Southern food

In keeping with the all-SEC, all-the-time theme Columbia has adopted, I’ll be talking about southern food tomorrow morning on 102.3 BXR. Alas, my favorite southern restaurants – Mississippi Fish Shack and Glenn’s Cafe – have fled Columbia for Boonville. Are we allergic to grits? Fried chicken? I don’t know, but we’d best get with the program, because we’ll be seeing tens of thousands of SEC fans in town starting next fall. Me, I’m missing D.C.’s Georgia Brown’s and Vidalia.


Author: Scott

I am a married father of two. I graduated from Rock Bridge High School and then Mizzou before spending six years in the Washington, D.C. area. We returned to Columbia, Missouri in 2006.

12 thoughts

  1. Being from the South, I don’t really consider Glenn’s “southern” food, it’s cajun. Mississippi Fish Shack is more Southern. But I didn’t grow up eating a lot of fried fish either. If you want to explore Southern food, think country ham and red eye gravy, cheese grits, good old fashioned pan fried chicken with white gravy and mashed potatoes. Sausage and hominy, beaten biscuit, yum!

  2. True, Glenn’s is more Cajun than anything. But they made my list by serving me some of the best fried chicken I’ve ever had in mid-MO. And by serving it family style.

  3. If you really want to split hairs, Glenn’s could also be considered Creole rather than Cajun, although he does have a mix of both cuisines on the menu.

    Robin and Scott, if you love fried chicken, there are two places IMO that are the best and do it right, as in old-time country-style fried chicken: Claysville Country Store/Cafe at Claysville south of Hartsburg, but north of Jeff City, and Settlers Inn at the Pilot Grove exit off of I-70 west of Boonvile. These are the only two places I can think of that prepare the old-fashioned crispy flavorful fried chicken I remember from childhood. JMHO

  4. Well, there is Jazz on Stadium for creole/cajun. One would hope that visitors to Columbia from the south wouldn’t be looking for food just like they have at home.

    If people have a chance to go to Oxford, MS for a game or any other reason, they really need to make the drive out of town to Taylor Grocery. That’s a REAL Mississippi fish shack, and will make you throw rocks at the one in Boonville.

  5. For what it’s worth, we’ve had a hard time selling okra, collards, fresh peanuts, and other southern specialties at the farmers market. We do a lot of southern cooking at home, but haven’t had much luck translating that into sales.

  6. I love okra with onions and tomatoes. Also fried and pickled!!!! Unfortunately, I forgot that okra season was actually in spring rather than summer and I missed it.

    Collards are very good too.

    Jazz is ok but misses the mark compared to true Louisiana food.

    Don’t forget Emmett’s – They have southern, creole, and cajun.

    And honestly, Cracker Barrell does a pretty decent job of Southern comfort food (for a very large chain.)

  7. Jeff, okra season is in the spring? Mine didn’t produce until mid/late summer? Also, I seem to remember it showing up at the farmers market in summer as well.

    I need to try Emmett’s. Never been to Fayette, strangely enough.

  8. Okra season is definitely not in spring. It doesn’t start producing until mid-summer at the earliest, and will produce until frost.

    We tried Emmett’s once a few years ago, and thought it was decent. Fayette is a pretty town, well worth a visit.

  9. When I went to the farmer’s market to get okra, no one had it. One of the marketeers told me the season was over. I could have sworn it was early summer.

    I will trust both of you as to the correct season. I missed out I guess.

    I graduated from Central Methodist. At that time, Emmett’s was a pool hall and tap room with pickled eggs and pig’s feet!

  10. Which market day were you going? On Saturdays, we had okra on our stand every week from July 23 through mid-September, and others probably had it into October as we get earlier frosts than most growers. However, I’ve found that the Saturday market is so big, it’s often easy for customers to not find something they’re looking for. Even I miss stuff when I walk around to see what others have; Joanna will ask me later if I saw X and I’ll have no idea. Just too much sensory input at once for things to register.

    Also possible a vendor said the season wasn’t here yet, but didn’t say it clearly and it came across as season-over. Not the biggest issue, but I’m always interested in consumer perceptions of seasonality.

    Mmm, pickled eggs. We make ours from an old German recipe and they don’t last long.

  11. Scott, I have to say I’m “shocked” 😉 you haven’t dined at Emmet’s (one t) in Fayette. Jeff is right; Mr. Schluckebier, the owner/chef, has many Southern influences in his cooking. You owe it to yourself to make the “pretty little drive” to Fayette and dine at Emmet’s. It probably has the nudge over Glenn’s in Boonville. And gosh, how long has Emmet’s been open now? close to 15 years? Just do it! I recommend any of their pork products or shrimp dishes, and their beef and pasta offerings are not too shabby, either. Gosh, after all this hype, I hope you like it! (but I think you will).

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