After 55 years, Peggy’s in Philadelphia, Mississippi announced October 28 was its last day of business. Just three blocks south of the Neshoba County courthouse, an old Geocities site they had from who-knows-when listed that $7 lunch included everything: salad, drink, dessert, and tax. That’s how much it was when we were there first in 2005; more recently it’s been $9 ($8.42 plus tax).
Once a home-turned-restaurant, Peggy’s had made quite a name for itself, appearing in food tour books and magazines; in 2013, it made Southern Living’s Best Restaurants in the South list:
…You entered the home (hallways covered in family photos), fixed your plate of comfort food (fried chicken, pork chops, creamed corn, butter beans) off the make-shift serving counter at the kitchen entryway, sat at one of the folding tables scattered throughout the house (at whatever seat was available), and left your money in the basket by the door (making your own change)…
Truly, that was the charm. There were family photos everywhere. The food came from what looked like a residential kitchen. It was…it was food from home. Fried chicken, beans, potato salad. I don’t think they had an account with Sysco. Likely nothing came from Restaurant Depot or its ilk, including the china, which was pretty, but a little worn and chipped. And that was part of the charm too. When it was time to go, there was a simple straw basket, and you paid and made your own change. The honor system proved that they loved you enough to feed you and trust you to make it right in return.
While there is the very occasional house-restaurant, more often it’s easier to find the family plate-lunch fundraiser, or curbside rib plate or fish fry. Am I remembering correctly that somewhere in Georgia there’s a funeral home that serves lunch? We definitely want to get to Masada Cafe at the United House of Prayer the next time we’re in Savannah.
Mississippi Roads came to Philadelphia and the segment with Peggy’s begins at 3:18