As we embrace the fall season, let’s venture back and review some of the unique culinary treats I found while exploring the Coast this summer.
MGM Park Shed Nachos
Having had many different versions of nachos throughout my lifetime, I found my new favorite being served at the home of the Biloxi Shuckers.
First introduced during the Memphis Redbirds inaugural season in 1998, Barbecue Nachos are the creation of Mike Brulatour of Ovations Food Services and Chef Bob Barlow. They perfected the concept and presentation during their tenure at AutoZone Park in Memphis where it outsold the classic ballpark hotdog. Here they enlisted local favorite The Shed to create a delightful varitation of that dish.
The MGM Park version features The Shed’s hickory-smoke seasoned pulled pork and their Southern Sweet Sauce. With a special recipe spicy cheese sauce poured over crisp corn tortilla chips and topped with jalapeno peppers, it’s the perfect combination of savory and sweet. I’m already looking forward to having it again next season.
Project Lounge burger
The Project Lounge in Biloxi is known for claims of having the “Best Burger on the Coast” which I have been hearing ever since I moved to Mississippi a few years ago. I finally paid a visit to The Project Lounge in Biloxi this summer to see if they could back up such a bold statement.
They did not disappoint.
The Project Lounge has been located on Iberville Drive for the past 20 years after moving from its original location.
On my visit, I learned they were originally known for their ribeye steak sandwich, but their burger has been nominated for best burger on the Coast numerous times. They sell between 400-600 burgers per week.
“It’s all in the sauce,” said Christy Allen, manager. “It’s a secret sauce. Everything we grill we baste with it.”
When pressed further, Allen said the sauce consists of five ingredients including soy and Worcestershire sauce, but withheld anything else except that the seasoned flame grill that’s been in use for years probably plays a part in the taste as well.
“I’ve taken the sauce home and grilled up burgers at the house and they’re good, but it’s not quite the same,” Allen said, with a laughing. “Something about that grill!”
Lovelace Drugstore and Soda Fountain root beer float
When the desire for an ice cream treat came my way on a hot summer day, I paid a visit to the longstanding Lovelace Drugstore and Soda Fountain, 801 Washington Ave., Ocean Springs.
Lovelace Drugstore is decorated with 1950s-style memorabilia and lays claims to Elvis Presley having frequented the soda fountain during his visits to the Coast in the ’50s.
Besides being able to purchase over-the-counter medications and other products, the cafe is a great place to get an authentic old-fashioned cream soda, sandwiches, ice cream and specialty shakes such as their Dreamsicle, peanut butter and chocolate peanut butter delights.
I asked manager Margaret Wilson what was most popular.
“That would be hard to say,” Wilson said. “It would be between a root beer float and a Pink Lady. A Pink Lady is an old-fashioned soda. It has cherry, strawberry, and vanilla syrups, a little bit of milk, some CO2 water, and then ice cream.”
While the Pink Lady concoction certainly sounded appetizing, having learned that Barq’s had its start in Biloxi back in 1898, I went with a childhood favorite that I haven’t had in years, the root beer float. It was just as good as I remembered.
Author Christopher Dearman, who moved to the Gulf Coast a few years ago, wants to take advantage of all of the Coast has to offer. He writes a series of occasional articles highlighting some of the Coast’s treasures for the Sun Herald.
105 Caillavet St., Biloxi
208 Iberville Dr., Biloxi
Lovelace Drugstore and Soda Fountain
801 Washington Ave., Ocean Springs