Liberty glass vra8o7

Located at the most southern tip of the Mississippi strip, occupying the forlorn-looking two-story pink house that once upon a time was the original home of Lovely Hula Hands (RIP), this warm, rustic eatery/bar is the kind of place where you’d like to get snowed in with your sweetie, a good friend, or an entire posse of your favorite peeps—all combos make for a good date here. During the winter, play cards and sip fantastic hot toddys or chai buttered rum at a cozy table. During the summer, enjoy a refreshing house-made ginger kombucha & pear brandy cocktail while sitting on the porch or patio, where a wood-stove will help you combat the evening chill.

As for what to eat, the menu includes a range of meat, vegetarian, and vegan options, all $13 (the blackened hanger steak) or less, all hearty portions, and all delicious. You could always start your meal with the piquant tuna and anchovy stuffed eggs ($4) or a plate of the infamous Triscuit nachos with cracker sauce ($8), but I always go for the vegan beet salad (see photo caption) and/or the cheese plate—a gorgonzola cheese ball, baby Swiss, Red Dragon (brown ale and mustard seed cheddar), salami-of-the-moment, spiced tomato jam, olives, and ridiculously addictive olive-oil grilled bread, all for $10.

For your main meal, you could try the flavorful picadillo ($9), a spicy Cuban sandwich consisting of a roll filled with shredded beef, onion, green olives, roasted red peppers, capers, and golden raisins simmered in a tomato sauce, and then topped with horseradish mustard and crispy onions.

But everything pales in comparison to the meatloaf-style “Over the Rainbow” mac and cheese ($12). Cut thick, battered in rice flour, and topped with Swiss before it gets pan-seared to perfection, this is soft, gooey, uber-cheesy sate-my-soul food. Served with a green salad and homemade cheddar pepper biscuit, it is, in my opinion, the best mac and cheese in town.

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