First impressions are important. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. In a sea of restaurants off Highway 98, in what I like to call “retail-ville,” there is a place I’ve always said I would try, but had yet to finally check it out. Well, I’m happy to report that I have finally eaten at Dis & Dem, and I’m kicking myself for not trying it sooner.
Food With Friends is the perfect way to describe these nights, because my close friends Jamie, Brittany and Allison aren’t the only ones involved. My friends are also behind the scene – offering some well-crafted meals in a sensational atmosphere.
This time I have the opportunity to write about my friend, Carlos Molina.
Opened in 1984 as a fruit stand, Shady Acres Village has seen a lot of changes through the years.
And while the family business has modernized with the times, you can still find long-standing recipes and traditions within its walls. Located just north of Hattiesburg on Highway 49, Shady Acres is worth the drive, especially considering that the journey is practically red-light and traffic free, which is a novelty in the Pine Belt these days.
It’s that time again, no two ways about it. Yep. We are neck deep in the holidays.
From the first fun-sized candy bar in October to the last King Cake in February, we’re all caught up in a whirlwind of rich desserts, road trips, visits with the cousins from out of town, shopping and merry-making in general.
Amidst all the hustle and bustle, we find ourselves craving a cozy spot to gather with family and friends (the ones who promise not to talk about politics until we’re done digesting!), press pause, and share a delicious meal.
Psst… We know a place!
What’s one ingredient that you can't live without?
What’s your favorite type of music to listen to when cooking?
Blues and Jazz
What’s your favorite ethnic cuisine?
What’s the strangest request you’ve ever had from a diner?
Burger cooked for 5 seconds on each side.
What’s the best part about being a cook?
Enjoying people’s reaction to food.
Nelson Haskin Jr. is a busy man. By day, he’s a National Guard recruiter at Camp Shelby. By night, he owns and operates one of Hattiesburg’s newest nightspots and eateries – Blu Jazz Cafe.
Blu Jazz opened its doors mid-April of this year, but Haskin is no stranger to the Hattiesburg food scene.
He got his start at Chesterfield’s when he moved to Hattiesburg to attend Southern Miss, and worked his way through the ranks during the next 14 years. He also owned Nelli’s Deli in the Cloverleaf Mall food court.
His passion for hospitality has brought him downtown.
A confession: Between 1996 and 2000, one of us (this is not a full confession!) ate a fried chicken sandwich in the Southern Miss student union three times a week without fail.
It was a good sandwich, to be sure. Utilitarian. A bun, a huge piece of boneless fried chicken, a couple of pickles. It got the job done. A nice full belly to sustain us through a heavy class load and the daily hunt for parking.
What’s one ingredient that you can't live without? Butter
What’s your favorite type of music to listen to when cooking? Jazz
If you could cook for anyone, dead or alive, who would it be? My Grandmother, Mama Georgia
Who is/was your food mentor?
Grant and Carmen Ford, my first chefs
What’s your favorite ethnic cuisine? Italian
What’s the strangest request you’ve ever had from a diner? Gluten-free fruit
What’s the best part about being a chef? Being able to be creative
Drive down Hardy Street in Hattiesburg these days and you can’t help but notice: Something big is going on.
Construction, and lots of it. Spanning the blocks between 30th and 32nd avenues across Hardy from the University of Southern Mississippi, The District at Midtown will bring exciting new businesses to Hattiesburg, including a swank hotel, retail space and a handful of new eateries. It’s a big deal, and construction of this phase is expected to last into 2018. Exciting times!
One drawback, though.
It’s kind of hard to get to Bop’s.