I selected Uncle Henry’s. When we drove up, the car fell silent and my friends glared at me. However, our party was zapped from 2009 to the 1920's when we checked in. The 3 adjacent rooms upstairs were spartan but clean, with ample window unit A/C for July, and each with bath w/ functional plumbing. We had the magnificent antique filled, cypress paneled open gallery that runs 40 feet across the front of the building all to ourselves, looked out on to the cypress and sunset on the water of the lake. The gallery is not air-conditioned but a fan 6 feet in diameter and a dozen windows, (and our own bar) and we were fine.
An honest to goodness phonograph w/ a large 33 1/3 vinyl selection from Elvis to Tommy Dorsey, cards, backgammon, and the modern age was left behind- and good riddance.
Dinner was outstanding- THE best barbecue shrimp anywhere- and I have had BBQ shrimp New Orleans, Biloxi, Florida. None of your sissy trimmed steaks, the prime rib eye beef was cooked on the grill as rare as I requested. Fried shrimp wepp prepared. AND THE ONION RINGS! - The art form is raised to perfection here. No one had room for dessert, but my bet is, they are good. The single waitress was busy but attentive and besides it was 1929 again, so no hurry. The owner could have made a nice profit from corkage fees alone, as 8 of us were prepared for a leisurely dinner w/ our own wines, but told us to ‘enjoy ourselves’ and we were not charged. As you can provide your own wines w/o restaurant prices, it is a very reasonable price.
Breakfast was cooked to order including local fresh fruit
Caveats- No sign on the highway so know where you are going, . Did I mention spartan- no hairdryer, shampoo, minibar. Strictly BYOB except beer (menu listed imports, but Bud Light was all) but wine glasses and cork screw cheerfully provided without request. Mississippi has arcane alcohol laws beyond the scope of this review or human understanding.
SUMMARY- The overnight stay is not for the faint hearted, (and yes, as other reviewer noted the chef & co-owner was drinking, and he shares his politics and view of life freely) but if you want the ghosts Faulkner and Williams at your elbow as the Delta ambience oozes into your pores, this is an experience you will remember.
The thing that I liked most was that it was OPEN for business. We ate there because it was the only other place within about 15 miles. We had reservations just down the road at Kathryn's Restaurant but they were closed for the evening.
The catfish and shrimp were nice and lightly battered and very tasty but could have used seasonings. The yeasty bread was delicious and right out of the oven. Twice-baked potatoes and squash casserole were good but also needed more attention to seasonings. The blue cheese salad dressing was pitiful, bordering on unpalatable.
Prices are comparable to elegant downtown Memphis dining. The most reasonably priced menu item was a catfish basket with fries (presumably one fillet) for $18 - unexpected at this sorta dumpy isolated rural location.
We were the only customers between 6 and 7 on a recent clear and sunny Friday. Service was good and we had a nice visit with the cook for baout 5-10 minutes in the parking lot as we left.
The Americas Best Value Inn and Suites of Clarksdale is conveniently located on South State Street via US 278/MS 161.
The hotel is less than a mile from Ground Zero Blues Club, Delta Blues Museum, Son House, Brick Gallery, ...