With the holiday weekend ahead, many folks may be looking forward to some downtime, or maybe even a vacation. Even if a big vacation isn’t in the cards, three-day weekends like this are a great time to explore the state. A day trip or overnight getaway can bring something special to a long weekend…
… and of course, all of us at Eat Jackson pretty much always plan our trips around the meals. We call these jaunts to enjoy eating elsewhere – outside of metro-Jackson, but still within a reasonable distance – “worth the drive.”
The restaurant: Big Bad Breakfast
The meal: Breakfast (the name sort of gives it away, huh?)
Why it’s worth the drive: There are lots of great places to eat in Oxford. Home to the University of Mississippi (more commonly known as Ole Miss), the charming college town meets the culinary needs of students-on-a-budget, proud parents, and visiting dignitaries/Faulkner-philes alike. There’s Bottletree Bakery, of course, and City Grocery – but on our most recent trip to Oxford, we had a specific place in mind. We stayed overnight with some friends, who had assured us that a place called Big Bad Breakfast was going to blow our minds.
Big Bad Breakfast is part of the City Grocery Restaurant Group, helmed by Chef John Currence. Chef Currence has an impressive resume, including a 2009 James Beard Best Southern Chef Award. His mainstay, City Grocery, has set the bar for Oxford’s fine dining – and now his boutique breakfast joint is setting the standard for the most important meal of the day.
BBB is adjacent to Snackbar, another of Chef Currence’s establishments (and one we’ve already vowed to go back and check out for the nightlife). Insider tip: the crowds at BBB can be intense, but if you’re willing to sit at a bar rather than at a table, you can be seated over at Snackbar and order from a nice selection of the BBB menu – but if you want the chance to have your pick of the entire, impressive BBB menu, skip Snackbar, wait your turn, and eat on the Big Bad Breakfast side of the building.
Overwhelmed by breakfast choices, and hungry from the strolling through the Square we’d done first thing in the morning (we wanted to earn that big bad breakfast!), all of us eating that morning went for the Big Bad Breakfast Plate: two eggs cooked to order; choice of meat (bacon, pork patty sausage, chicken sausage links, andouille, OR country ham); grits or home fries; choice of gravy (red eye, sausage, or tomato); and toast or a biscuit. All that for $8.50.
I went for hard-poached eggs, chicken sausage, home fried potatoes, tomato gravy, and a biscuit. And as they say at BBB… “Oh, my Lard!” The eggs were cooked perfectly, the tomato gravy had a solid kick of spice to it (I LOVE a good tomato gravy), the potatoes were well-seasoned, the biscuit was hot and fresh. I could have used some more seasoning in the chicken sausage, but was glad to have that option in general, and was very satisfied with my plate overall. My dining companions were all equally satisfied, and all already making plans to return for an Eat Jackson Visits BBB trip, Part 2, where we all choose something different from the menu.
So next time you’re planning a road trip, remember that Oxford is always worth the drive – and Big Bad Breakfast makes it that much better.
Are you planning a road trip this holiday weekend? Share your destination, and any restaurant must-try tips, with fellow Eat Jackson readers in the comments below!