Since the legendary hip-hop group Public Enemy shot a video and had lunch at Mississippi’s last month, the Roxbury restaurant seemed worth checking out. Unfortunately, that wasn’t so easy. An initial Saturday trip was a bust — the restaurant closed down for the entire Fourth of July weekend. A second midday visit found Mississippi’s open, but the tasty-sounding hot entrées — chopped BBQ, lemon-garlic pork loin, fish cakes, and Southern-style sides ($6.49 for one dish and two sides) — were already gone. " Sorry, " said the man cleaning the steam trays. " The hot food closes up at 2:30. " It was 2:40.
Luckily, the sandwich menu has 56 items, each cleverly named after local heroes and historical figures. The " Rudyard Kipling " ($5.45) matches pink roast beef with tangy-sweet chutney and cheddar cheese on dark rye for a nice Anglo-Indo mix. The " Wade Boggs " ($5.45) pays tribute to the Red Sox great’s love of poultry by stuffing creamy chicken salad into a pita with lettuce and tomato. Both sandwiches are served with plenty of filling, plus a pile of potato chips and a crunchy dill pickle. On the side, a small cup of pretty egg-yolk-colored, Creole squash-and-chicken soup ($1.60), with a mild curry flavor, comes with irregular chunks of carrots and cabbage that heighten its homemade feel. Not that we needed it, but a slice of pecan pie ($1.25) was sweet and sticky, with a strong caramel ring.
Though Mississippi’s has been around in various retail and catering locations since the late ’70s, it’s been in its current Roxbury home only a few years. Set in a refurbished brewery, the cafeteria-style breakfast-and-lunch spot has an airy industrial interior — all exposed wood beams and unfinished-metal support columns. That plus the hearty portions make Mississippi’s a favorite of students and faculty from nearby Roxbury Community College. That is, if they get there before 2:30.
Mississippi’s, located at 103 Terrace Street, in Roxbury, is open Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., and on Saturday, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Call (617) 541-4411.