Tomato Place and More
I took a day trip to Vicksburg, Mississippi and discovered a charming and quirky destination for tomatoes. I explored the area before my scheduled conference event and found a true southern gem at The Tomato Place Restaurant. This roadside tomato stand is a must-see location for some delicious tomatoes and a good meal!
Vicksburg Roadside Restaurant
The Tomato Place in Vicksburg Mississippi on US Highway 61 is a delight for a weary traveler. It’s a fruit stand. No, it’s a vegetable stand. No, it’s that place to get boiled peanuts. No, it’s all of those and more. If you need anything, and I mean ANYTHING, maybe they have it. I saw everything from aromatherapy lotions…to tomato-based soap…to jelly…to fresh fruit smoothies…to watermelon…to popcorn…to LOTS of jubilant customers!
Yes…and probably is the photo next to the word in the dictionary. When I entered the restaurant area for ordering and dining, an enchanting mural showing the distances to destinations along US Hwy 61. All roads lead to The Tomato Place, in Vicksburg. A printed menu is available on the counter, but the specials of the day are on the colorful chalkboard displays behind the order station framed with holiday lights, even in July.
More than typical fare, this restaurant offers such delicacies and extras as fresh popcorn, bagged popcorn, cakes, cheese blocks, desserts, and even a side order of Mardi Gras beads. Ceiling fan lights and railroad lanterns illuminate the room. From craft gallery to home-made treats, take your time to absorb the ambiance. Just relax. Slow your thoughts and become a citizen of the south for just a while. Savor the vivid colors and the scents of this place.
Hats, Hats, Hats
Turning in the other direction…anyone needing a hat? Shelves are overflowing with hats, both old and new, along with do-rags and sunbonnets. Then I discovered this vintage riding hat in burgundy velvet. Gently aged through the years and ready for purchase along with a colorful variety of bandanas. These hats were within arm’s reach of my dining seat in the restaurant/ordering area. While waiting for food delivery after ordering at the counter, I entertained myself with the study of hats, hats, hats.
Eating Tomatoes at The Tomato Place
The main dining area, or possibly known as the places to sit near tables when you eat inside, has a half dozen tables of various sizes and shapes. It’s a feast for your eyes with mostly vintage items and antiques, but also a feast for the ears. While I was there, the soft blues of yesteryear were playing gently in the background. Just enough volume to enjoy and just enough blues to set the mood. Somehow, it fits.
My lunch arrives at the table. The grilled chicken sandwich for $6 with a side order of home-style fries for $2 – and it was delicious. Food delivery was quick even during this busy lunch hour. The fries were crisp and hot. The sandwich, with grape tomatoes on top, was a hearty lunch-sized portion. Canned soft drinks with a big glass of ice-only $1 more for a meal at $9 total. The drink behind the BBQ bottle is a fresh fruit smoothie.
With limited space indoors for diners, someone asked if that seat was taken. I replied that it was available. He dropped off his smoothie and got distracted looking at the antiques and soon chatting with the locals. I’ll never know if he came back to find his smoothie, or not. It’s a very social place, especially during a busy lunch hour. Southern hospitality at it’s finest!
The Back Room
After my meal, I looked around in the back room and found shelves lined with jellies of many flavors, properly labeled and ready to go.
Slowing Down in Vicksburg
Back towards the front entry, is the fruit and vegetable market, along with plants for sale outside the entry. That wooden swing is a great spot to relax after a good meal at The Tomato Place. Tomatoes, of course, but so much more! I had an enjoyable lunch and a pleasant visit at The Tomato Place in Vicksburg, Mississippi.
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