LD’s mac & cheese now famous|Restaurant’s popular side dish featured in ‘Garden & Gun’ magazine

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Attention, Mac & Cheese lovers:

If you’re searching for a serving of this delectable Southern favorite, no need to search farther. The very best in the South is right here in Vicksburg, according to the latest issue of Garden & Gun magazine. Here’s what the editors say in an article on “The Best Southern Foods – 100 Things you Simply Must Eat Before You Die.”

 “Macaroni and Cheese LD’s Kitchen; Vicksburg, Mississippi: On Catfish Row, where the Mississippi Delta peters out, LD’s dishes a macaroni and cheese that manages to be moist, but neither greasy nor crunchy. Served by a waitress named Sweety Pie, it reveals a range of hydrologic complexities, from whorls of egg to eddies of cheese.”

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 Owner Larry Prentiss claims his recipe has a secret ingredient that makes it “so delicious,” but will he tell you what it is? An emphatic “No,” a gentle shake of the head and an all-knowing grin are his answer. But I will tell you just how delicious the mac & cheese really is:

The photographer and I arrived at LD’s before noon, and the huge server’s pan was nearly empty. Virtually every lunch request included macaroni and cheese, and that had Sweety Pie scraping the bottom of the pan.

A little background

Larry Donell Prentiss, age 57, comes from a family of 12 children, 6 boys and 6 girls. And Larry Prentiss will quickly tell you he did not learn to cook at home, because growing up, the girls in the family did all the cooking. But after graduating from high school, he went to work for the Corps of Engineers as a cook. And after that he attended the National River Academy in Clarksdale and then on to work on the Motor Vessel Lipscomb as a cook.

L.D.’s first shot at a restaurant was the Kitchen in the Garden, which he opened in 1982 at 805 Fifth North. This restaurant burned down twice, and he took a job as cook at the Elks’ Lodge.

The next step was to make him famous: LD’s Kitchen on Mulberry Street.

L.D. then opened a second restaurant on Halls Ferry, which is temporarily closed, but scheduled to reopen in January as a BBQ and catfish restaurant. And speaking of keeping busy, L.D. also runs a kitchen at Cooper Lighting.

L.D.’s favorites

Fried chicken wings are the No. 1 meat seller at LD’s restaurant, but the macaroni and cheese is definitely the favorite choice of sides. A plate at LD’s consists of two veggies, one starch and one meat. But, of course, you can purchase all the macaroni you want for take-out — that is if you get there before the tray is completely empty.

LD’s has other attractions outside the mac & cheese, and one is Sweety Pie (aka Ida Lloyd, but not by many).

She is LD’s head cook and has been for some 25 years, and she also serves plates at lunch time. Another attraction is Kristin Prentiss, the youngest of L.D.’s six children, who wields a beautiful smile at the cash register.


Contact Laurin Stamm at lstammvicksburgpost.com.