This past weekend I enjoyed one of the most time-honored traditions in the South. My family and I flew to Oxford, MS and tailgated at The Grove for homecoming.
The South takes football–the game, the food, the fun–to a level unmatched anywhere else.
Football is ingrained into the way of life. I love the passion with which the fans embrace the whole weekend, not just the game. Tailgating is central, and I have eaten my way through the most elaborate parties in parking lots. These college football fans break out chandeliers, fine linens, floral arrangements, and mouthwatering game-day food.
I have to say, this trip to Ole Miss didn’t let me down. This school loves their team and loves celebrating their team — win or lose. Someone once said of the Rebels, “Ole Miss may not win the game, but we will always win the party.” I agree.
But my trip to the Delta couldn’t just include football and food in the parking lot. While in Oxford, I checked off a couple of my “must eats”. I had been wanting to visit the restaurants of James Beard Award winner, Chef John Currence ever since I heard about his role in highlighting the culinary richness of the Mississippi Delta. Friday night we hit up his restaurant in the heart of town, City Grocery.
His signature shrimp and grits with mushrooms, medallions of ribeye over horseradish potatoes and jerk-rubbed chicken thighs with sweet potato hash took us into the next course. We topped it all off with an incredible apple tart served with an apple cider sorbet and creme anglaise.
That visit was a success, and Currence’s City Grocery moved from the “must eat” to “visit at all costs”.