I've been tagged by the lovely Nat of In Spring it is the Dawn for a Restaurant Meme, so I'll write up my meme answers before sinking into chatter mode.
1. Add a direct link to your post below the name of the person who tagged you. Include the state and country you’re in.
Nicole Tan (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia)
velverse (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
LB (San Giovanni in Marignano, Italy)
Selba (Jakarta, Indonesia)
Olivia (London, England)
ML (Utah, USA)
Lotus (Toronto, Canada)
tanabata (Saitama, Japan)
bookfool (Mississippi, USA)
2. List out your top 5 favorite places to eat at your location.
3. Tag 5 other people (preferably from other countries/states) and let them know they’ve been tagged.
I can tell you, to begin with, that there aren't any places at all, locally, that excite me like . . . say, like a good book. So, I'll go with our area, as a whole, and throw in one restaurant I like in Vicksburg (but which doesn't make me jump up and down, oh well).
My five favorite restaurants:
1. Taylor Grocery in Taylor, Mississippi - Even after 20 years in Mississippi, catfish still turned me off till recently. Something about the idea of catfish being "bottom-feeders", possibly. But, Taylor Grocery (Taylor is near Oxford, home of the University of Misssissippi and Faulkner's Rowan Oak) reformed me, forever. The food was so melt-in-your-mouth good, the catfish so perfectly crispy and tender at the same time . . . seriously, I could imagine myself as Meg Ryan in the diner scene of When Harry Met Sally, but the ecstasy would be real instead of fake and over food instead of a guy. It's that good.
While writing this post, I've realized that atmosphere and service are absolutely critical or I'll ditch a restaurant, no matter how terrific the food. Taylor Grocery has excellent service, a down-home country atmosphere and even live music. It's worth a cross-country drive. But, I only have to drive about 3 1/2 hours to get there.
2. Madre in Oxford, Mississippi (no website available) - Bear in mind that we're still discussing places that require a three-hour drive from my home (close enough). Madre is a Mexican restaurant situated on Oxford's lovely town square. If you order guacamole they bring a little rolling cart with a drawer of ingredients from which you can choose, so your guacamole is specialized with just the right amount of various spices. Cool. At right is my a photo of my husband's meal from our last visit to Oxford: fish tacos. Excellent. I stole a bite, of course
3. Bottletree Bakery in Oxford, Mississippi (no website) - Of course, the baked goods are to die for, but the surprising food at Bottletree is the soup. No matter what kind of homemade soup they whip up (and I promise you, Bottletree is not a can-opening type of place), it is just flat amazing. Unfortunately, you have to get there at just the right time to get soup. Too early and they haven't finished cooking. Too late and it's gone. Well, of course. I used to think I hated soup. Not if it's from Bottletree. The interior is very quirky and artistic, another thing I tend to love in a favorite restaurant.
4. Keifer's in Jackson, Mississippi - Again, I can't find a website, but I see that Keifer's is described as "Greek-American food with a Southern bent". Oh, my. Is that a weird description, or what? Maybe it's the greasy cottage fries that lend it the "Southern bent" bit. Definitely not the place I go for healthy food, as we dip our cottage fries in some kind of heavy cheese sauce that makes me drool just thinking about it. Keifer's typically has excellent service and they have the advantage of a choice between seating inside (the interior has a lot of Greek memorabilia and some old travel posters - kind of cute) or outside on one of two decks. We almost always sit outside.
5. Billy's Italian Villa in Vicksburg, Missisippi- I was going to write about a local hotel restaurant with a French chef and then I started the entry and realized . . . oh, my gosh . . . it could never be a favorite because the atmosphere is cold-shoulder, crappy-service supremo. Okay, so ditch that and let's go with one that has tremendous service. Billy actually lives just down the block from us and the restaurant is a little thing tucked into the corner beside the office of our outlet mall. Before Billy's arrived, many other little establishment's came and went in that mall corner, usually with awful food and sassy service. Billy runs it with family and a few other hires. The food is consistent and probably very, very bad for the hips but absolutely delicious. And, the service is tremendous. The atmosphere is bland but there's so little we like locally (especially with reasonable service) that we always enjoy going there.
I just recently began taking photos of food and interiors of restaurants, so there aren't any photos to go with #'s 4 and 5, sorry. Now for the tagging:
Tag! You're it! Okay, yes, I'm being lazy because I'm a little under the weather and don't feel like doing a lot of blog-hopping, this weekend.
Still having a little trouble concentrating to read, so I'm halfway into three books. I'm enjoying all three. It's fun revisiting Victoria the vampire slayer in Rises the Night by Colleen Gleason, I love JoJo Moyes' writing and am thoroughly hooked by Foreign Fruit, and Hank has some fascinating little tidbits of life experience to share in A Spoonful of Humor. So, while I'm not doing a great job of concentrating, I'm reading some very good books.
Just walked in: Pressed Pennies by Steven Manchester, a book to review for Estella's Revenge. It looks great and I see he's written about his war experiences in Desert Storm, also. Uh-oh. You know how much I love those war memoirs.
Due to the fact that I've slept off most of the weekend, I've hardly taken any photos at all. That is a strange feeling, I must say. I think I also forgot to mention that the newspaper published a second one of my photos, so they've printed 2 out of the 3 that I sent them for consideration. Last week's was a photo of wisteria dangling over bricks, which some of you may remember from one of my Wahoo! Wednesday posts (not the same one, but I took several). Unfortunately, I didn't bother to correct the misspelling of my name because I figured they wouldn't print any more. Oopsy.
My camera is occasionally doing something terribly hinky. Here are two photos which the camera claims were taken at the same shutter speed and aperture, but obviously something went very wrong on the first exposure:
This has happened several times, now, but in the other cases I simply got a black frame - totally black. Hmm. The only other photos I've taken, this weekend, were a few that I took of the husband mowing the yard. I wanted to practice panning a little, as I haven't done that in a very long time. Here's my favorite practice shot:
In case anyone is wondering, I didn't touch up the color. Our yard really is that green. Mississippi is a very colorful place.
Hope everyone has had a great weekend! I'm off to stick my nose in a book.
Cheers from Bookfool