The Restaurant: Pearl’s Southern Cooking is located at 3505 Terry Road, in South Jackson. However, if you didn’t know where you were headed, you just might miss it. The restaurant has a pre-pay buffet, with to-go buffet options available. Pearl’s tagline is “the place where the food is seasoned with grace!” With that, I must say I didn’t know grace could taste so good.
The Atmosphere: The team at Pearl’s is proud of our Mississippi colleges and universities and you can find an assortment of sports regalia and university pride novelties adorning the walls. You may also spot an autographed record jacket from notable Mississippi artists such as the soulful blues artist, Denise Lasalle. The buffet is front and center, with seating in three different sections. There’s hustle, bustle, and pot clanging happening in the kitchen, with an ever constant revolving door of hot pans coming through.
The Menu, Food & Service: This is easily ranked one of the best Southern Food Buffets in Mississippi, in my book. The food is excellent and the buffet is regularly stocked with fresh food items. With items ranging from fried fish to neck bones and every other southern delicacy in between, there’s something for everyone in the main entrée section. The sides are equally exciting, with everything from homemade macaroni and cheese, fried sweet corn, Italian green beans, to rutabagas and greens. There’s also a salad bar and a dessert bar available. This buffet is moderately priced and comes with sweet tea. The beverage glasses are large, so you aren’t likely to need a refill. But, the buffet station calls for a mandatory three-plate trip. At least, that’s what I noticed about almost every table I observed while I waited to be seated. Likewise, I present plates one and two, respectively. Plate three, I reserved for an assortment of desserts ranging from homemade banana pudding to peach cobbler.
Everything was exceptional in taste and quality. The spaghetti was hearty, meaty, and had a touch of sugar blended in its seasoning. The greens were the only thing I would not get again, only because everything else had set the bar extremely high, the taste left me wanting a bit more of a seasoned surprise. The service was as best as could be expected with the sudden rush of customers on a Sunday afternoon in the Bible Belt, where churches everywhere had concluded their services. However, the server and the hostess who also doubled as a server were very courteous, fast, and kind as they worked the line and the crowd. I sat next to a mother and daughter who happened to luck up on Pearl’s as they were traveling from Alabama earlier this month. As they traveled back through, they made a special, and intentional stop at Pearl’s this time. To their surprise, the hostess remembered them and welcomed them back. This mother daughter duo also exercised the three plate rule, with foodie delight. Now, I don’t live in Alabama, but I suspect they will remember me well, as I will be back very soon – and as frequently as my waistline will allow.