EDITOR’S NOTE: Dorsey resident and foodie Jeff Jones has been chronicling his experiences at local eateries on his blog, “Eating Out with Jeff Jones,” for more than six years. Occasionally, Jones likes to share some of his thoughts on local restaurants with the readers of The Itawamba County Times. He can be found every day at eatingoutwithjeffjones.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/eatingoutwithjeffjones.

Where’d I eat: The North Road Market @ 3322 John Rankin Hwy, Fulton

What’d I eat: Fried pickles; large catfish fillet plate; half-pound cheeseburger; onion rings; small salad; dessert

What’d I think:

They say some of the best restaurants in the South are attached to service stations. Where some may see an abandoned local landmark, others see potential and a dream of bringing it back to life with a new purpose that will benefit the community.

Unlike franchisees of a chain restaurant, the owners of The North Road Market had the freedom to be creative and build a menu that was tailor made for their customers.

Speaking of the menu, I had the opportunity to discuss it at length with owner Shanna Brown. Some highlights include catfish, chicken, shrimp, hand-pattied burgers, and a salad bar with enough fixings to rival any big city restaurant!

For starters, Shanna tells me that her pasta salad and corn salad are both homemade, along with most of the salad dressings on the bar. The selections also include hard boiled eggs, baby corn, pickled okra and much, much, more.

My salad was a sight to behold … and devour. I do admit that I take pride in my salad-building skills, and having a nice selection to start with is a must. With the fresh lettuce and all available toppings, constructing a masterpiece was a breeze!

Next on my to-try list was the appetizer. Although not listed on the menu just yet, you have the option of fried dill pickle chips, sweet pickle chips, or a mix of both. Not wanting to miss out, I requested the half-and-half option. There was a subtle, yet noticeable difference between the two. Even though ranch dip was available for dipping, I used very little so I could enjoy the contrast between the sweet and sour.

Next came the entrees. The wife and I requested the large catfish fillet plate and half-pound cheeseburger with onion rings.

They provided a large pile of fries and catfish fillets, which had a nice golden hue on the outside, with a tender and tasty white meat on the inside. The coleslaw was finely shredded and not overloaded with onion. It should be a nice side for most patrons.

The half-pound cheeseburger was huge! It came on a jumbo sesame seed bun with a little beef peeking out around the edges. You can have yours dressed to your suit your tastes, as I did, or as a simple meat-and-bread burger and savor the seasoned beef. The large onion rings complimented the burger well, but several other sides are also available, depending on your preference.

With little room left to spare, I decided to sample one of the homemade deserts. The Banana Delight was simply delicious! It had slices of banana with a sprinkle of crispy crust swimming in the creamy sweetness. It will definitely leave you anticipating the next bite. So good!

Although The North Road Market is on a winding road out in the country, it’s only a few minutes’ drive from the center of town. Next weekend, take a leisurely drive up the North Road and discover Fulton’s best kept secret: The North Road Market. See y’all there!

adam.armour@journalinc.com Twitter: @admarmr

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