Mississippi Steak-Outs

By Karen Ott Mayer | Photography courtesy of Adam Mitchell, Karen Ott Mayer, MM Shapley’s Restaurant, Doe’s Eat Place and Tico’s Steakhouse

Mississippi’s well-known steakhouses dot the landscape and offer mouth-watering prime cuts along with local ambiance.
We’ve opened the doors to a few of our favorites, and we think you’ll be ready to order soon, too.

Across Mississippi, curious carnivores can indulge their cravings for beef and nostalgia in one serving. The Magnolia State is home to some of the most iconic and original steakhouses, which in some cases, have been open for decades.
Everyone has their preference or choice cut. In this case, we have chosen a steakhouse sampling from our memories (and friends) to fill our appetites and peak your interest. The only problem? We just know there is more beef out there, sizzling on a grill waiting to be discovered.

MM Shapley’s Restaurant
At MM Shapley’s Restaurant in Ridgeland, Mississippi, 2018 represented a homecoming of sorts for the Shapleys. Opened in 1985 by Mark and Mary Shapley, the restaurant quickly became a favorite destination for those in the Jackson area. The couple’s culinary dedication was only outranked by their dedication to family.
“When our girls arrived, we decided we really wanted to raise a family so we left the restaurant business for 20 years,” says Mark Shapley.
The restaurant remained open for the next two decades under the care of another chef/owner. When an opportunity presented itself to re-enter the business this year, the couple took the plunge.
“Our girls are grown and our son-in-law is now part of the restaurant.” Today, the couple couldn’t be more excited to reconnect with the community and friends. Like other independent steakhouses, MM Shapley’s can’t be replicated because each place reflects each family’s personality and history.
“We are a very friendly, accommodating environment. We focus on making our guests a priority and offering a pleasant experience beyond just eating a steak,” says Shapley.
But what about the beef? “We have an exceptional product that originates from a closely graded and healthy production environment. We consider ourselves a high-end steakhouse but still serve a one-plate dinner where everything is included.”
Guests can order cut-to-order filets and most any popular primal cut. MM Shapley’s also serves seafood and another well-known Mississippi Delta fare: tamales.
“We are known for our tamales.” Oddly, another iconic and nearly legendary place just down the road in Greenville, Mississippi, makes the same claim. When asked what’s the deal with steak and tamales, Shapley laughs. “I have no idea, but it’s a Southern thing. And I know Doe’s and come from that area, but I’ll just say our tamales are three times the size of others.” His friendly rivalry may not explain the tamale/steak connection, but it does give us another reason to eat our way to the answer.

The Como Steakhouse
Como, Mississippi’s Main Street runs south to north, tying together a collection of turn-of-the-last century brick storefronts. While the walkable street offers a good view, locals know the best spot is from the balcony of the Como Steakhouse, where the Oyster Bar serves light fare and small plates until a steakhouse table opens up. On a fall evening, the handful of tables fills up quickly where those wanting fresh oysters or waiting for a table in the always-crowded steakhouse can enjoy a drink and views of the town.
“Everyone knows the Como Steakhouse.” These words emanate from strangers’ lips: from Gulf Coast residents and even from Washington, D.C., visitors. Well-established for nearly three decades, this steakhouse is a workhorse.
Quaint, vintage and the original steakhouse in north Mississippi, the Como Steakhouse serves steaks in a building that is full of black and white photos of local women, men on horseback, and stout Herefords. Like clockwork, the cooks fill the grills with charcoal every afternoon, and by early evening, throngs of people line the sidewalk waiting for a table. Reasonably priced with baked potatoes the size of a mini-football, supper at the Como Steakhouse feels like dinner among friends from 100 years ago.

Doe’s Eat Place
Talk about history and contradictions. How does a simple white block and wood building in Greenville, Mississippi, become one of the nation’s most recognizable places for steak? Maybe by accident or design. Opened in 1941 as restaurant, Doe’s Eat Place has evolved from a family hang out to a grocery store to a renowned eatery. The family first arrived at the location in 1903 when Dominick “Doe” Signa opened a grocery store with his wife, Mamie.
Today, Doe’s is a James Beard Award-winning restaurant where the only thing that rivals the porterhouse is the hot tamales. Doe’s has served tamales since opening decades ago.
Run by sons Charlie and Little Doe, Doe’s has now franchised across the South at more than a dozen locations. There just may be a tamale lurking near you.

Marshall Steakhouse
Holly Springs
The newest restaurant on the scene, Marshall Steakhouse in Marshall County between Red Banks and Holly Springs, definitely ranks as a dining destination. The rural setting inspires guests driving from Memphis or Oxford to make an afternoon of it, savoring every bite and enjoying the area. With the recent opening of I-269, accessibility is even easier near the I-22 junction and the restaurant.
The interior belies the exterior metal building. Filled with reclaimed wood crafted into tables and paneled walls, the interior itself can be described as rustic and rugged. The Western décor lends a Colorado flavor to the north Mississippi establishment.
Owner Randall Swaney and his crew serve lunch as well as dinner. When the weather is nice, guests can even choose to grill their own steaks on outdoor pads similar to those found in state parks. And if you’re really brave or just into massive food challenges, Marshall Steakhouse challenges guests to eat a 72-ounce sirloin in an hour to earn a free dinner.

Tico’s Steakhouse
Another Ridgeland favorite, Tico’s has been serving steaks and seafood for more than 30 years. Guests can expect an a la carte menu filled with Tico’s signature steaks, seafood and list of accompaniments like Asparagus au Gratin, broiled tomatoes, sweet or regular baked potatoes, and, of course, hand-cut French fries. In addition, Tico’s wine list is extensive with some of the best labels from California’s Napa Valley and Sonoma County.
Jackson area locals love the attention to details as well as Tico’s friendly atmosphere.
When not visiting with guests at his restaurant, owner Tico Hoffman is known around the area for his golf swing, having been a player on the amateur golf circuit. Rumor has it that the personable Hoffman has never met a stranger, so perhaps the best way to test the theory is to head to Tico’s for supper.

Read More in DeSoto Magazine online.