Another week in Starkville brought a renewed appreciation for breaded catfish like you can only get in the South, sweet tea that is proving a point with sugar super saturation and a short but memorable visit to small town Mississippi.
Most of the week was dominated by a busy-as-usual email migration that was behind schedule but progressing. We had issues but nothing unexpected. We managed to get the server migrated, most users were happy with only small issues remaining.
I re-visited and was underwhelmed by the Dark Horse Tavern. Not only were they out of “Never Graduate” t-shirts in black but the quality of their pizza seems to have deteriorated. It’s also possible that my first visit here was clouded by Abitas, long plane flight and full day of work that proceeded it.
Memorable about this trip was a visit to Petty’s that was better than I expected: I ordered the catfish platter with fried okra and baked beans and sweet tea. The platter came with hush puppies presumably as matter of course. It was fabulous. I waited outside for my food for less than ten minutes but my clothes smelled like barbecue for two days.
Thursday H, his family and I drove to Ackerman, MS to Pap’s: a family style Southern restaurant featuring the best Southern food buffet I have had as well the best example of Southern hospitality I’ve experienced. H introduced me as from Philadelphia, the staff immediately introduced me to “Elvis:” the cook. Elvis came out in sunglasses befitting his name for a photograph. The food of course was fantastic: of note was whole breaded catfish that after a searching the buffet for knives I figured out you’re supposed to eat with your fingers. After noticing I’d mangled my fish H demonstrated the technique then slyly remarked that I’d already made the proper technique impossible on my own fish. The fish was great though I’m not sure whole fish is any better than the filets as R maintains.
My favorite comment on Mississippi life comes from R as we were blowing off steam between preparing for the upgrade: “Real Mississippians know which counties are wet, which are dry and where to get alcohol in all of them.”
Once again I do not regret my meal choices while I was there but I find myself oddly drawn to low fat foods and unsweetened beverages since my return.
125 E Main St
103 Highway 12 West
Starkville, MS 39759