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Old Country Store

18801 Highway 61 South, Lorman, MS - (601) 437-3661
Posted By Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle on March 20, 2009 12:35 AM
Built in the late 19th century, Old Country Store was, in fact, an old country store. Today, it is a country restaurant serving a classic Southern buffet for very little money. Pull off Highway 61 in the tiny town of Lorman, north of Natchez, and park in front of what you would swear is part of a movie set depicting Mississippi circa 1920. Yet this is no movie set, or modernized, made-to-look-old theme restaurant. Walk up the steps to the creaky wood porch, while admiring the ancient Pepsi ad rusting on the building's side. Enter to a surprisingly large dining room, sans buffet. That's in the room to the back and left.

It's not a large buffet, but the food is well-prepared and satisfying. The deep-fried chicken is juicy and deep-down flavorful. There are ribs, unsauced (there is a tub of sauce to apply, if you want it), and these have a pure essence of pig that's hard to resist. Greens sitting in their pot likker with hunks of smoked meat, dirty rice, candied yams, and cornbread are also likely to be found on the buffet. Pay at the cash register, and head on your way. What could be bad?
4 star rating
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Posted By Anthony Imperato on April 29, 2013 9:11 AM
I just ate my last meal. Sir, throw that switch, I am ready to meet my maker. No need to eat another meal, because it can't get any better than the Old Country Store. Roadfooders, this is a MUST visit. Mr. D puts LOVE into his cooking and has built his business paying attention to one customer at a time. The food, the facility, and Mr. D all make for the perfect Roadfood experience.
0 star rating
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Posted By David on November 18, 2012 11:43 AM
Alton Brown said it best: "It ends in Lorman, MS. That's the end of fried chicken, and I will never eat fried chicken again. Whatever the voodoo is, that makes that chicken the way it is, I don't possess, and I would just rather not have it again. It was like Colonel Sanders pole dancing. There was something real sexy going on with that chicken. I don't want to have any more chicken. I'm gonna have that chicken or no chicken at all, no fried chicken at all."

A rare thing to see, in similar meat and three places, is homemade pepper sauce. It gives the veggies a kick. They have three kinds of greens.

The chicken defies the elements. Even when it's been sitting on the buffet for a while it never gets dry.
5 star rating
Overall Rating
fried chicken
Greens
Sweet Potatoes
Pork Ribs
Black-Eyed Peas
Corn Bread
Blackberry Cobbler & Vanilla Ice Cream

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Posted By Doug Regan on June 1, 2012 5:45 PM
Stopped by on the way to NOLA. Fried Chicken is king, but the fried pork chop is close, close, close
5 star rating
Overall Rating
fried chicken

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Posted By Julian Brunt on April 25, 2012 11:19 AM
I wrote a restaurant review of the Old Country Store for a Southern magazine and was vastly impressed by the restaurant, the food and Mr. Davis. People from all over the world are eating at this place and the ones I saw (two tables of German tourists) were very happy indeed. The fried chicken was just perfect; light, crisp and so juicy. Chef Davis keeps it coming out in small batches all day so what you get is piping hot. I drove four hours to review this place and will drive back again!This is one of the best restaurants in the South.
5 star rating
Overall Rating
fried chicken
Blackberry Cobbler & Vanilla Ice Cream
Greens
Corn Bread

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Posted By Erin on November 2, 2011 4:09 PM
"If the Colonel had my recipe, he'd be a five-star general," boasted Mr. Arthur Davis. Such words never rang so true. Feeling like Indiana Jones in the Last Crusade, I've stumbled upon the holy grail of chicken. Mr. Davis makes the best fried chicken I've ever eaten. I am equally hesitant and eager to share my discovery, but share I must.

A rare opportunity arose last weekend: we had a free Saturday without any previously scheduled engagements. The stars aligned, the sun was shining, and with our camping gear tossed in the El Camino we cruised down the Natchez Trace towards the Homochitto National Forest.

We hadn't been camping since our anniversary trip in October. It had been too long. We soaked up the fresh air and peaceful stillness of the woods. Ben biked, I hiked, and we built a fire to cook stew. S'mores were involved. I didn't think our spontaneous getaway could get any better.

I was wrong.

Deviating from our regular route, we chose to drive the Natchez Trace parkway instead of I-55. Lined with trees and green pastures, it's much more pleasant and nearly absent of all traffic. When taking the interstate we usually stop in Brookhaven at Broma's Deli (like McAlister's Deli, but local and better) to eat on our way home. Being on a different path we needed to find a new lunch spot.

I recalled a friend who had gushed about having the best cobbler of her life at Country Store (close) in Port Gibson (not quite). This tip led to a quick search on my phone which popped up the Old Country Store on Urbanspoon, along with a review by the Cynical Cook. In the review he mentions that Alton Brown, of the Food Network, stopped there while filming a Feasting on Asphalt episode and proclaimed, “This is the best fried chicken I’ve ever had in my life.”

Mr. D's had three ringing endorsements before we pulled into the gravel parking lot. Located off of Highway 61 on the outskirts of Lorman, Mississippi you can't miss a large rickety aging building. It inconspicuously sits on the side of the road. Mr. D's used to be an old general store and it still looks like an old general store.

The restaurant consists of a large dining room decorated with knickknacks along the perimeter and a smaller adjacent room with the buffet. You are instructed to select a table, help yourself to the buffet, and someone will take your drink order.

The buffet consists of a tiny salad bar, watermelon slices, marinated cucumbers and tomatoes, potato salad, sweet potatoes, green beans, field peas(?), turnip greens, dirty rice, macaroni and cheese, smothered chicken, fried chicken, and cornbread. The cooks would occasionally bring out more trays, so there might be more dishes.

I heaped my plate to the brim and ate every crumb. The greens were excellent, the green beans looked canned, and the macaroni needed more cheese. The corn bread was dense so I crumbled mine to soak up the vegetable juices; delicious. Nevertheless, I am willing to overlook the varying quality of the side dishes because the fried chicken is so damn good.

A brief history of the restaurant and Mr. Davis's background story is printed on laminate place mats. He says his chicken is superior for a couple of reasons, including using fresh birds, special designated frying vats, and regularly changing the vegetable oil. Whatever he does works, because it really is the best fried chicken I've ever had.

I prefer white meat which is notorious for being dry and tasteless, but this was far from that. A crispy, well-seasoned crust encased tender, flavorful meat dripping with juices. I ate an entire breast piece and couldn't stop picking at Ben's plate. Between the two of us we ate a whole chicken. (Okay, maybe not that much.)

Remembering the comment about the cobbler, I saved room and ordered peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream. It came heated and was scant on the fruit filling, but was good nonetheless. Next time I'll try the blackberry.

And if this place couldn't get any better, near the end of our meal Mr. Davis himself came out from the kitchen to say a few words, sing a song and shake hands with the patrons. Who wouldn't love that.

The restaurant has limited hours, but is open seven days a week. The buffet is $9.95, which is fair considering the amount we ate. Drinks and dessert are extra. It's a small-town gem, a bargain for a meal, and a show.

Mr. D's restaurant has more character than Mississippi has magnolia trees. I simultaneously wanted to keep this secret to myself and tell everyone I know about our meal. This is Roadfood at its finest. If you're nearby do yourself a favor and stop. It just may be the best fried chicken of your life.

Sadly my camera battery died. I took video of the song with my phone but was too far away to pick up sound. I'll be prepared next time. Oh yes, there will be a next time.
3 star rating
Overall Rating
fried chicken

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Posted By bob wong on November 1, 2011 5:58 PM
This delightful restaurant is in a remote part of southwest Mississippi between Vicksburg and Natchez. I almost drove by it on the state highway but the old wooden structure and numerous cars gave it away as a restuarant. Great Southern food, great prices, and very friendly folks. If I'm ever in the area again, I'll starve myself before dropping in.
4 star rating
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Posted By jessica crawford on September 7, 2011 8:53 AM
I love this place and eat there all the time. Mr. D is wonderful. Great food and great service.
5 star rating
Overall Rating
fried chicken
Pork Ribs
Blackberry Cobbler & Vanilla Ice Cream
Greens
Sweet Potatoes
Black-Eyed Peas
Corn Bread

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Posted By Jody Hopkins on April 8, 2011 5:50 PM
It was every bit as good as advertised. My wife and two daughters spent a three day trip driving down Mississippi Hwy 1 and US-61 through the Mississippi Delta, visiting locales that the interstates had forgotten.

We usually don't like buffets but all of the food here was hot and good-tasting. The thin-crusted fried chicken was moist and delicious. The cobbler was superb!

Great atmosphere and customer service. This is well worth going out of the way for!
5 star rating
Overall Rating
fried chicken
Corn Bread
Blackberry Cobbler & Vanilla Ice Cream
Greens
Black-Eyed Peas

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Posted By Nolan Hymon on May 4, 2009 9:58 AM
Old Country Store is worth the 100+ miles we traveled to get to it. Everything is delicious and well-prepared. "Mr. D," as he is affectionately known, is a gracious host. He really loves to sing about his grandmother; he sang several times while we were there.

His chicken truly is flavorful. It is the second best I have ever had. The taste is unique, not overly seasoned. It is crispy outside and moist and juicy inside. I can't see why he doesn't travel and promote his bird to many convenience stores like the Hunts Pizza people did. He could probably patent his recipe and preparation.

My wife and I actually joked about relocating to Port Gibson, MS just to be closer to the "Best Fried Chicken" ever. Continued success Mr. D.
5 star rating
Overall Rating

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