A return to the Mississippi Delta

Two years ago we traveled through the Mississippi Delta area of Arkansas and fell in love with the area. So naturally when we began planning our trip to Oxford we decided to cross the Mississippi River into Arkansas and return to two of the places we enjoyed back then. When we told our friends we were going to Mississippi by way of Arkansas they looked at us like we were crazy.

Our first stop in Arkansas was Lake Chicot State Park. I posted about our first visit  here.  After a long day driving through part of Alabama and all across the state of Mississippi, we crossed the Mississippi River into Arkansas and arrived at the campground hot and tired.

Lake Chicot State Park Site 7
Lake Chicot State Park Site 7

We got set up in time to watch a beautiful sunset over Lake Chicot.

Sunset over Lake Chicot
Sunset over Lake Chicot

The lake was beautiful in the early mornings.

Morning on the fishing dock
Morning on the fishing dock

Lake Chicot is the largest natural lake in Arkansas and the largest natural oxbow lake in the United States. It is a popular fishing destination and many varieties of birds can be seen here.

Egret on the fishing dock
Egret on the fishing dock
Cypress trees at Lake Chico
Cypress trees at Lake Chicot
Cypress trees at Lake Chicot
Cypress trees at Lake Chicot
Cypress trees at Lake Chicot
Cypress trees at Lake Chicot

On our first visit here we had our first taste of delicious Mississippi Delta hot tamales so of course getting some more was on the top of our to do list. One day we took a drive back across the Mississippi River to Greenville, Mississippi to pick up three dozen hot tamales to go from Doe’s Eat Place. We were in heaven as we ate some of those spicy tamales for dinner. The rest are in our freezer to take home. I posted about our first visit to Doe’s Eat Place here.

Doe's Eat Place in Greenville, Mississippi
Doe’s Eat Place in Greenville, Mississippi
Three dozen Mississippi Delta hot tamales
Three dozen Mississippi Delta hot tamales

One day we took a self guided driving tour along the levee which runs along the Mississippi River to protect the area from flooding. A gravel road runs on top of the levee and the scenery changes from borrow pits to farms to woods as you go along.

Egrets flocked to the trees beside the borrow pits
Egrets flocked to the trees beside the borrow pits
Borrow Pit beside the levee
Borrow Pit beside the levee
Cattle with Cattle Egrets beside the levee
Cattle with Cattle Egrets beside the levee
Cattle with Cattle Egrets beside the levee
Cattle with Cattle Egrets beside the levee

Cotton is the number one crop in this part of the Mississippi Delta and we passed many fields on both sides of the river. Soybeans and sorghum are also big crops in the area.

Fields of cotton as far as the eye can see
Fields of cotton as far as the eye can see
Cotton is the number one crop in the Mississippi Delta
Cotton is the number one crop in the Mississippi Delta
Cotton Bolls
Cotton Bolls

Next up: A return to another favorite Arkansas State Park in the Mississippi Delta with some scenic drives, a museum, and award winning barbecue.

Barbeque, pie, and tamales in the Mississippi Delta – Part 3

Hot Tamales in Greenville, Mississippi

After feasting on country cooking for lunch and James Beard Award winning barbeque for dinner with coconut pecan pie for desert on Monday, hot tamales were in our future for Tuesday.

We broke camp in Marianna, Arkansas and pulled the fifth wheel about 130 miles south to Lake Village, Arkansas where we set up camp at Lake Chicot State Park before getting back in the truck to drive across the Mississippi River into Greenville, Mississippi. Our destination was Doe’s Eat Place, another restaurant featured in Alton Brown’s “Feasting on Asphalt the River Run.”

Doe's Eat Place, Greenville, MS
Doe’s Eat Place, Greenville, MS

We were greeted by one of the employees as we entered the front room which was once was a honky tonk.  She told us a little about the restaurant and invited us to look around. After placing our order of 3 dozen hot tamales to go, we wandered through the 3 dining rooms. The lunch rush was over and the employees were busy getting ready for the dinner crowd. We were the only customers. A large gas range is the focal point in the main dining room. Photos and other memorabilia covered the walls.

Doe’s Eat Place has a very interesting history that goes all the way back to 1903 when Doe’s father moved to Greenville and opened a grocery store where the the restaurant is today. The building has been a grocery store, honky tonk, and now a restaurant.

In addition to tamales, Doe’s is famous for their Porterhouse Steaks. Doe’s won the James Beard American Classics Award in 2007 and their food has been recognized by publications such as Southern Living, Men’s Journal, and Bon Appetit.

The 3 dozen tamales to go are served in a large food container about the size of a 2 pound coffee can. The tamales are hand wrapped and tied into bundles of 3. The beef tamales are cooked in a delicious sauce that has just the right amount of heat. We enjoyed some for dinner and brought the rest back in our freezer.

Tamales are hand wrapped and tied in bundles of three
Tamales are hand wrapped and tied in bundles of three

Before our visit to the Mississippi Delta, we have probably never eaten in a James Beard Award winning restaurant. Now, in 2 days, we have enjoyed food from 2 award winners!

Doe’s Eat Place, 502 Nelson St., Greenville, Mississippi, owners Charles Signa, Jr and Doe Signa, III (grandsons of the original Doe).

We stayed at Lake Chicot State Park in Lake Village, Arkansas when we visited Doe’s Eat Place.