The Tomato Place, Vicksburg, Mississippi
Near Vicksburg, Mississippi, I discovered The Tomato Place, a charming and quirky destination for lunch. Only a few miles from the mighty Mississippi River, it's a true southern gem just south of Vicksburg, on Hwy 61. This roadside tomato stand is a must-see location for a good meal and fresh produce.
Vicksburg Roadside Restaurant
The Tomato Place in Vicksburg Mississippi is a delight for weary travelers. It’s a restaurant and a fruit stand. But, must also be described as a vegetable stand. But wait, it’s even described as the best place to get delicious southern-style boiled peanuts.
The truth is…it’s all of those and more. The shopping displays include everything from aromatherapy lotions, tomato-based soap, jellies to fresh fruit smoothies, fresh watermelon, and more. This unique venue has a lighthearted vibe that is sure to lift your spirits.
Eclectic and Fun
When I entered the restaurant area at The Tomato Place for meals and dining, my interest peaked at 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 daily specials of the day are on 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 you can even choose a side order of Mardi Gras beads.
Ceiling fan lights and railroad lanterns illuminate the room. From craft galleries to homemade 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 a vintage riding hat in burgundy velvet. Gently aged through the years and ready for purchase along with a colorful variety of bandannas.
The Dining Experience at The Tomato Place
The main dining area at The Tomato Place 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. The soft southern-style blues of the 1940's serenaded the guests as background music – just enough volume to enjoy and just enough blues to set the mood.
Somehow, it fits.
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.
With limited space indoors for diners, someone asked if a seat at my table was taken. I replied that it was available. He dropped off a 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 for Shopping
After my meal, I looked around in the back room and more dining areas and more shopping. There were shelves lined with natural fruit jellies, properly sorted and ready for purchase.
The Fresh Produce Marketplace
The fruit and vegetable market are at the buildings' front entry, along with decorative and produce plants. The wooden swing is a great spot to relax after a good meal at The Tomato Place.
Things to Do 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 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 see sample trenches and cannons. The USS Cairo and museum provide a water-based insight to the struggles of the soldiers and sailors involved in this civil war. The USS Cairo sank 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 to Vicksburg, Mississippi
Dining:The Tomato Place- 3229 Hwy 61 S, Vicksburg, Mississippi 39180 (601) 661-0040
Hotel:Courtyard by Marriott-Vicksburg – 1 Underwood Dr, Vicksburg, MS 39180 (601) 636-8788
Things to Do:Spend a day visiting the USS Cairo gunboat and museum and the Civil War exhibits on display at the Vicksburg National Military Park Old Court House Museum is jam-packed with historical artifacts and information about the city and state. Stop by the Biedenharn Coca-Cola® Museum for a history lesson and some soda.
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