Comfort food is a fundamental part of Southern foodways. Can you imagine a Sunday table without fried chicken and pan gravy or a steaming bowl of chicken and dumplings? It is a way of life, but one that was designed for folks that tilled the soil and milled lumber, so there is no wonder that we have a problem with obesity. The solution for me was and remains portion control. I almost never eat a full serving, and almost always take one piece of bread off the sandwich, although I eat almost anything. The result for me is losing close to thirty pounds.
But that certainly does not mean that I avoid comfort food, especially in these trying times. I think we all need something to celebrate, and a special meal may be all we can come up with these days. If you do not feel like cooking at home, want takeout or are willing to sit in a not so crowded dining room, here are a few suggestions.
The Fillin Station in Biloxi is a great local hangout with good burgers, amazing nachos, and one of the best hamburger steaks around. I am also very fond of their pork chop, served with red beans and rice. The Fillin station is also a good spot for a beer with friends, and this time of the year, some of the best crawfish around.
I have talked to you before about CB’s Jamaican place in ocean springs. The menu is small, but everything on it is sensational. I absolutely love CB’s ribs and jerked chicken. CB is quite a character as well, so make sure to chat him up when you stop by.
Quave Brothers in D’Iberville serves the best pot roast beef po-boy I have ever had. I always get it dressed, pressed, and with extra mayo, so it is a huge, messy, and delicious meal of itself. All the po-boys are good at Quave Brothers, and they always have Barq’s in a bottle too. They also have a drive-thru just in case you are in a hurry or don’t want to dine inside.
Next on my list in the Green House on Porter in Ocean Springs. They serve specialty biscuits, tea, coffee, and beer. I have met more interesting people and listen to more good music here than anywhere else in my life. I love the candied pecans and often order them with a side of peanut butter. My favorite biscuit is the sweet potato biscuit, served with lox, capers, and red onions. Every day they have a sweet and savory biscuit special. The Green House also has a yard where you can sit and feel comfortable.
White Pillars is my last suggestion. Yes, it is fine dining, but casual. The menu changes daily but I assure you that you are going to love what Chef Austin Sumrall will do for you. The best oysters I have ever had in my life were at White Pillars, and they were, of course, Deer Island.
So, get out there and celebrate your Southern food roots, try comfort food that you have never tried before, but just remember, keep the positions down and you will be just fine.