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Best Steakhouses in Mississippi: COMO STEAKHOUSE

When you get close to the small town of Como in north Mississippi, you will know it.

When you get close to the small town of Como in north Mississippi, you will know it.

Come into The Como Steakhouse for not just an exceptional meal, but a trip down history lane. The restaurant known for not just great steaks, but salmon, shrimp, catfish and chicken prepared on open charcoal pits, is located in a 135-year-old former mercantile store on land purchased for 50 cents an acre from local Native Americans in 1825.

“I think the entire town of Como is very special,” said Rick King, who co-owns The Como Steakhouse with Gary May.

Como, which is located about 45 miles northwest of Oxford, has a rich history including two different stories about how it came to be named.  One is that it is an Native American name meaning “tops of trees,” and another is that early settler Dr. George Tait didn’t want to call it “Taitville,” and instead named it for Lake Como in Italy.

When you arrive at Como Steak House, there’s plenty of parking for anyone who decides to take a break from the road

Left: Co-owner Rick King says the experience at Como Steak House is abouthaving fun and enjoying culinary excellence; Top right: The interior has eclectic feelthat is warm and inviting; Bottom right: When you arrive at Como Steak House, there’s plenty of parking for anyone who decides to take a break from the road

Back in the 19th century when cotton farming was a path to riches, Como supposedly had more millionaires per capita than almost anywhere else in the U.S. Today, you don’t have to be rich to eat at The Como Steakhouse, one of the most affordable steakhouses in the state.

“We serve extremely high-quality steaks at an extremely reasonable price,” King said. “We take a lot of pride in the excellence of our steaks. We are demanding of our vendors. Our steaks are aged 28 days, and you can watch as your steak is being grilled in an open pit by our chefs.”

Como feeds 400 to 450 people on Friday and Saturday nights, with a large number of clientele coming not just from nearby Senatobia and Batesville, but also Oxford and Memphis, Tenn. The restaurant that opened in 1988 has been so popular that the owners opened an oyster bar upstairs to have a place for people to have a drink and maybe eat some oysters on the half shell or another treat while waiting to dine downstairs.

Workers always keep the kitchen in stock after having cut the steaks with a band saw.

Top left: The first slice into a steak at the Como Steakhouse is only the beginning of a great meal; Top: The grill is always at the perfect temperature and has cooked some of the finest steaks in the South; Bottom left: Workers always keep the kitchen in stock after having cut the steaks with a band saw.

The oyster bar handles the overflow, but also has developed into a restaurant in itself. While eight out of 10 visitors come for the steak, there is also a full array of Louisiana-style poboys, shrimp dishes, ribs, barbequed nachos, chicken quesadilla, hot wings and “everyone says we have the best cheeseburger around.”

The ambiance of being located in an old mercantile building is another draw. And if one is staying over, the steakhouse is just down the street from the popular Como Courtyard Bed and Breakfast, which is run by King’s wife.

The full-service restaurant includes a full bar, and in addition to steaks offers rack of lamb, center cut pork chops, fresh salmon, grilled catfish and chicken breast dinner. The newest of four dining rooms features photographs of local Mississippi blues artists.

»» Tidbits: The Como Steakhouse, 201 Main St., 662-526-9529, Open Monday-Saturday 5 to 10 p.m., website: http://www.comocourtyard.net/local.htm; Average cost of meal for two: Price: $40 to $50.

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About Becky Gillette