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Mississippi Cuisine

Courtesy Clarksdale CVB

Known as a melting pot during the sharecropping days, Clarksdale has a variety of ethnic cuisines.

“Rest Haven is a Lebanese tradition,” said Kappi Allen, tourism director for the Clarksdale Coahoma County Tourism Commission. “What a treat to find the best kibbie, cabbage rolls, tabouli and baklava in the Delta.”

Although Rest Haven also has Italian specialties, the Stone Pony specializes in artisan pizzas with names like Slap Yo’ Mama Chicken Pesto.

The Dutch Oven, a Mennonite-owned bakery and sandwich shop, serves homey classics like chicken salad. But other dishes, such as poppy-seed chicken casserole, spinach and artichoke panini, and lemon icebox pie, have become menu favorites.

For classic Delta ambiance, try Ground Zero, a juke joint owned by actor Morgan Freeman, where a couch on the front porch greets diners hoping for the best catfish, beer and some blues.

Allen also suggested that groups visit Abe’s Bar-B-Q. “Swine dining” has been the theme for this award-winning joint since 1924. Sample the ribs, but don’t forget their featured tamales are a staple in the Mississippi Delta.

Looking for the best fried chicken and buffet in Jackson? Two Sisters Kitchen, an eatery inside a renovated home, is the place.

“They are famous for their chicken and homemade everything,” said Marika Cackett, director of public relations and marketing for the Jackson CVB.

Want some vintage charm? Check out Brent’s Drugs, a retro drugstore famous for burgers and renowned for pimento cheese, tuna melts and homemade lemonade.

“You might think Brent’s looks familiar,” said Cackett. “This is the famed soda fountain where many scenes of ‘The Help’ were filmed.”

Perhaps you want a little honky-tonk. Try Hal and Mal’s, a French Quarter-type joint in an old train depot that serves homemade soups and po’boys while guests boogie to live music. More Creole and Mississippi favorites are on the menu at Underground 119, a funky restaurant with painted murals to match on its brick walls.

“Located under an art gallery, they have music six nights a week,” said Cackett.