by Erin Z. Bass Anyone who's set out on a road trip knows there are a couple of essentials that must be loaded into the car. A legible map, iPod or CDs for background music and a bag of beef jerky will come in handy. But seasoned road trippers know they can't leave home without Jane and Michael Stern's "Roadfood" guide. Before it got left in the side door of a UHaul, my copy had stars and notes by places my husband and I had stopped at over the years - Frontier for green chili in Albuquerque, NM, Duarte's Tavern in Pescadero, CA, for artichokes. I had even brought the book on our drive to Texas to visit his family, just in case we didn't make it in time for dinner and needed to stop along the way.
So, when I read in the "Roadfood" e-newsletter that they were having a Roadfood Festival in New Orleans, I immediately marked my calendar for the last weekend in March and wondered if I was going to be able to wait out the months until then. Lots of boudin and a road trip to "Roadfood"-approved The Dinner Bell Restaurant in McComb, Miss., helped, but now
When planning our road trip to McComb, Miss., just over the Louisiana border, I consulted Jane and Michael Stern’s trusty “Road Food” guide to find out where to eat. Only one listing for McComb comes up: The Dinner Bell. It’s noted as a “Top Pick” with five stars. I scanned the description until the term lazy Susan caught my eye and immediately got visions of a table crowded with people and heaping with food. Turns out, I wasn’t too far off from how things are done at one of The Dinner Bell’s huge round tables, but there are rules to follow when engaging in this more than 80-year-old tradition of dining.
You have to wait to take your place at the table. Dishes must be picked up and served lest the lazy Susan spin away from you. And you have to try the fried eggplant. (You can hear the official rules as read by Owner Buddy Davis on our Featured Video.) Since we were visiting on a Saturday, the spread included BBQ ribs, smoked sausage, fried chicken, the famous fried eggplant, yams, chicken ‘n’ dumplings, cabbage, green beans, lima beans, red beans and rice, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn on the