Giardina’s, Greenwood MS

Giardina’s is now open on Mondays – so while we were there this last week, we took some pics (Giardina’s is right next to the Alluvian Hotel – so if you’re a guest at the hotel, you don’t even have to walk outside to get to it).

This is the view from inside the curtained booth. BTW, if it’s important to you to eat in one of the curtained areas, be sure to tell them when you make the reservation so there’s no chance that you’ll be put in the dining room at the end of the hallway if they’re busy (the dining room isn’t bad at all – but why not get the full experience?).

The booths all feature buzzers, so if you need the waiter, you can just ring for him. Our waiter seemed pretty talkative (but he kept calling us ‘guys’ – I heard him doing it with the table next to ours, too…..and this is just a peeve of mine or whatever….but when you’re somewhere you’ve gotten dressed up to go and you’re going to spend real money….I just think people shouldn’t be called ‘guys’. At Burger King, okay – but not somewhere nice.). I asked him what percentage of people actually used it (of every time we’ve been to Lusco’s or Giardina’s, I think we may have used it one time). He said that about 30% of tables will use it, and went on to say it was usually rich women who didn’t work that really liked to wear it out.

Anyway.

…as you can see, it’s nice and dark….

Behind that chair, the button:

My mint julep:
Mint Julep, Giardina's, Greenville MS//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Mint Julep, Giardina's, Greenville MS//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Here’s a pic of my bloody mary. It’s nice, and they put fresh pepper on top to give it a little bit of a bite:
Bloody Mary, Giardina's, Greenville MS//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

This is Av’s gumbo, which I’m not sure qualifies in my book as gumbo. There was no detectable okra and no rice at all….
DSC04092//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

These were the tamales we had as as an appetizer:
Tamales, Giardina's, Greenville MS//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

I had the linguine pasta with basil pesto cream sauce. Very good…
linguine pasta with basil pesto cream sauce, Giardina's, Greenville MS//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Av had the whole broiled pompano. Nice….
Pompano at Giardina's, Greenwood MS//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
…and for the sides, we chose the garlic mashed potatoes and the ricotta spinach (very, very good).

This is a pic of Lusco’s, which we like a little bit better than Giardina’s. They aren’t open Sundays or Mondays, so we didn’t get to go this time – but when we’re back in Greenwood in December, we’ll be there!
Lusco's, Greenwood MS//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Airport Grocery in Cleveland MS

We had a really nice lunch at Airport Grocery in Cleveland. I’ve been wanting us to visit since I got the cd of Willie Foster playing there in 2000, I think.
Airport Grocery, Cleveland MS//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Airport Grocery, Cleveland MS//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Hot tamales were pretty good:
Airport Grocery, Cleveland MS//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

We both had hamburgers – Av thought they were excellent. Everything was good, but I think the potato salad was the icky Sysco brand. Overall, a really good lunch spot though.
Airport Grocery, Cleveland MS//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Doe’s Eat Place, Greenville MS

Av and I got back over to Doe’s Eat Place (the original) in Greenville – and I took lots of pics:

Doe's Eat Place, Greenville MS//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Aunt Florence seated us – she’s *always* there. This time we sat in the back – we got there early (about 5:30pm) because we had to be at something later that night. BTW, they open earlier in the day for people to come by and get tamales.

Doe's Eat Place, Greenville MS//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
The interior is all oilcloth tablecloths, framed magazine and newspaper articles about Doe’s, football posters, and seed sacks.

On the stove at Doe's Eat Place, Greenville MS//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

The fries on cooking on the stove. They’re cooked the right way – in big cast iron skillets.

Above: the middle room is where the salads and fries are made.

Doe's Eat Place, Greenville MS//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
Here’s the salad – the dressing is just fresh-squeezed lemons and olive oil. Yum!

Hot Tamales at Doe's Eat Place, Greenville MS//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
We *of course* had to get a small order of tamales.

Porterhouse at Doe's Eat Place, Greenville MS//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
..and we shared this *huge* Porterhouse which we weren’t even able to finish (delish)…our dog Bagel will looove this bone. Also in the picture are Av’s french fries, which are always amazing.

At Doe's Eat Place, Greenville MS//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
…here’s Doe cooking the steaks. Doe’s daddy (also Doe) started the restaurant.

Doe's Eat Place, Greenville MS//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
…in the front room. These are steaks that have just been cut.

Everything, as always, was fantastic!

Dreamland in Tuscaloosa and Archibald’s in Northport

A couple of weeks ago, we visited the original Dreamland in Tuscaloosa. There are several other Dreamland locations now – a couple in Georgia, a new one in Northport, and four others around Alabama.

…so on our way to our trip this week, we visited Archibald’s in Northport:
Archibald's, Northport AL//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Ribs, Archibald's in Northport AL//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
…you could sit inside at the counter, but there’s three or four picnic tables out front by the road, too.

Pit, Archibald's in Northport AL//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
…here’s a pic of the pit (above). The inside is the blackest thing you’ve ever seen.

Walnut Hills, Vicksburg MS

Walnut Hills is a ‘revolving table’ restaurant, which means that you sit at a large table with 10 or 12 other people and food is put in front of you on a giant lazy susan that everybody spins to get the dish they like.

Walnut Hills Restaurant Sign, Vicksburg MS

Just getting started:
DSC02865

We talked mostly to two couples, one was local and they were super-nice. They were originally from the Delta, and so we got to talk about Cleveland and that area for a while. The other couple (also super-nice) was in Vicksburg because they were on their way back from visiting their condo in Biloxi to see what damage had occurred after Hurricane Katrina. As it turns out, their condo (ground level unit) was damaged very badly. And the couple – they were from Franklin, Tennessee – were in for a fight with their insurance company. They said they had asked their agent when the policy for the condo was written about tidal waves and such, and they were told that they couldn’t get that type of policy written for that location. They will also have to fight (just like everybody else) because their condo is a huge, broken mess and if the damage is due to wind, then they have a certain amount of coverage. But if everything was okay until the storm surge, then it’s classified as a flood and they’re completely out of luck. It’s just something you feel terribly about.

We did get to talk about nicer subjects than the hurricane, and really had a lovely lunch with some very nice people.

As far as what was served, there was coleslaw, fried chicken, greens, rice, macaroni and tomatoes, I can’t even remember everything that they put out….Av especially likes their chicken. The only thing I wasn’t crazy about, that I didn’t remember from the last time we visited, was that they only served unsweet tea!

In Vicksburg, Av and I also really like Solly’s Hot Tamales (1921 Washington St).

Stamps Superburgers in Jackson MS

Av and I went to Stamps Superburgers in Jackson for supper. It was our first time, but I had heard about it before. It’s won ‘Best of Jackson’ hamburgers a couple or more years, and it’s also listed on Dixie Dining (with a mention that Bobby Rush is a fan).

Stamps Superburger (2nd Location) Jackson MS

Fresh-Cut Home Fries, Stamps Superburger, Jackson MS
These are Stamps’ french fries that Av and I shared. These aren’t out of the Sysco bag. They take a potato and cut it into round slivers and fry them, then you get to choose if you want them to be seasoned with salt & pepper or lemon pepper. Oh. Yum.

Hamburger, Stamps Superburger, Jackson MS
This is the *regular*/smaller hamburger. It was huge – I had to throw part of it away because there was just no way I could finish it, and Av could just barely finish his. The hamburgers at Stamps are like the hamburgers you would make at home…ground beef, formed into a patty, put on the grill. Same way at Stamps. I think the regular hamburgers are like 7.5oz and the large are more like a pound. Delish.

There is a bit of a wait after you place your order, that’s because they don’t cook until they get your order – so it may take ten, fifteen minutes, more – depending on what’s ahead of you in line. Not fast food, but great food. We ate these on the way to Vicksburg (next post).

Primo’s Cafe in Flowood (Jackson) MS

Last week, Av worked in Jackson for a while, and we got to have lunch at Primo’s Cafe in Flowood. We’ve been here several times – and they’re always great. They have free wi-fi access now, too.

Primo

Italian Wedding Cake at Primo
We weren’t super-hungry, so we just snacked on dessert rather than ordering a sandwich or anything. I had the Italian Wedding Cake. It was really, really nice.

Caramel Cake, Primo
Av had the caramel cake, which he really liked too. I do have to say, though, that nobody makes better caramel icing — if you’re not making it yourself at home — than Caramel Factory in Boyle, Mississippi (they ship).

What I really wanted to get Av was one of their tshirts – one of them says something like “biscuits are like bagels, except they’re soft and they taste better”.

 

Ezell’s Fish Camp, Lavaca AL

Av and I just love to go to Ezell’s Fish Camp in Lavaca (AL). It is a *real* fish camp – right on the water – and the fields around it are growing cotton…..

Three Boars, Taxidermy, at Ezell's Fish Camp, Lavaca AL//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
There are a bunch of deer mounted in the entranceway, and inside the dining room are these three wild boar.

Swamp Monkey (Novelty Taxidermy) at Ezell's Fish Camp, Lavaca AL//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
This is the swamp monkey above the cash register. Rahr!

World Record Blue Catfish (mounting by Archie Phillips) at Ezell's Fish Camp, Lavaca AL//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
This is the world-record blue catfish. This was done by Archie Phillips, who is the taxidermist whose sign “Get the US out of the UN” (there’s a new one up now, but I don’t remember what it is) can be seen from I-20/59 in Birmingham.

Coleslaw with Lance Captain's Wafters at Ezell's Fish Camp, Lavaca AL//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
First they bring out Lance Captain’s Wafers (the best), a lemon, cocktail and tartar sauce, and their coleslaw – which is so delicious!

Fried Pickles at Ezell's Fish Camp, Lavaca AL//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
Av loves their fried pickles, even though we can’t even eat half of what they bring out. They are so yummy though!

Catfish Dinner at Ezell's Fish Camp, Lavaca AL//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
Here’s my dinner – catfish fillets. Yummy!

Ezell’s is open seven days a week, and it’s so much fun just to go and sit by the water. One time after a storm, there was a lot of tree branches in the water, and we got to watch what I think was an egret just floating all the way down the river on one of the logs. Nice!

Trowbridge’s in Florence AL, Dale’s in Florence AL, and Ricatoni’s in Florence AL

Trowbridge’s ( 316 North Court Street, 256.764.1503) has been open in downtown Florence since 1918. It is a lovely little ice cream parlor where you can sit at the counter and watch everyone’s treats being made.

Order Board, Trowbridge's, Florence AL//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
Isn’t this order board great??!!

Egg & Olive Sandwich, Trowbridge's, Florence AL//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
I ordered an egg and olive sandwich, which was very good. I ate about half of it (it was conveniently cut in half) so I could still try the ice cream.

Oh-My-Gosh Brownie, Trowbridge's, Florence AL//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
Av ordered the ‘oh my gosh’, which is a brownie topped with ice cream and caramel, whipped cream (which he asked them to leave off) and a cherry. The brownie was served warm and was *excellent*.

I tried one scoop of orange-pineapple ice cream — it also happens to be one of the ‘100 dishes to eat in Alabama before you die’ that’s being promoted by the Alabama Bureau of Travel and Tourism this year — with one scoop of butter pecan. I liked the butter pecan a little better, but only had room for about 1/4 what they served in the glass!

Everybody that works at Trowbridge’s was really nice and friendly, and we’ll visit again the next time we’re in Florence.

Dale’s (1001 Mitchell Boulevard, 256.766.4961), one of my and Av’s very favorite places, was supposed to be where we were going to have supper Saturday night. We arrived right on time for our 8:45pm reservation and were seated promptly. A waiter came right over for our drink order, and had our drinks back in just a couple of minutes. Then twenty-five minutes went by and the waiter hadn’t come by for our order (no nothing – even to let us know that he would be with us, just that it would be a little while). We decided just to leave, so we went to the front desk to pay for our drinks. Since we couldn’t get a waiter, we couldn’t get a regular check. The gentleman at the desk asked what was going on and we explained…..no cost for the drinks. We’ll still go back next time; everybody has a bad night every now and then, I guess.

Ricatoni’s ( 107 North Court Street, 256.718.1002) was lunch on Sunday. (I just noticed that Ricatoni’s bread with herbs is *also* on the 100 dishes list (and it was very good).)

I had the Ricatoni Ravioli, which was cheese-filled ravioli in a tomato cream sauce. It was soooo good. Av really liked his pasta too.

We both really liked the atmosphere, with the double-height ceiling (part of the room has a balcony), tin ceiling, and an open – and pretty loud – kitchen. We’ll definitely come back to Ricatoni’s too. Yay!