Jake and the Pearl Street Jumpers at The Blue Biscuit

After leaving Alligator, we ended up heading down to Drew, and taking Highway 49W through Ruleville, Doddsville and Sunflower into Indianola, to one of my very favorite restaurants in the world, The Blue Biscuit. The Biscuit is owned by renowned chef Trish Berry, who had been the executive chef at Bill Luckett and Morgan Freeman’s ill-fated Madidi Restaurant in Clarksdale. While Madidi was expensive fine-dining, the Blue Biscuit is something altogether different, sort of a cross between a diner and a juke joint. While the restaurant menu is diverse and varied, in my opinion, the pulled-pork barbecue is the star of the show. A few years ago, it was possible to order something called “Biscuits and Barbecue”, which was exactly that, four freshly-baked buttermilk biscuits that were halved, with pulled pork placed between the halves. This was literally one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten. Unfortunately, we noticed on this visit that the menu has changed, and that biscuits and barbecue is no longer available, but the pulled pork is still on the menu, and just as good as I remember it from previous visits.
An added treat on this visit was live music from a Cleveland, Mississippi band called Jake and the Pearl Street Jumpers, whose repertoire consists of blues, soul and funk. Somehow, I had not encountered them before, but they are an accomplished and versatile band, and they kept the crowd mesmerized all evening. This was my first time seeing a live music gig at the Blue Biscuit, and I found the location and atmosphere perfectly suited to the music, and everything quite enjoyable.

Blues, Barbecue and Biscuits at Indianola’s Blue Biscuit

After Mickey Rogers’ performance was over at the B.B. King Museum, I wanted something to eat, and the Blue Biscuit was literally a stone’s-throw away, and it looked quite intriguing. Reviewers on Yelp had recommended the catfish, and I love catfish if it’s done well, but once I was inside looking at a menu, I spied something totally unexpected- under the appetizers was a listing for “Biscuits and BBQ.” My waitress explained that it was exactly what it said it was- four freshly-baked biscuits with pulled pork piled on- rather unusual, but something that I had to try. She warned that it would take 20 minutes for the biscuits to bake, and it did, but the place has such a friendly vibe and cool appearance that I didn’t mind waiting. I was visited by the owner, who wanted to give me a tour of the place (which is truly large, with several rooms, a stage, a bar and two pianos, and decorated with all kinds of blues memorabilia and posters), and I learned that the executive chef is Trish Berry, formerly of Morgan Freeman and Bill Luckett’s Madidi in Clarksdale. Soon my biscuits and barbecue arrived- the biscuits were hot and crunchy on the outside, melting on your mouth on the inside. Each had been halved, and in between was more delicious pulled pork than they could hold, delicately tender, with plenty of smoked flavor, and a sweet barbecue sauce on the table to add to them as desired. Despite its listing as an appetizer, together with an order of french fries, four barbecue biscuits was plenty to eat, and even with a drink and tip, came to only about $11. Although there was no live music on the night I was there, The Blue Biscuit does often feature live music, and has a Blue Biscuit Festival on June 1st. They also have two bungalows for vacationers or business travelers, and with a location in walking distance of the museum and blues clubs, it’s definitely where you want to be.