On Highway 588 in Collins, Mississippi there is a small restaurant that does a booming business on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Only open from 3 to 9 on those nights, Graham’s Fish Camp is packed the entire time.
689 Highway 588. Collins, MS 39428
They start you out with a huge bowl of coleslaw while you look over the menu, although most folks seem to already know what they like. From looking at the other tables, catfish (Mississippi farm raised) was a heavy favorite.
We started with fried dill pickles and onion rings. One of Elvis’ favorite snacks, the dill pickle chips are battered in cornmeal and quite crunchy and tart. The onion rings were thick and hand battered. The baskets are huge, so I’d recommend the half portion sizes.
I had the fried shrimp platter – 12 shrimp, 3 hushpuppies and a mess of French fries. Crunchy batter on flavorful shrimp – quite tasty. The house made tarter sauce was tart and creamy.
Michelle had chicken tenders plus a catfish filet. Thin sliced with a delicious cornmeal batter, it was fresh and clean tasting. I can tell why so many people come here.
They end the meal with soft serve ice cream and your choice of toppings. For as busy as they are, the wait staff is friendly and quick with refills on the drinks and to check to make sure you don’t need anything else. The cost is quite reasonable, too – for under $20 a piece, we had a huge amount of great food. Definitely worth a visit.
I was up in Jackson, Mississippi for an Equality Summit with HRC Mississippi. The event was downtown near the old capitol, so afterwards we walked to the Iron Horse Grill for dinner.
The salsa was very bright and fresh and the waiter confirmed that it is made in house each day. We enjoyed it with two baskets of their tortilla chips and a lovely margarita.
For the main course, I had one of the best chimichanga’s I’ve ever had. Shredded beef wrapped in a toritilla, deep fried and then topped with queso and ranchero sauce. Layers of flavor, all of them good.
Michelle had the shrimp and grits on the servers recommendation. The grits were a local variety and ground extremely fine. The sauce was quite yummy but, because they left the tails on the shrimp, it was a very messy meal to eat. I don’t think cooking with tails on adds that much flavor and taking them off would definitely improve the dining experience.
The staff was knowledgable and attentive and quick with refills.
Afterwards, we wandered through their Mississippi Music Experience. This onsite museum has wax statues, signed memorabilia and audio/visual displays of the state’s musical history and it’s iconic musicians.
I’d definitely recommend the Iron Horse if you’re in the Jackson area.
I was up in Hattiesburg for dinner with Michelle’s family and we all went out to Cheddar’s Casual Cafe. It is a chain version of a neighborhood restaurant and the food was good and filling and the prices quite reasonable.
We started with the Honey Butter Croissants. These ought to come with a warning about addiction – sweet, flaky, buttery.
Michelle had the Sweet Heat Chicken and Shrimp. The sweet chili sauce was quite good.
I had the ribeye with loaded potato and brocolli cheese casserole. Meat was cooked a nice medium rare with a nice sear on the outside. The casserole was a little congealed but the flavor was good and the potato was quite satisfying.
We ended with the Hot Fudge Sundae Cake – big enough to serve four with two scoops of icecream and both hot fudge and caramel sauce drizzled over the top.
As you can see by the remains of the plate, we liked it. We really, really liked it.
The service was a bit rushed but it was a Saturday during holiday season so I’m cutting her a lot of slack – that and she was dealing with a table of 11 that included two kids under 6. We all had a good meal and conversation and didn’t feel rushed or pressured.
My phone went swimming during our kayak trip down the Okatoma on Saturday so we had to make an unplanned trip to Hattiesburg yesterday. After a suggestion from the woman at the Verizon store, we decided to go to Petra Cafe. Located across from University Southern Mississippi, they serve Greek and Mediterranean cuisine in a casual atmosphere.
We started with the falafel patties with Grecian sauce. Fresh from the fryer, it had very fresh flavor with the chickpeas, onions and spices. The sauce was so good we asked for more.
I had the chicken shawarma gyro. The marinated chicken was quite tasty and they had stuffed the fresh, warm pita full to overflowing with meat, onions, tomato, lettuce and yogurt sauce.
Michelle went with the lamb shawarma gyro and enjoyed the lamb slices. She also took all the lovely pictures as my replacement phone won’t arrive for another day and I forgot my camera.
We finished with the baklava. A very sweet way to end a rather enjoyable meal. They used pistachios and it was yummy.
The service was excellent with a friendly waiter and manager. We were there late and he was quite attentive and even left us the pitcher of Lebanese iced tea (tea with orange blossoms, pink lemonade and pine nuts) because we enjoyed it so much we were draining our glasses.
I’d definitely recommend this place and will probably stop by again myself.
I was in Hattiesburg today and went to Strick’s BBQ for lunch. It is right near to University of Southern Mississippi where we had gone to see the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at the Cook Library.
I had the pulled pork sandwich – it was overfilled with terrific pig meat and came with a small thing of sauce that the meat didn’t need. Trust me, you’ll need two hands to bring this sandwich to your mouth it was that big.
Michelle had the BBQ Beef Sandwich and it did need the sauce they gave her as the meat could use the additional flavor. This one was also over filled with meat that we ended up eating it with a fork once we were done with what was in the bun.
On Friday’s they do a $12 buffet with a whole pig that they leave over a fire for 17 hours. It looked delicious but, with a dinner already planned, I wasn’t sure we’d get our money’s worth.
Not a bad BBQ joint at all! Very friendly people on staff.
There is good barbecue and then there is great barbecue. Leatha’s Bar-B-Que Inn, on Highway 98 west of Hattiesburg, is one of the great ones. If you want to read a little more about the inspiring woman who opened and ran the joint, follow this link to Robert St. John’s write up on Leatha Jackson after her death in September.
Each meal came with two sides and they weren’t anything to particularly write a blog about They mainly served to fill belly space that would have been better filled with meat. In fact, the ‘special’ slaw was way too sweet for me — it tasted like they had added sugar to it. On the other hand, the potato salad was good with the pimentos in it.
It is the meat that had the angels singing. The half slab of pork ribs was fall off the bone tender and their sauce was sweet and tasty. I ordered the half and half and with my slab I got an order of pulled pork. It was nice and flavorful and we were each able to make a sandwich on the rolls they brought. The fried potatoes had a nice crunch but not much for taste.
Michelle ordered the half chicken and it was juicy and tender. It didn’t have that much flavor once you ate past the sauced skin but, they brought a cup of extra sauce, so we were able to keep it flavored all the way to the bone. The baked beans were just okay.
When we finished there wasn’t much left of the pork but the bones.
One of the things I like was that instead of napkins, they gave out white wash cloths – they were able to absorb a lot (not that we also weren’t licking our fingers, too). Service was fine after the woman at the register stepped up to bus the table but I attribute that to them being as busy as they were – it was early on a Friday night and the place was pretty packed.
I think this is definitely a place to be put on my return trip places, although next time I may just order the whole slab and nothing else.
I was in Hattiesburg for lunch today and went to a gem of a Thai restaurant. Jutama’s Restaurant has a very friendly staff and offered a pretty deep menu of curries, noodles and specialties of Thai cuisine.
I judge a lot of Thai restaurants by their Tom Kai Gai. Combining coconut milk and lemon grass, ginger, lime, mushrooms and chicken into a taste of heaven is an art that Jutama’s has in abundance. I slurped up every bite and it certainly tasted like more.
However, we had both ordered entrees, so no more soup for me! For the main dishes, I went with the chicken in peanut sauce and the sauce was a little thin but nicely flavored.
I was so impressed with the carrot art that I took a separate picture of it:
Michelle ordered the Drunken Noodles. She requested they serve them at 4.5 (on a 5 point heat scale), so it was a little hot for me. Not to mention, she ordered it with tofu. Not bad flavors once your sinuses cleared from the spice.
We ended the meal with mango, sticky rice and coconut cream sauce. It was another piece of art for both the eyes and the palate.
If you’re ever in Hattiesburg, I would most sincerely recommend this restaurant. Authentic Thai is hard to find in the deep South but having such great tastes plus such great service makes Hattiesburgians very lucky indeed.