Delta Bound – Spring Hill, Tennessee

catfish, collards and potato salad

Trekking Highway 65 with a hunger pang? Bingo, set your crosshairs on the Saturn Parkway, Exit 53; it’s between Nashville and Huntsville.

Eyes on the prize, you are headed to beautiful Maury County, in particular Spring Hill, Tennessee, the former site of The Saturn Corporation and current locale of various General Motors productions.

Delta Bound, a southern food joint,  is just the type place that I long to find on road trips and for me, “joint” sums up what that search is about – soul. A tiny jewel box of southern/cajun flavors, anything you’ll order will more than fill the bill. And to top it off, the menu shifts according to season because owner/cooks Jessica and Stacey Mobley do not rest on their laurels.

The Mobleys are a golden pair with a dream culinary, home-kitchen heritage: she – Louisiana, he – Mississippi. So naturally, hospitality comes as second nature inside their place. Stepping through the front door, you’ll be greeted with that sure sign of something lovin’ from the oven, towers of homemade cakes tantalizingly stationed inside highly polished glass cake domes, a sublime distraction while selecting something from the menu.

And what a menu it is. You’ll take a number and wait at a table inside the cozy space. But don’t be mistaken by the simple environs a la strip center, The Commons; Delta Bound is in touch. They take some flavor richness of the old school meat and three and serve it with up-to-date attitude.

The lineup covers all your taste buds. Beautiful green fresh salads, sandwiches, street tacos including alligator. Extraordinary sides like collards, creole slaw, crispy crab boil potatoes. Bowls starring fried chicken and pork belly. Spot on kid’s menus and my favorite – the plates which include brisket, fried catfish or crab cakes, gulf shrimp or pulled pork.

What sets the menu even further into the realm of exclusive are the party favors they throw in with each plate: house pickles, jalapeño waffles and a dreamy, creamy sauce.

Best news, however; is that if you find yourself there during happy hour, advantages are to be had with the choice of multiple local and regional craft beers. Lovely to note, you can load the table with selections from their snack bar: hushpuppy waffles, deviled eggs, pimento cheese, warm crawfish dip, barbecue shrimp, tiger wings and and a charcuterie board.

Take that outside and you’ll see that before hitting the road, you can “shimmy it down” as you stroll over to Early’s Honey Stand .

Early’s is the oldest mail order house in the south. What began in 1925 as a quaint stop on the way to Florida via Old US Highway 31, where Mr. Early sold honey in the summer and smoked country meats in the winter, is now an emporium of delights. Today you can grocery shop yourself a southern vittles fantasy by way of Early’s.

Then, say within an hour, you’ll be the wiser. Take your happy belly and sack of superior trip souvenirs and make your way back to Highway 65.

Carry on.

With a smile on your face. And a song in your heart.

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