Home » NEWS » Arts & Entertainment » Best Steakhouses in Mississippi: CRAWDAD’s

Best Steakhouses in Mississippi: CRAWDAD’s

The road to Merigold is marked alongside historic Highway 61

The road to Merigold is marked alongside historic Highway 61

Start a conversation about good places to eat in the Mississippi Delta, and you’re eventually going to mention Crawdad’s.

The landmark in Merigold opened in the early 1980s as a takeout crawfish place.

“That place has morphed into one of the finest eating establishments in the Delta,” said Rep. David Norquist, D-Cleveland, who said he’s been going to Crawdad’s “as long as I can remember. It was originally just an old home on the highway. All they sold was crawfish and you got them to go.”

The menu has expanded considerably, and so has the restaurant’s reputation.

Just in case the Janoush boys are thinking about causing trouble, there is a marker at the restaurant to keep everyone informed. ... They’re joking, they really are (maybe).

Left: Albert Junkin and Chef David Wright show off the restaurant’s best cuts as they stand by the front door; Top right: Even without a sign in front of the building, the weather vein atop the roof unmistakably marks the establishment; Bottom right: Just in case the Janoush boys are thinking about causing trouble, there is a marker at the restaurant to keep everyone informed. ... They’re joking, they really are (maybe).

If Crawdad’s got its start because of its crawfish, its fame has spread because of something else.

“The crazy part about it is, the best thing on the menu is the steak,” Norquist said. “You don’t think of a place called Crawdad’s being a steak place. It’s absolutely phenomenal. What I do a lot of times is I’ll go in around 5:30 or 6 and I’ll buy steaks from them and go home and cook them, like a butcher shop.”

Gregg Ellis grew up in Lambert, a few country miles from Merigold. He first went to Crawdad’s in the mid-1990s. He has fond memories of the original building, and has enjoyed quite a few meals at the new building built after the old one burned back  in Jan. 2002.

“I remember the first time I went to the latest one. It looked a lot like the old one, just newer,” Ellis said. “The ambiance was still the same. They kept that rustic feel to it. You could still see the grill, where you could watch everything being cooked. They still had that.

You can have a filet (above) if you choose, but Crawdad’s also offers a 34-ounce ribeye for those folks who are really hungry.

You can have a filet (above) if you choose, but Crawdad’s also offers a 34-ounce ribeye for those folks who are really hungry.

“It’s one of my favorite places to go. You know how the Mississippi Delta is. It’s just different and that just really fits, this fantastic steakhouse. Obviously it’s nothing you would see in Chicago or New York, but it fits the Delta perfectly.”

After college, Ellis and his wife moved to Indianapolis. When they would come home to the Delta, a trip to Merigold was mandatory.

“We would come down and oftentimes that would be where we would go for our Christmas dinner,” he said. “It was just something different. If we’d come back in the summer we’d make at least one trip there. At least one. If you know people in the Delta, everybody’s heard of it. That’s the neat thing about it.

“My dad’s the one that got me hooked on that place. They used to own a cleaners in Cleveland and he was introduced to it that way.”

The view from the second floor shows the unique atmosphere of Crawdad’s.

The view from the second floor shows the unique atmosphere of Crawdad’s.

Like a lot of Delta restaurants, Crawdad’s is a gathering spot for the surrounding community.

“What makes it really neat is every time I go there I will see somebody that I haven’t seen in years,” Ellis said. “It’s like a joke almost, ‘Who am I going to see that I haven’t seen in forever?’

“I don’t know if I’ve had anything that’s bad there. We also have to make sure we go late on Saturday nights so the pottery store (McCartys Pottery) next door will be closed. My wife would do some serious damage there, so I’ve got to make sure they’re closed before we go. It’s a good place to take kids because all the animals on the wall keeps them occupied. Our kids were very young when we first started going there, and that got them through.”

»» Tidbits: Crawdad’s, 104 S. Park St., 662-748-2441, Open Tuesday-Saturday, 6 to 10 p.m., website: www.crawdads1.com; Average cost of meal for two including a shared appetizer and one drink each: $60 to $100

BEFORE YOU GO…

… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.

If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.

Click for more info

About Clay Chandler

Leave a Reply