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Doe's Eat Place

502 Nelson, Greenville, MS - (662) 334-3315
Posted By Michael Stern on 1/6/2009 12:24:00 PM
There are Doe's in Little Rock and in Fayetteville, Arkansas, as well as Oxford, Mississippi, and their steaks are top-drawer; but there is a special magic about the original Doe's in Greenville. Located on the wrong side of town in the back rooms of a dilapidated grocery store, it does not look like a restaurant, much less a great restaurant. Many of the dining tables are in fact located in the kitchen, spread helter-skelter among stoves and counters where the staff dresses salads and fries potatoes in big iron skillets. Plates, flatware, and tablecloths are all mismatched. It is noisy and inelegant, and service -- while perfectly polite -- is rough and tumble.

Doe's fans, ourselves included, love it just the way it is. The ambience, which is at least a few degrees this side of "casual," is part of what makes it such a kick. Mississippians have eaten here since the 1940s; for regular patrons the eccentricity makes the experience as comfortable as an old shoe. Newcomers may be shocked by the ramshackle surroundings, but Doe's is easy to like once the food starts coming.

Start with tamales and a brilliant salad made of iceberg lettuce dressed with olive oil and fresh-squeezed lemon juice. Shrimp are usually available, broiled or fried, and they are very, very good; but it’s steak for which Doe’s has earned its reputation. “Baby Doe” Signa, son of the founder, tells us that it is merely “US Choice” grade, which, frankly, we don’t believe. To us, it tastes like the primest of the prime, as good as any steak we have eaten anywhere: booming with flavor, oozing juice, tender but in no way tenderized. The choices range from a ten-ounce filet mignon up to a four-pound sirloin. Our personal preference is the porterhouse, the bone of which bisects a couple of pounds of meat that is very different in character on either side of the bone. The tenderloin side is zesty and exciting; the other side seems laden with protein, as deeply satisfying as beef can be. With steak come some of the world’s most delicious French fries – dandy to eat “neat,” even better when dragged through the oily juices that flow out of steaks onto the plate.

Doe's is not cheap; but it shouldn't be. This unique combination of top-drawer steak and downscale atmosphere is priceless Americana.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

A porterhouse and French fries in the back room of Doe's: one of America's best steak dinners
"A porterhouse and French fries in the back room of Doe's: one of America's best steak dinners"
Michael Stern





Hot from the skillet, French fries are tossed onto a grate next to the stove in the middle of Doe's dining room.
"Hot from the skillet, French fries are tossed onto a grate next to the stove in the middle of Doe's dining room."
Michael Stern


For those dining by themselves, or with smaller appetites, Doe's offers the 10-ounce filet.
"For those dining by themselves, or with smaller appetites, Doe's offers the 10-ounce filet."
Cliff Strutz


Served in a sauce made with lemon, butter, garlic, and Cajun spices, broiled shrimp are an excellent way to start your meal.
"Served in a sauce made with lemon, butter, garlic, and Cajun spices, broiled shrimp are an excellent way to start your meal."
Cliff Strutz


Doe's sells its homemade tamales 'to go': three dozen per coffee can.
"Doe's sells its homemade tamales 'to go': three dozen per coffee can."
Michael Stern


Decor at Doe's! This old taxidermized bird was hovering above our table. That's cotton spilling out of splits in its noggin'.
"Decor at Doe's! This old taxidermized bird was hovering above our table. That's cotton spilling out of splits in its noggin'."
Michael Stern


Nelson Street, where Doe's is located, once was known as the bad part of town. Now, it's a culinary destination. The man standing behind the pickup truck is Doe's private security guard. Note the six-gun on his hip.
"Nelson Street, where Doe's is located, once was known as the bad part of town. Now, it's a culinary destination. The man standing behind the pickup truck is Doe's private security guard. Note the six-gun on his hip."
Michael Stern



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