If you have never been to the Government Street Grocery, pay special attention to the menu. No, I don’t mean the burger selection, or the daily specials, I mean the page that describes the history of the Grocery.
The self-description is this, “A family bar with music and great food, a meeting place, a hideaway, art house and beer lover’s paradise.” It’s as apt a description as I have ever read, and it isn’t often that a restaurant gets it so right. Pretty cool, don’t you think?
The atmosphere is unique. There is absolutely nothing shiny and new, that wouldn’t work at all. This place is well worn, comfortable, like that favorite pair of jeans and just a hint of funk. It’s Cheers, Gulf Coast style, and I don’t know any other place that sends out this vibe. Perfect.
The menu is a bit hefty, a three-pager, and if you are looking for classic comfort/bar food, you will be well pleased. There are nine appetizers, and it is a good enough list to make it difficult to choose.
The gravy fries ($5.25) get high marks, and it is hard to think of a better combination. Crunchy fries, savory gravy and it’s as messy a meal as you will find. The Grocery fries ($8.25) are also a gooey, messy plate of goodness and as about as Southern as you can get. Imagine a large serving of fries, topped with Rotel, chili, jalapenos, sour cream and green onions. My goodness! Two other choices that caught my attention were the hummus dip ($7.75) and the smoked tuna ($9.25). Tuna dip is seriously old school, but almost disappeared from Coast menus in recent years. It is a good thing indeed to see its resurgence. Smoked tuna dip and a cold beer is pretty hard to beat.
Most folks rave about the burgers at the Grocery, and you have four choices to choose from, all $10.75. The mushroom Swiss burger, with grilled onions is amazing and a great temptation, but we opted for the Grocery burger, with bacon, Provolone and American cheese, with Creole mustard and served on a Kaiser roll and it was delicious.
Fries are the traditional accompaniment for a good burger, but we went for slaw and potato salad, both were good choices. Our other choice was a classic gyro, meaty, delicious and even better with extra tzatziki sauce ($10.25). If you want a more traditional sandwich, the Reuben ($9.99) is an excellent choice, as is the roast beef and gravy, for $10.50.
You will also find a few good po-boys, baskets, kid’s menu and desserts, so the menu really does cover all the bases for this type of venue.
The Government Street Grocery has been around since 2005 and has developed a reputation as a very cool place to hang out. It’s a very laid-back kind of place, perfect to meet a friend for a drink, take the family to for a good burger, or to hang out late for music, good food and comradery.
Government Street Grocery
Where: 1210 Government St., Ocean Springs
Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday; 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday; 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday-Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday