EDITOR’S NOTE: The Dining Duo are a couple of foodies who enjoy eating out and sampling the local cuisine in the Mid-South. To ensure the reviews are unbiased and that the duo remain anonymous, their identities are masked behind their favorite comic book heroes.
1226 Main Street
The South is famous for its “meat and three” mom and pop home style restaurants. So it is always a real treat to come across one. I’m rarely disappointed when I find one.
So imagine my delight when I discovered Dale’s in Southaven while looking for restaurants in this area to try. The last “meat and three” that I reviewed was “Blue Plate Cafe” on Poplar Avenue in Memphis, and yes, it was good.
For those of you who don’t know what a “meat and three” is - that would be for you Yankee transplants and carpetbaggers from the North - a “meat and three” is a restaurant where you pick one meat from a daily selection and three side dishes. Judging from the reviews, I had a hunch that Dale’s was going to be gooooood. The real key is picking the right day when the selections include dishes like turkey and dressing or chicken and dumplings or chicken fried steak.
I sprang Bane from his cell at Arkham Asylum to try this little “meat and three” experiment. We ended up going to Dale’s on a Wednesday. The “meat” part of the “meat and three” that day was pork chop and chicken and dumplings. But, if that is not to your liking, they have other choices.
I went with the chicken and dumplings. I’ve had good chicken and dumplings and I’ve had not so good chicken and dumplings. I prefer a more doughy dumpling and my chicken with some taste to it. Dale’s chicken and dumplings more than exceeded my expectations. The dumplings were thin-ish, but good, and the chicken had a nice salty taste. The chunks of chicken were huge and it was like they had just pulled it off the bone.
For sides, I ordered boiled cabbage, which had a nice smoky flavor just the way I like; fried okra, which had a nice crispy batter that didn’t fall off; and french fries, which were out of this world because they were the hand cut kind, not frozen or crinkled.
My muscle bound super-villain dining companion ordered the chicken fried chicken with a side of Northern beans, fruit salad (ambrosia) and Mac n’ cheese. Bane expressed his pleasure that everything tasted like the home cooking he remembered eating growing up. The chicken fried chicken was on the large side with a tasty, crispy batter that filled the plate, and a thick white gravy. “Wow!” the arch-fiend said. “They must be doing something right. It tastes like my grandmother’s cooking.”
Bane thought the beans had a nice bacon flavored taste, slightly salty and slightly smoky. The mac ‘n cheese was on the creamy side. Even the ambrosia was to his liking with a nice combination of coconut, marshmallows, peaches, cherries and mandarin oranges.
Bane was particularly happy about the rolls too. You could tell they are made in a deep muffin tin and come out nice and plump. They kind of reminded me of the one’s at Lambert’s in Sikeston, Missouri - you know, the home of the “throwed rolls.” “Look at that heft,” Bane said. “Yummy, yummy. I could make a meal of them.”
We both agree that Dale’s has all the right recipes because everything tasted just right. There is no question that we will be back - probably for turkey and dressing. If you are looking for a good “meat and three,” Dale’s will not disappoint. The food is excellent and so is the service.
We give it a 5 out of 5 POWs.