The Delta Supper Club creates special dinners by utilizing local ingredients in collaboration with chefs and farmers in the area. The minds behind this enterprise now have their own full-time restaurant, skillfully combining creative farm-to-table ethos with the practicalities of feeding hotel guests. The Delta Meat Market services Cleveland’s Cotton House, one of the nicest places to stay in the Mississippi Delta. The food goes above and beyond predictable hotel fare.
Start with deviled eggs: a beautiful plate with red and green versions seasoned with chili sauce and pesto laid into a nest of popcorn made from locally-sourced kernels. This snack / hors d’oeuvres hybrid insures that you’re well entertained until the steak arrives.
Steak is indeed what you must get. The signature dish is a mighty plate of steak frites finished with a local Delta specialty known as Hoover Sauce. Hoover sauce was created by a local Chinese expat in an effort to recreate a sauce he missed, Cantonese duck sauce. The Hoover glaze doesn’t exactly taste Chinese. It’s more like sweet, soy-based barbecue sauce. It’s versatile enough to go in a stir-fry or on all kinds of Southern food.
Even without the exquisite sauce, this would be an excellent plate of steak. The “hanger” cut isn’t always this easy, but ours is spoon-tender. It blankets a heaping, semi-sweet pile of golden fresh-cut fries, with pungent blue cheese sprinkled on top of it all. The flavors are all over the map, but they combine beautifully into a crunchy, sweet heap of meat and potatoes, rich with umami.
The bistro menu makes some room for such soulful touches as ham collard greens and sweet potato chowder with a broth that is rich with ham bone and pot likker. This soup captures a tense balance of sweet and salty, but adds bitter greens into the mix. It’s sophisticated and comforting.
Hoover Sauce and the Crop to Pop Popcorn are available on the market shelves between booths at the Delta Meat Market, along with a host of other local products. Between courses we shop for artisan Mississippi goods. There might not be a better one-stop shop for a comfortable taste of the Delta’s best agriculture and culinary knowledge.