Friday, May 20, 2016

Que on the Yazoo!


Coming into the Delta.

I've taken several trips to the Mississippi Delta and loved each and every one, including this past trip. Brantley, Executive Director of Main Street Greenwood has many projects going on year round but the big one is a BBQ contest slash festival... Que on the Yazoo! I'd only heard about the pig filled weekend, but I wanted to be apart of it and all it's smell good glory.

Each year, the first weekend in May, 20 or so rigs full of meat and peeps line the Yazoo on Front Street downtown. They start coming in on Thursday afternoon and by Friday afternoon, everyone is set up, music is going and people are cooking up a meat storm.

I arrived into Jackson Wednesday, early evening. This was a perfect time to come in, as the sun was setting just as we took the dip into the Delta. Once back in Greenwood, we got take out from Webster's and enjoyed our yum on the patio at Malone's under bulb lights and tunes filling the air. Que week is probably B's busiest week of the entire year. Early bed times are a must.



Thursday I ran errands with B around town. I played driver and she hopped out delivering Que T shirts to sponsors. One must always take in nourishment, so several friends joined us at Veronica's for lunch grub.  I'm not sure why the crew has never taken me here, but I'll be sure to go back on future visits. It's a little deceiving since it's in a strip mall, but don't let that fool you. The food is just down right good. Veronica even gave me a thank you bowl of soup!

We stopped in at the Delta Museum to see the renovations, have a chat with Executive Director Cheryl and for me to grab some Cotton hats to share.

Around 3 pm Malone, Kendall and I head to Tuscaloosa, Alabama. It's a three hour drive through the country. We are set to see Brandi Carlile and The Avett Brothers at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater, but we have to find our 2 star hotel first. When these tickets were purchased several months back, we did not realize it was Bama's graduation weekend. Not knowing this, we didn't see the rush to get a hotel room. In my mind we would be a cute little inn, in town and have a great little dinner then go see lives tunes. The live tunes part is the only part that was true. We stayed at the Best Western and did not get to eat at Taco Mama (but we did have a margarita, yay Cinco de Mayo!). Things in Bama start on time, like right one time. Brandi only played 45 min so we only heard 3 songs, but the Avett Brothers, killed it!





The highlight of this T.Town visit was seeing Reed! I've known Reed since 2001, which means she was 4 when I first met her. Now, she's an upcoming JUNIOR in college. I mean really, how the hell did this happen?! I don't feel that old. We sang and danced the night away celebrating the end of sophomore year! Having her dad, David, there was the cherry on top.

Since our Best Western room was also a smoking room we were in no way trying to linger Friday am. We were up and at 'em by 8 am and on the road by 8:30. For lunch I had gas station food. I know what you are thinking... but let me explain... in this part of the world, it's normal, and the shit is good. I'd never been to Carrollton. There are less than 200 people living here, there is still a confederate flag flying at full mask, and there are at least 3 churches. Malone and Kendall had eaten here before, not to my surprise. The gas station/ repair shop was on "Main Street". It was a pretty happening place for less than 200 people living in the town. Malone got a corn dog and pizza stick (I had never heard of this). I can't recall what Kendall got but I got Chicken Spaghetti and it was dank.

Once back we helped B prep for the festival, showered up and were there by 6 ready to get the party started. We walked the rigs smelling food, I snapped pics, we drank, we got in some excellent people watching, and ate meat.





Downtown Greenwood is one of those town where you feel like you are in a different time period, but in present day all at the same time. The buildings are beautifully old, but the vacancies are filled with clothing stores, art galleries, cafes, cooking schools, cooking stores, book stores, coffee shops and more. It reminds you to slow down and not to take things for granted. It's a much slower pace of life in the Deep South. I know when I head to visit B, hectic for them is still slow pace for me, relaxing is really relaxing and just hanging out is a favorite past time. It's a life I sometimes think I could do.













I always forget when I'm in the Delta the amount of fried food that is served up. That Friday dinner consisted of street food: Chili cheese fries, and chicken on a stick. I was confused when I got my chicken on a stick. I thought I was getting a grilled chicken kabob- with chicken and peppers. It was indeed a kabob, but it was fried. Onion, chicken and diced potato, deep fried on a stick. 








Once that sun went down, it was like people really came out to play! The music got louder, the drinks got heavier and consumed faster, the dance moves were stronger and there wasn't a stranger in sight. I talked a big game about late night, but once everyone arrived to Malone's back porch, after one drink, I just reallllllllllly needed that cozy bed in my room. The rest of the crew stayed up to the wee hours and even took a trip around the world. Around the world is when someone of the sober caliber drives us around the country roads with windows down and music blaring. It almost always leads to a stop at "my bridge"on the McIntyre Lake. I'm proud to say, my name is still on the bridge a year later! I love when I wake up to text and videos of trips from around the word and pictures of my bridge with my name on it!
























I woke up Saturday and needed to get my sweat on, so I biked downtown to meet B and helped her set up. Don't be too impressed. It's a 10 min bike ride from B's to downtown.  I was super thrilled when I learned our set up/ errand route was done in a Gator! We set up tents, organized stations, got water to everyone, checked on the rigs and got sun kissed. There was a feeling of excitement in the air.

Friday night, smaller awards were handed out, but Saturday was the main awards event. People had been up all night cooking (and drinking). They were probs eager to hit the road and head home, but awards were not started until 4pm. The sun was out, music still going and Saturday provided the perfect weather and activities for children and families. Minion and Elsa (or maybe it was Ana) even joined the party.

For $5 you could get a wrist band and sample 17 different bbqs- all that were being judge by the professionals. By noon everyone was drinking again. Either they hadn't stopped or thought hair of the dog would do the trick!











Before the adult awards started at 4, B had a pig snorting contest for the kiddos, which was hilarious! They would each come up to the mic and snort like a pig then runaway. Robert Litten won the shiny pig trophy for best snort. This legacy will stay with him for years to come.

The awards for the other winners were made locally and were trophy perfection for a bbq award ceremony! Pig cutting boars, and mini grills planted on slabs of wood!












Saturday night the inner circle gathered in Malone's backyard then we went for a drink at the Alluvian bar before dinner at Lucsco's, a favorite among the locals. They are known for the sauteed shrimp, roasted chicken and filet. It's housed in an old grocery from the early 1900s. The original building was destroyed by fire in 1929. The current location has been home to Lusco's since 1933 with one of Marie Lusco's daughters buying the building. After tragedy struck her family, she went back to the only thing she knew to do, cook... like her mother had taught during all the years she spent helping in the kitchen. Today it is run from 4th generation family!

They have little "booths" which are actually private cubbie rooms for dining, complete with a curtain for that extra needed privacy. This establishment like many other in the area are BYOB, and bonus, there isn't even a corkage fee for bringing them in. You can bring wine, beer, liquor and mixers (or they will provide mixers for a charge). From here, a few of us grab a night cap at Webster's before calling it a night on Mother's Day, eve.

que on yazoo weekend

B's 30th bday dinner a couple visits ago

Sunday was Mother's Day. Since B and I couldn't be with out Mothers (sorry Mama Bear) Malone invited her mother who could be there and cooked up the best Sunday hungover meal. Burgers & dogs on the Viking Egg, baked beans, sauteed onions, potato salad, and chips... and water. LOTS of water. For some reason I'm always super dehydrated on the departure day from the Delta! After lunch, naps were required before the drive to Jackson to drop me off.

Another Delta trip in the books!









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