17990 U S Highway 82           
Mathiston, MS 39752

For those of you who know me best, you're all too familiar with my penchant for over exaggeration, but the Trace-Way Restaurant is indeed the best diner in America.  The Trace-Way is the recipient of this imprimatur not because the food is measurably better than any other diner you may find in the small towns that blanket the South, but because of its immutable form. 

In “Venus Annodomini” Rudyard Kipling wrote of the title character, “She was as immutable as the hills. But not quite so green.”  The same can be said of the crown jewel of Mathiston, MS.  The table tops are worn in circular patterns from the thousands of plates that have occupied that space over the years, but the bill of fare has remained largely unchanged over those decades.  The older patrons lament that sweet tea is now 99 ¢, while it was only 50 ¢ before, as one so aptly put it, the economy “went to hell in a hand-basket.”

The waitresses and cooks ooze southern hospitality from every pore.  When they realized that I was taking pictures and jotting down notes, several of the cooks came out of the kitchen to visit and introduce themselves. One of them asked if I had ever tried their “tater babies,” to which I timidly admitted that I had not.  At which point, one of the regulars said, “You ain’t lived ‘til you’ve tried her tater babies.”

I included a picture of the menu below and as you can see, an order of “tater babies” will only set you back $ 1.75.  That’s a small price to pay for "good livin’" as they say, I don’t care what your position on "tater babies" might be!