While researching for our Southern adventure, I checked out Road Food.Com to see what sort of ‘good eats’ I could find along the way.
And that is how I came across the Southern Hot Tamale. Yes, you’ve read that correctly… a SOUTHERN tamale…known as a Delta tamale. No one is sure how the Deep South came to be a home for tamales but home it is.
According to Roadfood, the best place in Clarksdale for tamales was Hicks. That opinion was repeated by Marc over at the Shack Up and the guy on duty at the blues museum.
So we headed down State St until we found the drive-up building. Warned they are small, we bought a half dozen to try. I wish we had bought more!
This is definitely someplace I’ll come back to when we return to the Shack Up Inn.
Favorite Dish: The tamales! Spicy without blowing your head off.
As part of our stay in Clarksdale, MS I made reservations at Madidi - the posh restaurant owned by actor Morgan Freeman. I’ll have to admit I had qualms as we walked to the door. Reviews I read ran either very positive or very negative… not much in-between.
We went on a Thursday night and when we arrived at 7:30pm there were only 3 other tables seated with couples at each. Shortly after we were seated one other couple came in. About 45 minutes later a party of 10 arrived. But that still left the restaurant half empty.
The menu looked delightful. The food was what I would call “Upscale Southern”. We ordered an appetizer of baked oysters (“with spinach, bacon and Pando crumbs, topped with Fontina and Parmesan cheeses, sambuca.) Himself ordered a traditional Caesar salad (made with the anchovy paste).
My entrée was Salmon Grenobloise (“pan seared, with asparagus on couscous with a lemon caper sauce”).
Himself ordered Seafood Cioppino (“Scampi, jumbo shrimp, scallops, fresh fish, and lump crab in tomato seafood broth served with crispy Arborio rice with ciabatta”)
For dessert I had peach cobbler.
Himself had dark chocolate molten cake.
My review? It’s in-between. Would I go back? Probably not. While our orders were “close”, it was not what we ordered.
And a restaurant with the reviews Madidi has gotten and the prices charged needs to do better than “close”.
Favorite Dish: The food was excellent. However, it was in several instances NOT what was listed on the menu and we were not told of substitutions.
The oysters, although delicious, had neither spinach nor bacon on them.
The salad was perfect.
My salmon had green beans instead of asparagus, and yellow & red bell peppers in the couscous instead of the asparagus. The fish was perfectly cooked at medium rare. The couscous was light and fluffy.
The cioppino was a VERY small serving for the price charged. Himself told me he did not detect any crab in the dish and there was very little rice (perhaps 3 tablespoons). However, it was very flavorful and the seafood well prepared.
The dessert selection was very limited and average, with the only thing offered that was listed on the web site menu being the molten chocolate cake. That being said, Himself said his cake was the best he had ever had…perhaps the best dessert he’d ever had. My peach cobbler was excellent.
Madidi is a wonderful restaurant in Clarksdale Mississippi.They've got a variety to choose from. Lots of seafood and game. The walls of the restaurant are covered with art from local artists. The restrauant is the nicest in Clarksdale and is owned by Morgan Freeman and Bill Luckett. Madidi has been featured in Bon Appitite, Gourmet, Food and Wine, and Morgan and Bill are doing a sement with Rachel Ray on the Food Network. Prices are great for the quality of food ad drink prices are very reasonable. The service was great!!!!
Favorite Dish: I had the Salmon Caviche. It was awesome, but the best was the Butterscotch Creme Brulee. YUMMMMMM and the Godiva chocolate torte was good too. We all just had an appetizer and dessert we weren't that hungry and it was cheaper too.
OK, we knew going in that this would be the most expensive part of our visit to Clarksdale, but we went anyway and had a very delicious meal indeed. We figured that the celebrity cachet of the actor (and Clarksdale-region native) Morgan Freeman would ensure the quality of our fine dining experience and we were right.
The only reason I gave this meal 4 stars instead of 5 was because there really isn't anything suitable on the menu for a child to eat. It became necessary for me to instruct our waiter to have the chef strip Nathalie's entree and dessert down to basics so that it wasn't too fancy for her. He complied and she was thrilled with her meal!
I discussed the absence of a Madidi children's menu with people around town later. They say it's because very few children actually dine at Madidi. Gosh, that certainly sounds like a case of "the chicken and the egg" if you ask me. Why would you bring your kids to an expensive restaurant where there's nothing for them to eat, unless you absolutely had to? It's not like anyone expects Madidi to run out and buy a Fryolator to make chicken fingers, but surely an experienced haute cuisine chef should be able to address this issue. I say, "Build it and they will come!"
Favorite Dish: I had a magnificent Ribeye Steak and, for dessert, a butterscotch Creme Brulee to absolutely die for! Nathalie had her pasta entree scaled down to just grated cheese on top and sauce on the side, but it would normally come with seafood on top. She had strawberries and whipped cream for dessert, but if she'd only been a little more adventurous, I bet she would have ordered that Creme Brulee for herself -- yum! We'll know better next time, and yes, we will go back to Madidi!
Silver Moon is apparently a new restaurant in Clarksdale (it doesn't have its complete liquor license at this writing), so the locals were very curious to learn of our dining experience there. We gave it high marks!
Since we are presently living in Louisiana, I wasn't thrilled to find mostly Cajun/Creole entrees on the menu. After all, this isn't what I came to Mississippi for, but I guess that's just me. I ordered a ribeye steak instead which turned out to be great.
We were relieved to find a children's menu and Nathalie was delighted with her order. Our server was exceptionally attentive and courteous.
I think Silver Moon @ The Crossroads is getting off to a very good start. I would recommend it to anyone visiting Clarksdale!
Favorite Dish: Nathalie didn't finish her chicken fingers and biscuit, so we got a takeout container. After she fell asleep, I started snacking on them and was surprised at how delicious they were. I actually wished I had ordered them myself! If Silver Moon can maintain such high standards with their children's menu, the other upscale restaurants in town had better watch out!
We encountered two Old Dutch Oven bakeries on this trip. The first one was in Lake Providence, Louisiana, and the second one in Clarksdale. Both bakeries were staffed by Mennonites, which is a religious sect somewhat similar to the Amish. The women were plainly dressed with caps in their hair and very friendly.
Favorite Dish: The cinnamon bun that Nathalie and I shared was out of this world. Don't leave Clarksdale without trying it for yourself!
What could be better than eating barbecue right at the Crossroads marker? It's not too expensive, but they didn't seem to accept credit/debit cards, so bring cash.
Favorite Dish: A platter of pulled pork smothered in barbecue sauce, with a bun on the side, baked beans and cole slaw.