You might not think of a shop that sells live bait, lures and fishing line as a dining destination.
Just outside Flint Creek Water Park, though, sits The Cabin Store.
Signs indicate propane, air and water and other necessities are available, and one intriguing sign announces “hot boudin,” but a menu of freshly cooked burgers isn’t widely announced. Yet people know about The Cabin Store.
As I and my niece, Grace Newton, stood inside one recent afternoon, a steady stream of customers came in and went out, picking up food to go. If you want to dine al fresco at The Cabin Store, there’s a good-sized picnic table with an umbrella on the deck.
Ordering is done at the checkout counter. Breakfast is biscuits — plain or meat — but lunch and dinner are more diverse: Sandwiches; a grilled chicken salad ($7.99); Frito pie ($4.99); shrimp, crawfish or pork boudin ($2.99); egg roll ($1.39) and hot dogs ($1.89 to $2.79).
But hamburgers take center stage. Your basic burger is $3.74 and gets fancied up all the way to the Double Big Bacon Cheeseburger ($8.44). The lunch special, served from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., is a burger, potato salad, baked beans and a medium fountain drink for $7.99. That sounded pretty good, so I went with that with the burger dressed. Grace wanted a more basic burger.
As we waited inside for our orders, I wandered around, scoping out the many fishing-related items and the unexpected small collection of gourmet meat seasonings. I could hear the steady chirping of crickets in another part of the store, waiting to do their part for the angling community.
We took our lunches out to the picnic table where a gentle breeze and the umbrella helped us forget (just a bit) that it was the middle of summer in South Mississippi. In fact, maybe because I’ve lived on the Coast more than 20 years and gotten used to being a flatlander, something about the terrain and the layout of the rustic store made me feel like I was on vacation near a mountain lake instead of working hard to keep readers informed of places to gather and enjoy grub.
I vaguely considered going back inside and getting some crickets and maybe some “minners” and finding my waders in the back of my SUV. Then I remembered that is not exactly Grace’s milieu, plus I was dressed entirely wrong for fishing. Besides, the thing I like best about fishing are those beautiful willow creel baskets that fly fishermen wear and that remind me of “A River Runs Through It.” Back to reality.
We were impressed by the size of our burgers.
“Oh. My. Gosh,” Grace said. “This thing is huge.”
Yes, it was. We had to cut our burgers in half to manage them. They were hot, juicy, flavorful and filling. The potato salad is the mustard kind with which I am fine but Grace’s immediate family eats white potato salad, thank you. The baked beans have ground beef for an unexpected and delicious twist.
Brandon Parker has had The Cabin Store for two and a half years. As suspected, he said the cheeseburger ($3.99) is a best seller but so is the Philly cheesesteak po-boy for $5.99. On weekends, he fires up the smoker in a little shack outside and offers ribs.
“We do about 350 cheeseburgers a week,” he said.
The Cabin Store
Where: 1125 Parkway Drive, Wiggins
Hours: New kitchen hours for the fall are breakfast, 6 to 9:30 a.m.; lunch, 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; Friday and Saturday hours are 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Menu: Burgers, sandwiches, grilled chicken salad, hot dogs, boudin and egg rolls