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The Tomato Place Restaurant

In May 2015, I attended the Magnolia State Fiber Festival in Vicksburg, Mississippi and discovered a charming and quirky destination for tomatoes. A short drive from my home, Vicksburg was a day trip getaway.

I explored the area before the conference and discovered a true southern gem at The Tomato Place Restaurant.  It’s a must-see location for some delicious tomatoes and a hearty meal.

The Tomato Place in Vicksburg Mississippi on US Highway 61 is a delight for a weary traveler.

It’s a fruit stand.

No, it’s a vegetable stand.

It’s also know as the place to get boiled peanuts.

The truth is, it’s all of those and more. From aromatherapy lotions, tomato-based soap, jams and jellies, fresh fruit smoothies, watermelon, and even popcorn, this is a mecca for those who enjoy exploring quirky food destinations.

The cheerful customers and welcoming staff made it clear that I was in a place that I would enjoy – they were right. 

Eclectic?

When I entered the restaurant area for ordering and dining, an enchanting mural displayed the distances to destinations along US Hwy 61. All roads lead to The Tomato Place, in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

 A printed menu is available on the counter, but the specials of the day are on the colorful chalkboard displays behind the order station framed with holiday lights, even in July. More than a typical fare, this restaurant offers such delicacies and extras as fresh popcorn, bagged popcorn, cakes, cheese blocks, desserts, and even Mardi Gras beads.

Ceiling fan lights and railroad lanterns illuminate the room. From craft gallery to home-made treats, take your time to absorb the ambiance.  While absorbing, just relax. Slow your thoughts and become a citizen of the south for just a while. Savor the vivid colors and the scents of this place.

Need a Topper? 

Turn in the other direction…is there anyone who needs a hat? Shelves are overflowing with hats, both old and new, along with do-rags and sunbonnets.

Then I discovered a vintage riding hat in burgundy velvet, which has been gently aged through the years. Now, the vintage hat is ready for purchase along with a selection of scarves and some summer straw hats.

These hats were within arm’s reach of my dining seat in the restaurant/ordering area. While waiting for food delivery after ordering at the counter, it is easy to be entertained with the study of hats, hats, hats.

 

Let’s Eat Tomatoes

The main dining area, or possibly known as the places to sit near tables when you eat inside, has a half dozen tables of various sizes and shapes. It’s a feast for your belly but also for your eyes with mostly vintage items and antiques, and a feast for the ears. While I was there, the soft blues of yesteryear were playing gently in the background. Just enough volume to enjoy and just enough blues to set the mood. Somehow, it fits.

The server delivered my lunch to the table. The grilled chicken sandwich for $6 with a side order of home-style fries for $2 – and it was delicious. Food delivery was quick even during this busy lunch hour. The potato fries were crisp and hot, and lightly seasoned. The sandwich, with grape tomatoes on top, was a hearty lunch-sized portion. Canned soft drinks with a large glass of ice rounded out the meal. (Editor’s note – 2017 prices)

In the photo below, the drink behind the BBQ bottle is a fresh fruit smoothie. With limited space indoors for diners, someone asked if that seat was taken. I replied that it was available. He dropped off his smoothie and got distracted looking at the antiques and then chatting with the locals. I’ll never know if he came back to find his smoothie, or not.

It’s a very social place, especially during a busy lunch hour. Southern hospitality at it’s finest!

While many come for the restaurant food, others cherish the fruit and vegetable market, along with plants for sale outside the front entry.  The wooden swing is a great spot to relax after a good meal at The Tomato Place. Tomatoes, of course, but so much more.

I had an enjoyable lunch and a pleasant visit at The Tomato Place in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

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