[Tupelo, MS] Kermit's Outlaw Kitchen

Lunch. And it only opens for lunch, offering three or four choices – the menu being created from scratch each day. The owner greets us as we walk in, chatting about the quality and seasonality of the produce. He is a butcher, owning a local butchery and catering business, as well as Kermit’s and another restaurant. He tells us the burger at the other restaurant won a “Best in America” competition last year. So, it was a no-brainer what we were going to order. As well as the burger, the other choices on offer were a smoked turkey sandwich and beef short rib tacos.

It’s order at the counter and find a seat. It’s a small place and the only seats available were at a counter round the working area. That meant we could see the burgers being hand made to order. And, yes, these are fantastic burgers. They may have been the best burgers we have ever eaten. But, if not, they run a close second to one in Rhode Island a year or so back.

It’s moist, flavoursome meat, accurately cooked as requested. There’s just the right amount of toppings – although the cheese was bland, bacon was in sufficient quantity so it enhanced the burger without overwhelming it. And, wonder of wonders, there was a bun that stayed intact throughout the eating. We shared fries and a side salad. And, even here, care has been shown. Fries had been given a good long cooking at the right temperature, so they had a good colour but retained a slight floppiness. Salad had a good mix of ingredients, including roasted squash and chunks of pear, as well as the usual leaf.

Really good!

And it was on an off-chance that we went in. We’d spotted the sign of the door saying “supporting local farmers” and thought that worthy of our business. It was only when we walked through the door, we realised we’d noted the name when we were looking for places of dinner and seen how well recommended it was.

Do go if you’re in the area (perhaps visiting Elvis’ birthplace, as we were) – businesses like this deserve support from locals and those of us just passing through.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold