Rediscover our community’s special places

Published 6:34 pm Saturday, December 3, 2016

As I sit at my desk and write this, my mouth is on fire! And I’m loving it!

I’m eating a Frito pie from The Tamale Place. Oh, my goodness! This thing! I got them to add some jalapenos, thus mouth on fire. I am completely hooked.

Now, before you begin penning your letters to the editor telling me how many calories they have, how bad for me they are nutritionally, relax. I know these things. I’m a live to eat kind of gal, which will probably one day kill me, but what a life in the meantime! Actually, I don’t know how many calories they contain, and I don’t want to know.

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These Tamale Place Frito pies are my self-indulgent treat on the Saturdays I have to work. Today’s one of those days. I don’t eat them every day — though I surely would if I could.

The thing is, they don’t look very good. In fact, the first time I ordered one, I got back to the office, opened it up and looked at it. I thought I’d made a terrible lunchtime mistake. I was wrong! The deliciousness of that tamale meat, the Fritos, that nacho cheese and the scattering of jalapenos — well, it’s just got it going on.

I hear the place makes good tamales, and I’m going to find out one day, if I can pull myself away from ordering that Frito pie. I was waiting in line there one recent Saturday to place my order. A gentleman ahead of me ordered three dozen tamales. I said to him, “So, those must be pretty good.” He said, “The best. I drove from Monroe to get them.”

Those must be some good tamales, indeed.

It’s places like The Tamale Place that make living in Vicksburg so much fun. Admittedly, I love to eat, and Vicksburg is a great place for that. Whether it’s the fried chicken, purple hull peas and macaroni and cheese at Walnut Hills, or the blackened chicken salads with that blue cheese dressing at Rusty’s, we have a plethora of choices that aren’t the same old same old.

I could write an entire column about the Sunday buffet at Cedar Grove. Mercy!

But it’s not only about food. And yes, most communities have their special places. However, we seem to have more than most, and really unique places at that. I’ve had fun finding them. Like Peterson’s. For someone like me who loves things that sparkle, I adore wandering in that store.

Or Keystone Antiques. Or Cinnamon Tree. Or any number of Vicksburg businesses.

Or The Tomato Place. Or Highway 61 Coffee House, where on special Saturdays Heather Burns sells the amazing, baked delicacies she creates.

OK, I guess it is mostly about food.

I hope during this Christmas season, you get a chance to explore the special places in Vicksburg. Spend some time acting like a tourist. Rediscover those places you haven’t visited in a long time. Determine to spend some of your gift-giving budget in our special, small businesses. Doing that helps to ensure these places will be around for our children and grandchildren to enjoy, too.

Few things are more wonderful than small communities, and ours is one of the best.
Jan Griffey is editor of The Vicksburg Post. You may reach her at Readers are invited to submit their opinions for publication.