brown Dairy Farm, which have been written up in the New York Times (with good reason). Their butter and milk are particularly good, and Stan's has been buying the cream and making creme fraiche (I know they have that at the Farmer's Market but do not know if they have that out at Stan's location) and even occasionally fresh mozzarella from the Brown milk.

I've bought everything from a thin-cut pork chop to a dressed 165 hog from Stan's and been happy with all of it. Highly recommended.

Sep 01, 2010
TomFreeland in Central South

New Orleans top 5 dishes

You folks have no sense of history.

1) Poboy
2) Gumbo
3) oysters Rockefeller
4) redfish courtbullion
5) turtle soup

Jun 03, 2009
TomFreeland in New Orleans

Oxford, MS

John Currence just won a Beard Award after being nominated for 5 years. He's unveiling the new summer menu at City Grocery tonight; I've not seen it yet but I'd bet it will be good, since it is his "I won the Beard Award" menu.

He has four places now. City Grocery you know. You should definitely check out Big Bad Breakfast-- breakfast and lunch, seven days a week, with a brunch on Sat/Sun. They have a smokehouse in back where they make their own bacon and sausage. The "big bad breakfast" is what I get, a standard southern grits/eggs/red eye gravey/etc. Their fried chicken at lunch is very good.

He also has SnackBar, a new place next door to BBB. It's been open about a month and a half, and has a fresh oyster bar with outstanding oysters. They're using the smokehouse for charcuterie, so you should check that out.

Marie's Lebanese, on Heritage Drive off West Jackson, is wonderful. Tues-Sat lunch, THurs-Sat dinner. It was just off the Square years ago, closed for a long hiatus, and reopened.

Taquaria Mundo Latino is a good, very cheap taco place, very much catering to the growing Hispanic community here (e.g. tacos like lingua, chicharron, cabesa, but also less challenging fare. All excellent. It's on University by Highway 7 behind Obys.

You might want to check out Ravine, a bed and breakfast / restaurant on Pea Ridge Road south of town. I have only eaten there once, but had a quite good meal, and everyone else I've spoken to likes it.

Personally, I've had nothing but bad experiences in the three times I've tried Waltz.