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Oct 01

Giardina’s Restaurant and Viking Cooking School in Greenwood MS

Delta Delight

Delta Delight

Located in the heart of the Mississippi Delta where Blues Music got its start is the historic Giardina’s restaurant. Founded in 1936 by Joseph Giardina and located in the Delta’s finest hotel, The Alluvian, this upscale southern eatery features 14 private booths all equipped with a service bell and personal light dimmer (Romantic if my wife were here but not on our annual guys trip!).  Exectutive chef Stevens Flagg who grew up in nearby Clarksdale, MS worked his way up in the restaurant from a line cook. His menu features steaks, seafood, and Italian cuisine, all with a southern flair. For years the restaurant and hotel was owned by the founder of Viking Kitchen Appliances, Fred Carl, Jr.,  who is a Greenwood native. Mr. Carl located Viking’s headquarters right in Greewwood, employing over 1000 local people. Along with the headquarters and factory he also opened the Alluvian, a spa, the Mockingbird Bakery, and the Viking cooking school. The cooking school sits right across the street from the Alluvian and has numerous classes the general public can take. All that combined with the fabulous five star hotel, the restaurant, and the surrounding “Delta Blues” tourism (The BB King Museum in nearby Indianola is a must see), makes for a great and very different vacation. I recommend getting  the Mississippi Blues Trail official map from the Mississippi Development Authority/Tourism Division (VisitMississippi.org, 601-359-3297). Also in Greenwood is the Museum of the Delta which is a bit dated but will give you a wonderful overview of the history and culture of the region.

We wanted to sample some southern menu items so we ordered three appetizers reccomended by our knowledgable server Nadia. First was the Mississippi Delta Catfish Cakes with Mixed Greens and Comeback Sauce. Crunchy on the outside with moist delicious fish inside. A really special regional dish.

Mississippi Delta Catfish Cakes

Mississippi Delta Catfish Cakes

Next was the Fried Green Tomatoes with Jumbo Lump Crabmeat and Warm Comeback Sauce. The crabmeat and sauce make this dish really scrumptious. Best fried green tomatoes I have ever had!

Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried Green Tomatoes

The last appetizer was three eggplant fritters served with a warm honey dipping  sauce. Great flavor combo!!

Eggplant Fritters

Eggplant Fritters

For our entrees we had a wonderful pan seared grouper, and roasted free range chicken. Both were simple dishes but prepared to perfection.

Desserts (you thought I forgot?) are made in-house. Ingredients according to Nadia aren’t neccessarly organic but are sourced local if at all possible. These desserts aren’t necessarily healthy but are a treat and a way to sample some of the local food while visiting this interesting area.  First up is The Delta Delight. This is Giardina’s house-made yellow “ooey gooey cake” with swirls of cream cheese, topped with pecans, and served with vanilla ice cream. The cake is super moist and yummy with pecans in the batter, not just on top. Some powdered sugar provides makeup and sweetness for this all star dessert nirvana. 4.5 Stars for “Is it Good”.

Next is the Bread Pudding with Bourbon Carmel Sauce. Made with French bread which gives the dish a much tighter texture and a more sophisticated flavor. It has hints of pumpkin spice which I thought made for a unique taste.  The caramel sauce sends this dessert into the next dimension with additional sweetness and flavor. 4 Stars here.

Bread Pudding With Bourbon Caramel Sauce

Bread Pudding With Bourbon Caramel Sauce

As stated above, Giardina’s isn’t a health food restaurant but a fine dining establishment where you can experience the tastes of the Mississipi Delta in a historic setting. Therefore it receives only 2 Hearts for “Is it Good For You”. Still, with an average of 4.25 Stars for “Is it Good” plus the 2 hearts gives Giardina’s a respectable total score of 6.25! If you want to visit a unique area with interesting history, friendly people, and crowd pleasing southern regional food then the Mississippi Delta would be a great trip for you. Just remember to stop in Greenwood and have a wonderful meal at Giardina’s. Remember to enjoy with moderation! TheDessertDoctor.com

4 and half starsTwo Hearts

 

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Hungry Travelers

 

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Tim Picks Cotton on the Delta

 

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4 comments

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  1. ellen goldsmith

    the eggplant fritters look amazing

    1. The Dessert Doctor

      Yes, all the food there was amazing!

  2. Kurt Tezel

    Great food and even better company. I’m already looking forward to next year’s game and, more importantly, next year’s culinary tour!

    1. The Dessert Doctor

      Yes, definitely!

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