Earlier this month Todd and I found ourselves in small-town Mississippi, Louisville to be exact, for a one-day comics show and we were looking for someplace nice and local for supper Friday night. We thought we’d found a likely candidate, searching online, in the Red Onion Restaurant and headed that way only to find out it was only open on Saturdays and Sundays–oops!
Figuring food couldn’t be that hard to find on a Friday night, we headed back towards our hotel via Church Street and happened upon BJ’s Grill which had two things going for it from the get-go: it was open, and there were a number of cars parked around it. Let’s go!
BJ’s specializes in American cuisine and has a small, down-home feel with plenty of country-kitsch tchotchkes on the walls and a simple, 4-page laminated menu.
Their claim to fame, as far as we could tell, seems to be their potatoes: plate-sized baked potatoes, quartered lengthwise and smothered in your choice of meat with various other toppings available. I ordered the Philly Cheesesteak Potato while Todd went with the Country Fried Steak. We both opted out of the salad bar, but I gave into temptation and ordered some of their Fried Pickles, too.
The pickles had a nice, light breading on them and were not overly greasy–something you do have to watch out for. They also had a great flavor. The potato was interesting: the topping of minute steak, onions, peppers, and cheese was tasty (though the bell peppers were still very crisp), but the potato itself was way under-seasoned and, therefore, had no flavor of its own. A liberal addition of salt helped that, though.
Todd’s country-fried steak was tasty, he said, but we were both surprised that the gravy that came on it was brown, not the usual white pepper or sawmill gravy. The baked beans he selected as his side were very good, though. As for the onion rings he orders, these were more like onion petals, but they were–like the pickles–fried nice and light and with a very nice flavor.
I was pretty full but Todd has saved room for dessert and the dessert of the day was Caramel Cobbler a la mode.
A very loose cobbler–as you might expect with the main ingredient being caramel and not something heartier–it was super-sweet but the vanilla ice cream served to cut it a bit. I only had a couple of small tastes, but if you had a serious sweet-tooth attack, this would definitely cure it.
The service at BJs Grill was solicitous without hovering, the owners seemed to know their regulars and were chatty with us outsiders, too. If you find yourself in Louisville, MS, and in the mood for a good, solid meal at a decent price (our bill came to $27 and change), BJs would be worth a stop. Bring cash, though, as they do not accept credit cards of any kind.