Outdoor dining in Mississippi is risky business for six months of the year. There’s the heat, humidity, and yes, pesky insects to worry about. However, now is the perfect time to select a restaurant for its ability to deliver al fresco meals in a picturesque setting. It really doesn’t get any better than dining with birds-eye view of the Mississippi River at sunset. This experience can be yours – and believe me, it qualifies as a memorable experience – at Vicksburg’s 10 South Rooftop Bar and Grill.
Constructed on the top floor of the old First National Bank building on Washington Street, 10 South offers indoor seating as well as outdoor tables serving up a panoramic view of the River City. In the evening, a table facing west guarantees spectacular views of the sun setting over the Mighty Mississippi. As a mammoth orange sun slowly sinks beneath the rolling waters, you’ll be in awe of the breathtaking sight. Looking north, south and east, the twinkling lights of downtown Vicksburg and the sight of historic buildings and antebellum homes coming alive in the dust is almost as awe-inspiring.
And then there’s the food. Ambiance aside – and trust me, this place has plenty of it – it’s really the cuisine that has drawn legions of locals and visitors to the lofty confines of 10 South since it opened a couple of years ago.
Creative offerings include a variety of appetizers, burgers, chicken, steak and seafood dishes, and desserts that are vastly different from the ubiquitous slices of cheesecake offered at the end of some restaurants’ menus.
10 South is open for lunch and offers a number of dishes similar to those served for dinner. Since an evening meal is a must for your first visit, I’ll focus on the dinner menu.
For starters, you’ll be tempted to try fresh guacamole ($9), fried crawfish balls with Mississippi comeback sauce ($11), and Yazoo City blackened catfish or pulled pork tacos ($12) served with sugar cane slaw and cilantro-corn salsa. My personal pick is fried green tomatoes ($12) with spicy crawfish-tomato gravy. It’s crispy, spicy, and oh-so delicious.
After the sun goes down, it may get a little chilly on the rooftop deck. As you enjoy the cool breeze wafting in from the water, a bowl of 10 South’s self-proclaimed “Award Winning Chili” ($4 for a bowl; $7 for a bowl) is in order. It lives up to its name, especially when toppings like cheese, green onions, and sour cream are piled on top.
Burgers on your mind? Diving into 10 South’s signature barbecue bacon version ($14) topped with pepper jack cheese, potato sticks, Coca-Cola barbecue, and candied bacon while watching the river roll by combines to create a meal you’ll never forget. Other burgers worth trying include the 10 South Original ($12), Comeback ($13), and Farmhouse ($14).
Additionally, sandwiches like the grilled chicken ($12) topped with applewood bacon and honey Dijon and pulled pork ($12) are a good choice, along with the version called That Famous Fried Chicken ($13). With a serving of the restaurant’s signature fried chicken and toppings like candied bacon and maple-chili glaze, you’ll understand the reason for its name.
Entrees are almost as good as the view. Choose from among blackened Yazoo City catfish ($16) atop sweet corn maque choux, pork ribeye ($17), chargrilled with tomato jam and crispy Tabasco onions, shrimp and grits ($17) highlighted by Creole butter sauce, and chicken and waffles ($17). With this dish, you’ll get a serving of fried chicken on a sweet potato corn bread waffle with a maple chili glaze.
Each entree is delicious, but one of my favorites is 10 South’s wings. Yes, I know it’s odd to choose wings when many other creative dishes are on the menu. But once you try them, you’ll understand my devotion. With flavors like Coca-Cola barbecue, Louisiana Buffalo, naked Cajun dust and Alabama white, you’ll want to try them all.
As you enjoy your meal, make sure to pace yourself. Skipping dessert is not an option at 10 South. A crowd favorite is Mississippi Mud Brownie ($8), a coffee-infused brownie, white chocolate chips, pecans and vanilla bean ice cream. Others that are just as worthy of top billing include key lime pie ($7), salted caramel brulee ($8), and Moon Pie bread pudding with Coca-Cola rum glaze ($7).
10 South Rooftop Bar and Grill is located at 1301 Washington Street in Vicksburg. Take the elevator to the 10th floor. The restaurant is closed on Monday, but open Tuesday – Thursday and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch and 5 to 9 p.m. for dinner. Dinner hours extend to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Call 601-501-4600 for more information.