There's a new place in town that touts itself as the place to find "food for the soul." There can be no doubt what kind of eatery this is.
And what a great idea. Considering we live in the heart of the Deep South, why do we find so few choices for soul food?
Perhaps it is a rhetorical question, but the problem the question presents is now solved. Missi LouisiBama, mouthful of a name that it is, is the place to go when that craving for down-home, satisfying food takes over.
It seems unlikely, but just in case there are a few snow birds that might read this, soul food is most closely associated with African-American culture, but it is a first cousin to the food found all over the South, collectively evolving over the years.
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Look for a simple menu at Missi LouisiBama, dominated by three or four daily specials, with some variations -- all certainly soul stirring -- and a small handful of other local favorites. The food is made from scratch and down-to-earth good. Don't look for fancy sauces, or French names.
On the day of our visit the roast beef with sides of freshly fried okra, delicious greens and cornbread was a plate full and a bargain for $10.99. My accomplice was impressed with the baked chicken, great sides of black-eyed peas, fresh bread and more fried okra. Her total was $7.99. Considering that some places are charging close to $20 for a po-boy, the prices are great. And speaking of that, this places charges $8.99 for a seafood po-boy.
The rest of the menu reads like a Southern boy's dreams of home: red beans and rice for $7.99, smothered pork chop for $8.99 and meatloaf for $8.99. The meal I was served was great, but when I saw another customer's order of fried chicken ($7.99) come out of the kitchen, I wanted to weep. What Southerner does not revere delicious, crispy fried chicken above all else? Just means that this place will have to visited again and soon.
All this praise for a little restaurant tucked away just next to Gate 7 at Keesler AFB, and I haven't got the space to talk about the wonderful breakfast they serve. If you awake starving and need nutrition for a long hard day, start here.
One last challenge; Find your way to Missi LouisiBama and try the turkey necks or wings, and your world will never be the same.