Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Abe's Grill in Corinth, Mississippi

Review by: Carol Marks of Alabama Improper

So one day a friend of mine says, "Hey Carol, let's have lunch." Well, you know I'm not going to turn down an invitation that has anything to do with food, right? OK, I didn't know my friend meant in Corinth, Mississippi.

Wait, it really didn't happen that way but it makes for a good story.

Actually my friend and I planned this trip to Abe's Grill in Corinth, Mississippi for an article I was going to do for Southern Family Magazine. It never did get published but that's because I never wrote the damned thing. I will, and I am writing it. In the meantime, enjoy this little restaurant review I posted at Restaurant Ratingz.

A lunch counter grill with 17 stools is proud to be the oldest diner on highway 72 in Corinth, Mississippi. Abe and Terri Whitfield are the owners and operators of Abe's Grill; they have no other employees and they prefer it that way, as do their customers. I purposefully went to meet the Whitfields and to have lunch of course, I was also writing an article on the place.

It being my first visit there I let Abe fix me whatever he pleased and it was their most popular item he grilled up for me; the ribeye steak sandwich served with fries. Each piece of toasted bread that the juice-dripping, large proportion, tastebud dazzling meat was between were thick; warmed and browned to perfection, right on the grill. The whole meal, along with the fries, were served to me not on a plate but on a piece of parchment paper.

The Whitfields' took me in like I was one of their own regular customers. Abe boasts that "mid south's favorite homemade biscuits" has been prepared here since 1974, and I believe him. Great eats.

There's more to the story, I only had a 1,000 word limit on the Restaurant Ratingz site.

The husband and wife team have been grilling together for 36 years; married for 33 of those years. They built the place themselves on a piece of land that used to be home to the all womens Corona College, which later became a hospital during the Civil War and eventually burned to the ground when the Federal forces left.

Abe told me that when they first started in the dining business they wanted to offer something different and originally had gone with serving their meals on china, but then came along the McDonald's era of styrofoam. The Whitfields', being the smart business people they are, did not give up and throw down the spatula. No, they adapted and went with the flow.

Their diner is so popular that they have had to install a fax line where customers can place orders for breakfast the night before. All the local businesses take advantage of the technology.

The grill is only open Monday - Friday from the hours of 6:00am til 2:00pm. Although, he has been known to stay open a little past 2:00 if some people come in from out of town who are trying to write an article on the place.

While we were there his son came in, around closing time, and showed off the latest addition of the Whitfields', via pictures. Abe and Terri are proud grandparents to not one, but two, tiny tots. The Whitfields' also say the word "retirement" is not in their vocabulary. Thank goodness!

Photos by yours truly.

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