Monday, January 15, 2018

The Crazy Cactus, Olive Branch, MS

The Crazy Cactus


The Crazy Cactus is a small Mexican Restaurant in Olive Branch. They used to be in Memphis and I had been there several times so I expected it to be good.

I was supposed to have a rehearsal in Memphis tonight but it was canceled due to the weather but it wasn't bad in my area yet, so one of the other trumpet players and I decided to meet there for dinner.

I had a chicken fajita quesadilla (not chicken fajitas) and my friend had tacos, and both were great. I also got a side of cheese dip which was really good also. I pick my Mexican restaurants based on how good the cheese dip is since the food is generally similar at most, and I will definitely be back to the Crazy Cactus!

Prices were about average. I spent a little over $20 including drink and tip, but that included a large cheese dip.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Fitzgerald's Casino Buffet, Robinsonville, MS

Fitzgerald's Casino


Fitz is the casino I go to the most. I like to play craps occasionally and I happen to like this particular casino. It's not usually too busy and has a pretty good buffet. I went there tonight and even though I didn't have any luck at the gaming table, I had pretty good luck at the dining table (pardon the bad pun!)

Tonight's choice was a salad with some chicken salad on the side and from the other sections, I got a piece of fried fish, some fried shrimp, some macaroni and cheese, then went back a got a small serving of spaghetti. I normally don't like spaghetti because most places make it too plain, but Fitz always does a good job.

I've been there quite a bit over the years. I used to go to the casinos all the time years ago before my father died (it was all he liked to do) so I could ride with him, but after he died a took a break for a few years, and about 3 years ago, started going back occasionally.

The casino scene has really changed in Tunica over the last few years. At one time, there were 12 or 13 casinos, and they were always packed no matter what night you went. Lately, they are much less busy, and there are only 8 total, Sam's Town, Hollywood, Resorts (which doesn't even have a craps table now), Fitzgerald's, Gold Strike, Horseshoe, Roadhouse, which doesn't even have a buffet now, and First Jackpot which used to be Bally's until just a few months ago. Years ago, every casino had a buffet, a steak house, a cafe or diner, and a few had even other restaurants and most of the restaurants were open late. Now the buffets are only open until 9 or 10 at night and the steak houses are only open a few nights per week for a few hours.

If you have to pay, prices at the Fitz are about average for a casino buffet. It's about $20 normally, except on Friday nights when it's $30, but that includes seafood and Corky's ribs. I had a comp coupon that I received in the mail because I do play there from time to time.

I went the Gold Strike buffet a couple of weeks ago and was really impressed. It's the only casino that has a sushi bar as part of the buffet, and everything I got was good, but it's usually pretty busy, so I go elsewhere, usually to Fitz, which has always pretty good when I've been.

Friday, January 12, 2018

The Country Skillet, Southaven, MS

The Country Skillet


The Country Skillet is a small restaurant in a strip mall across the street from Dale's Restaurant on Stateline Road in Southaven. I've been there a number of times and in the past, everything has been great. I usually get a cheeseburger, but I've had their cheeseburger salad, and a few different items on the breakfast menu.

Today I had the ham club sandwich which, to be honest, was average. It was not bad at all, just nothing special, however, as I said, everything else has been great and if I am in the mood for a club sandwich, I would definitely order it again. I substituted onion rings for French fries and they are good also.

The waitresses have always been friendly, the food comes out quickly, and the prices are reasonable. Today, with drink and tip, I spent about $12.00.

I highly recommend it, especially the breakfast. They open early, 6:00 AM and are only open for breakfast and lunch.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Neighborhood Grill, Olive Branch, MS

The Neighborhood Grill


The Neighborhood Grill is a small mom and pop cafe on Highway 178 in Olive Branch. It is owned by someone that used to work at my agency, so I had heard quite a bit about it. I went there yesterday morning after work because it's near my doctor's office and I already had an early morning appointment. They are only open for breakfast and lunch and at 6:15 they were already pretty busy, which I took, correctly, as a good sign.

I got an order of scrambled eggs and sausage, along with a ham sandwich. I didn't realize the plate I ordered came with biscuits I wouldn't have ordered the sandwich, but I'm glad I did. The biscuits were fluffy and soft, and everything was great. The ham sandwich was particularly good.

The prices were fair. I spent about $13.00 including a drink and tip. I will definitely be back!

I went back the next day and got almost the same thing and it was just as good.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Mr. Rusty's Real Taste of Chicago, Memphis, TN

Mr. Rusty's Real Taste of Chicago


This one is out of order date wise.

Mr. Rusty's is a small cafe on Winchester Road at Cazassa Street a few blocks west of Airways. I have been there a few times now and this picture is from October 6, 2017. Everybody that works there is really friendly and the food is great, although honestly, I've gotten the same thing every time so far, which is the sausage and beef hoagie sandwich. Everything comes with french fries.

Every time I've been, someone was with me and they said what they got was great too.

I first found Mr. Rusty's about two years ago after I visited Chicago for the first time, and I highly recommend it. It is a small cafe with a few tables with a casual atmosphere and a large screen television to watch while enjoying your meal.

Sam's Town Casino Buffett, Robinsonville, MS

Sam's Town Tunica


I went there tonight to the Great Buffet for the first time in a number of years, and to be honest, I was a little disappointed. The food was mostly average, but the fried catfish was kind of stringy. I didn't happen to take any pictures like I usually do, but it was standard buffet fare.

I got some fried shrimp which was pretty good, a piece of fried catfish which I didn't eat all of, some chicken and dumplings, some macaroni and cheese, some Asian stir fried mushrooms with pork, and a small piece of what I think was supposed to be cheesecake. By far, the best item was the Asian mushroom dish, which was very tasty, but everything else was average. The waiter was very friendly and kept our drinks refilled, so I was was pleased with the service.

Friday night is BBQ and ribs night, but I didn't happen to get either of those. The ribs looked good and my friend that was with me got some, but didn't comment on how he liked them and I forgot ask.

I received a coupon in the mail for a free buffet so I didn't pay out of pocket for it, and to be honest, it would not have been worth the $20 it would have normally cost. The best part of the trip was the fact that I won $20 using a free play coupon that was included with the buffet coupon.

It's also worth mentioning just so it's clear, I went at about 5:30 PM so I wasn't there late or during the last few minutes before they were about to close. It had only been open about a hour and a half when I arrived, and was scheduled to be open for another few hours.

That said, however, I have been Twain's Steakhouse and Smokey Joe's Cafe (the cafe has great sandwiches) and both of those have always been good, so overall, I would recommend Sam's Town, I just wasn't awestruck by their buffet.

Bonus review:

On November 27, 2017, I ate at Twain's Steakhouse at Sam's Town and it was very good. It's a much more formal atmosphere, but casual enough for the average person. This is the 6 ounce filet with Bearnaise sauce, baked potato, and Caesar salad. Prices are about what you would expect for a semi-formal steakhouse. The total bill for two people for one entree, side item, and a salad was right at $100, but it was worth it even though I didn't have to pay (I had a comp).

They are only open Thursday through Sunday after 5:00 PM.

The Mellow Mushroom, Memphis,TN

The Mellow Mushroom


The Mellow Mushroom is a national chain, and generally, I won't be reviewing many chains because as a rule, I prefer privately owned and "mom and pop" types of restaurants, but this was the first time I have been there, and it was surprisingly good.

There are two locations in this area, but I went to the one at Park Avenue and White Station Road in Memphis. Prices were probably a little high for a pizza joint. I spent almost $19 before tip for a soda and small pizza. The pizza was plenty for a meal, but definitely just enough for one person.

I got the "House Special" which is basically a supreme. It had their house red sauce along with pepperoni, sausage, ground beef, ham, and bacon, and the veggies were mushroom, black olives, roma tomatoes, green peppers, onions, and mozzarella. It was really good. My friend also ordered a side order of hummus and I tried that and it was really good as well.

The ambiance was a little too noisy for my personal taste. I met a buddy of mine there, and we had to talk really loudly to hear each other over the background clamor. That said, however, overall, I enjoyed it.

Monday, January 1, 2018

The Dirty Crow Inn, Memphis, TN

The Dirty Crow Inn


The Dirty Crow is a bar and grill on Kentucky Street just off Crump Blvd in Memphis. I've been there a couple of times but it's been during lunch time on a weekday. I would guess that on weekend nights, it's much more of a bar, but during the day it's not too crowded or loud. It's small with only a few tables and the waitresses were really friendly.

This is the "We Don't Bluff" burger, a burger with cheddar cheese, BBQ sauce, bacon, and onion straws. It was great. Last time I got a hot dog special that was great too, but they don't always have that.

The prices are average. With drink and tip I spent about $15.00.