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The Tomato Place and More
If you're looking for things to do in and near Vicksburg, Mississippi, look no further than a few miles from the mighty Mississippi River. I took a day trip to Vicksburg, Mississippi and discovered a charming and quirky destination for tomatoes. I explored the area before my conference and found a true southern gem at The Tomato Place Restaurant just south of Vicksburg, on Hwy 61. 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 is a delight for a weary traveler. It’s a fruit stand. Oh, certainly not. It must be described as a vegetable stand. But wait, it’s also that place to get delicious southern-style boiled peanuts.
The truth is…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 with tomatoes, 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.
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 bandannas. 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 arrived. The grilled chicken sandwich was served with a side order of home-style fries – 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 decorating on top, was a hearty lunch-sized portion. While there are many health benefits from eating raw tomatoes, that was not my primary focus, while I enjoyed my combo meal.
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.
Towards the front entry, you'll find 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.
Slowing Down in Vicksburg
Vicksburg, Mississippi is a popular destination for history buffs. The siege of Vicksburg is often considered the final major military action in the American Civil War. The entire city was held under by Ulysses S. Grant's Union army for about two months in 1863. Much of the battlefield is now preserved and maintained by the National Park Service. The Vicksburg National Military Park provides educational programs and a tour route for drivers and cyclists (20 miles) and a walking trail (12.5 miles). The park includes some 1,320 historic monuments and markers, Visitors can also see sample trenches and cannons. The USS Cairo and related museum provide a water-based insight to the struggles of the soldiers and sailors involved in this civil war. The USS Cairo was sunk in the Yazoo River in December 1862.
On a lighter note, the Tomato Place is only a few miles from the Mississippi River's Vicksburg casino attractions. Vicksburg has 4 casino facilities and something for every visitor. Check out the casinos for overnight accommodations, or consider and overnight stay in one of the many Bed and Breakfast inns near the riverfront.
Vicksburg is a vibrant city and offers many things to do for overnight visitors and delivers equally well for long-term stays, too.
If You Go:
The Tomato Place
3229 Hwy 61 South
Vicksburg, Mississippi 39180
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