Our story begins with a road trip. Not your ordinary sight-seeing road trip. We were searching for something specific. Something with deep history and rich culture. We were in search of authentic southern cuisine. Our intrigue with this cuisine and culture led us to the Mississippi Delta by way of Tupelo.
Tupelo introduced us to its namesake, the amazing Tupelo tree, origin of some of the most sought after honey in the world. Standing tall in the swampy waters, the Tupelo tree survives because of its strong, deep, exposed root system. Many people consider the trees an iconic representation of the deep history and struggles of this region.
The Delta region spans from Memphis to Vicksburg, MS., and centers around the Yazoo River. The region, so rich in history, was built on cotton farmlands that still dominate the area. Years later, Elvis Presley, born in Tupelo, embraced the Blues and grew up to change music history forever. Superstitions are abundant in the region. People go to great lengths to ward off bad spirits. Floods and other natural disasters have caused much destruction and forced many people to leave the area. It continues to be an impoverished economy with declining populations.
But something that continues to flourish in the Delta is southern hospitality. The most hospitable people we have ever encountered. True, southern hospitality. And of course, what goes hand in hand with southern hospitality is southern food. If you think about it, southern cuisine can be considered the first American food. All other cuisines were brought with immigrants as they arrived in America.
All along our journey, we were overwhelmed with the welcoming and natural atmosphere. People were authentic and genuinely wanted us to “come in and sit a spell.” We stopped at juke joints and at plate-lunch cafes. They fed us, and they fed us well. Smoked meats to shrimp and grits to étouffée. The food lit us up with flavors. And that’s when we knew we wanted to replicate our experience.
From the “Cajun meets Memphis” cuisine to the “warm and breezy, slow and easy” atmosphere, Tam’s Tupelo is a culmination of our experiences on that road trip. We like to call it refined casual. Exquisite southern food in a warm, inviting environment.
Come on in and sit a spell, you won’t regret it.