Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Mississippi Delta 4: Carnivore's Delight - Doe's Eat Place, Greenville, Mississippi

Dear readers, this is the fourth post in an irregular series on the Mississippi Delta (see the 2010 post on Yazoo City and the 2011 posts on mansions at Lake Washington, and the collapsed red barn in Rolling Fork).

Visiting Greenville and feeling hungry? More important, feeling really carnivorous? Then you need to go to Doe's Eat Place. Doe's has been in business since the 1940s, and hungry visitors from all over the United States come here for the steaks. In the segregated era, white gents used to sneak in the back to eat here. Doe's is at 502 Nelson Street in a rather downscale part of Greenville (sadly, most of the city now fits that description). Security is not a problem because the street is well lit and Doe's hires an armed guard to patrol visitor's cars.

The Southern Foodways Alliance did an oral history of Doe's, well worth checking:

It is just an old wooden building. Go in the front door and there is the cook on the left, broiling steaks in a gas-jet stove. If you have to wait in line, you can get a beer from a cooler. If this place ever catches fire, it will go up in a fireball because of the decades of cooking grease embedded in the floors and walls.

Here are the steaks in the broiler.

The second room is a combination dining - cutlery-storage - salad-preparation - potato-frying room.

Everyone is loud and happy and chewing away. The colors in these photographs are a bit off because I experimented with the color balance and never did get it right. Dinner is expensive, but you get a lot of ambiance with your meal. You can also order shrimp and tamales.

As you can see, you will leave Doe's well fed. Bring your own wine.

The neighborhood saw better days decades ago. Nelson Street is lined with shotgun houses and cottages, and in the last few years, many have fallen down or been razed. This house is 416 Nelson.

This little cottage is at 420.

Finally, 410 Nelson. I have many more photographs to post for future articles on Greenville, but most are Kodachrome slides and will take some effort to scan.

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