When you think of gas station food, the civil rights movement probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But, in fact, hot food cooked on premises at Southern gas stations goes back to that era. Black-owned service stations offered up delicious food for weary travelers who, often, found it difficult to dine anywhere else. Though times have changed, that culinary tradition continues today throughout the South, with some of the best fare to be found in Mississippi.
The Seafood Express in Meridian is a popular place to tank up and get your fill of delicious seafood while you’re there. The restaurant serves up a variety of generously stuffed seafood po-boys, fried or boiled fish plates, soft-shell crab, frog legs, crawfish (in season), and even boiled snow crab legs.
Vine Brothers, in Centreville, is one of those surprising finds that can permanently alter your driving route. After you fill up your tank, you can step into their 5,000-square-foot restaurant, where a variety of Southern staples – from fried chicken to po-boys and, of course, barbecue are served up daily. Be prepared to chat with your neighbors as the restaurant is filled with long “family style” tables.
There are numerous fine-dining establishments in Oxford, but sometimes only chicken on a stick will do – especially after hours when traditional restaurants are closed. The 4 Corners Chevron claims to have the “World’s Most Famous Chicken on a Stick.” While there are certainly others who might challenge that notion, the 4 Corners definitely has its fare share of fans. They’ve even been featured on The Travel Channel and twice in Bon Appétit magazine, and that’s more than good enough for us.
If you’re driving down the road and you see a smoker working overtime in front of a gas station, you know it’s time to stop. If you’re lucky enough to be at Rib Daddy’s BBQ, you know what to order, too. Their best-selling rib plate comes with a half-slab of pork ribs, two sides and a slice of white bread. Smoked or fried chicken, turkey legs, sausage, and fried fish are available, too, if you must. Rib Daddy’s has three locations – Jackson, Canton and Carthage.