There’s a whole hot tamale culture in Mississippi. In fact, Anthony Bourdain ate some tamales when he visited the Delta region earlier this year on his show Parts Unknown, and CNN did a little story on tamales in the Delta online at Eatocracy.com. One day when I was venturing around at local fruit stands, I drove by a little Mexican restaurant just off Highway 49 near Hattiesburg, Mississippi. To my surprise, I had some of the best Mexican food that I’ve had in a long time.
To start, the chips and salsa were awesome. They used flour tortillas instead of corn, making for a thick and lightly crunchy chip (I prefer this over corn chips), and the salsa was homemade. I also ordered a glass of horchata, which is a rice milk drink flavored with spices and vanilla, and one of my favorite summertime drinks (but hard to find down here). The horchata here was thick and full of flavor, and I keep wondering why mixing it with iced coffee hasn’t become a thing yet.
As usual, I ordered way too much food. After the chips, I had a pork tamale and seafood ceviche. The cornmeal of the tamale was moist, the meat juicy, and the sauce spicy. The ceviche, which is fresh raw seafood cured in lemon or lime juice, was awesome. It had fresh tomatoes and avocado, and was a lighter alternative to the traditional Mexican dishes.
I ended up taking home half of my meal (plus a piece of amazing chocolate cake that was baked in house) and enjoyed it the next night for dinner. The tamale was even better the next night after soaking up some of the sauce.
Do you have any favorite places for Mexican eats in the South? Comment below, or send me a tweet @southernbeets. Happy eating!