The pitmasters at Tays Barbeque have been barbecuing meats the old-fashioned way since the 1940s, when Millard Taylor opened first started serving up St. Louis-style ribs to the people of Columbia, Mississippi. What does "old fashioned way" mean? At Tays, it means hand-coating meat in a special dry rub, then letting it smoke for hours over a hickory-wood fire until the ribs are tender enough to break in half. The rest of the menu?comprised of recipes from two barbecue-loving families?gets just as much love and attention. Chefs smoke sausages and hot wings, compile pulled pork sandwiches, and carve up beef brisket for sale by the pound. All of Tays meats are served dry unless otherwise requested, and each is paired with two sides, like coleslaw or mac-n-cheese, a slice of bread, and a choice of original or spicy white barbecue sauce. Of course, man cannot live on smoked meat platters alone, which is why the chefs also serve up sweet helpings of banana pudding and peach cobbler, made fresh daily and topped with a choice of vanilla ice cream or an entire ham.
The skilled baristas and coffee enthusiasts at Finest Grind Coffee House believe there's never a need to compromise to get your coffee fix. They take coffee seriously here, putting every roast through no less than three tastings before ever buying beans. Espresso shots are made-to-order for the perfect balance and taste?and made by baristas trained in-house to ensure the drinks are the best possible. To pair with all this caffeine, the menu is packed with breakfast sandwiches, pastries, hot paninis, and salads. There are also plenty of sweet treats, including banana bread, butter cake, and brownies made with Ghirardelli chocolate.
The Catfish Shack’s management team harnesses more than 40 years in restaurant experience to pack seafood, steaks, and gumbo with dense southern flavor. Entrees, including whole catfish and boneless-catfish fillets, play Marco Polo with a variety of sides, from coleslaw to mustard greens. Aged wooden tables and chairs add to the eatery's homey feeling, and a piano awaits nimble fingers and aficionados of the Silver Spoons theme song.
In woks at Bangkok Cuisine, snow peas, shrimp, napa cabbage, and scallops snap sizzling drumrolls over the stove. Ingredients indigenous to Southeast Asia mingle in traditional Thai dishes, which also draw on the culinary traditions of the country’s neighbors. Catfish fillets marinate before chefs cover them in breading and chili sauce, and shrimp, scallops, and squid evoke Thailand’s palm-tree-sprinkled coast. Chefs tailor each dish’s spiciness to individual palates, delighting daring diners with thai peppers hotter than two astronauts hugging on Mars. Fusion dishes include Chinese staples such as sweet-and-sour sauce.
Pioneered by gastro guru Shayne Varone, an alumnus of the prestigious Culinary Institute¬ of America, G.T.'s pleases hungry palates with contemporary American cuisine infused with Cajun and Creole twang. G.T.'s menu complements the surrounding sea breezes and panoramic gulf views with entrees such as the seared red snapper ($22), the chicken and shrimp jambalaya dancing amidst a trinity of veggies ($15), and the 12 oz. rib-eye steak hugging a plate of herb-roasted potatoes and haricot vert ($27). While at least one food item must be purchased with this Groupon, left-over value can be used toward any of G.T.'s wines (most glasses are $5 to $15), specialty cocktails (most are $8 to $10), or local craft beers from the Lazy Magnolia Brewery Company ($4 draft, $4.50 bottle). As you lounge in the restaurant's tranquil spaces, keep a watchful eye out for merman mischief, which often includes using jumbo shrimp to heckle customers that are allergic to oxymorons.
Rife with pristine sands and thick tendrils of marsh grass, Bay St. Louis is known as one of the highest elevations on the Gulf of Mexico coastline, falling almost directly between Mobile, Alabama and New Orleans, Louisiana. Just a short walk from the hotel, travelers discover alluring beaches, artist cafés serving up healthy portions of cappuccino and poetry, and quaint local shops with a clever combination of fashion and local flair. Arguably the hub of the downtown arts scene, the Alice Moseley Folk Art and Antique Museum proudly displays honest portraits of life in 20th-century Mississippi.When the quiet life gets too quiet, guests pop over to New Orleans for a wild night of music and revelry. Although Bourbon Street enchants party-harders, the storied Big Easy has as many faces as it has nicknames, and foodies, music aficionados, and architecture buffs all find their place. With a truly rich musical history, countless bars and speakeasies offer opportunities to see renowned local and national artists. At the intersection of it all is the French Market, an eclectic open-air market dating back to the 1790s when it was a trading post for Native Americans, Germans, and Caribbean immigrants. This cultural crossroads is vibrant circus of creole cuisine, live music, and shopping.