Experience the Essence of Vintage Mississippi
If you like vintage, a buffet with a spotlight on fried chicken, and a desire for a true hospitable culinary experience, head down south to Mississippi. One city in particular is exceptionally special. It sits high on a hill, overlooking the Mississippi river and once you enter everything slows down. You suddenly get an overwhelming feeling you have traveled back in time to the 1700's.
Natchez, the birthplace of Mississippi, is so full of rich culture and and an evident embracing of its heritage. Everywhere you turn their is a historic sight to be ventured, a nature area to explore, a friendly face with a smile and a wave, and very importantly a local flavor that can't be tasted anywhere else. Located in the heart of the city is a place surely to have your heart forever. The Po Boy Express. The bread is what makes the difference. The outside is a slightly crisped, buttery, texture while the inside, without the bulk, is really soft, fresh and doughy without being gooey. It is jam packed with lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, and the most wonderfully seasoned grilled shrimp it will bring tears to your eyes when you take that first bite. I am astounded each time how they can make something so simple taste so good!
After this incredible lunch the most rewarding experience is traveling down the Natchez Trace Parkway to do no other than gain back your appetite while indulging in days long gone. The long, winding roads are so clean, the grass is so green and the sky so beautiful it all looks animated. There are many historic markers to direct you to the most amazing sights. Emerald Mound is an indian mound that is 8 acres long and 35 feet high created by the Natchez indians between the period of 1250 and 1600. A little further down the road is Mount Locust. It is an Inn from 1780, one of the oldest structures still standing today and Loess Bluff, a large sand hill created by glaciers in the Ice Age. At the very end of the trace, you come to HWY 61 and just a mile down this highway is a small town named Lorman. It is so small it only has three buildings. One of those buildings is the Old Country Store. It was established in 1875 and if you didn't know any different you wouldn't believe it was open! It can be rather intimidating because of the vintage appearance, the crackling wooden deck, and antique signage, but once you get inside you have reached paradise. You are greeted with a big, warm smile and southern drawl telling you to pick a table and go get some food! The place stands true to its name. The walls are shelves that hold antique knick knacks and collectors items, some for sell. However; it is also a restaurant with a buffet that makes you promise yourself you'll double up on the next workout.
A 130 year old wooden block holds ten food items and it is very tempting to try it all. Fried chicken is what this place is known for so it is a must have on the plate. Along with collard greens, black eyed peas, fried okra, green beans, potato salad, corn, candied yams, salad and cornbread. A true southern, home style cooked meal. Once you get a tiny try of this chicken all class and conservative eating will be of no concern. You will want to pick it up with both hands and dig right in. It is a perfect balance of spice and the natural taste of the chicken. It will be a silent night at the dinner table because eating as much of this food will be the up most concern! Until, the chef comes out to sing. Arthur Davis, the chef and owner, likes to also entertain his guests with a bluesy jazz ensemble about his grandmother and her cooking. Undoubtedly, you will leave with a fabulous new memory to share with everyone, an overly stuffed belly and happy taste buds for the drive back on the Natchez Trace Parkway.
Maybe even for weeks after you will catch yourself singing and tapping your foot to "Two pieces of chicken and a biscuit."