ACKERMAN, Miss. (WCBI) – As we gear up for the holiday season, it seems our days get busier and shorter as we scramble to get things ready. One restaurant in Choctaw County reminds us to slow down, appreciate our family, and enjoy some good food while we’re at it.
Charles and Cherrie Salley have been greeting customers in downtown Ackerman for more than two decades. Everyone is treated like family at Pap’s Place. The mouth watering food is all made from scratch at the southern buffet style restaurant.
“I’ve got my chicken and dumplings, my chicken spaghetti and squash dressing. I make baked chicken and fried chicken. Then I make turnip greens, corn on the cob, baked beans and mac and cheese. I do banana pudding, bread pudding and about 18 cakes a week,” said Cherrie Salley.
“We’ve got Mississippi farm raised catfish, we got the ribs, barbeque ribs, and shrimp, we’ve got some of the best shrimp you’ve ever put in your mouth. Finger lickin’ good,” Charles ‘Pap’ Salley added.
Customers get used to their favorites.
“She’s gone on to glory now, but I had a little 95-year-old lady, both of her sons would bring her to eat on Thursday nights. She took one bite and said, ‘Cherrie didn’t make this mac and cheese.’ They said, ‘yes she did Mama, she back yonder.’ She said, ‘call her up here, she ain’t gonna lie to me.’ So, I went up there and she said, ‘Cherrie did you make this mac and cheese?’ I said, ‘well Mama, I did cook it, but I had to let somebody else cut the cheese up.’ She could tell it didn’t have the same amount of cheese in it! So everybody’s used to the way I do everything,” Cherrie said.
Pap’s Place has been a crowd pleaser for more than 25 years. People travel from all over for their favorite food.
“I was down here last Saturday celebrating my 80th birthday. I came back today. They have some good food here,” said West Point resident and Pap’s customer, Rosie Lee.
The Salley’s started the restaurant in the late ’80s cooking catfish. Pap’s Place now seats 600 and a pitcher of sweet tea is on every table. Many come for the great food, but also for the good conversation.
“A lot of customers ask, you do all the cooking, why don’t you let somebody else wait the tables? I say, then I’d miss all the fun. After awhile they’re like family. I know exactly what they drink,” Cherrie said.
When you walk inside it’s hard to ignore the Elvis memorabilia. Charles is a big fan.
“I just love Elvis. I’ve been to Graceland four or five times. I went with my preacher a few weeks ago, and we got the 38 dollar package. We were going to get the 79 dollar pack but they wouldn’t give us a shovel to dig up some of his bones to bring back and put on display,” said Charles.
Cherrie says there’s never a dull moment at the restaurant. They are located in downtown Ackerman and open for lunch Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., and dinner Thursday, Friday and Saturday 4:30 – 9:00 p.m. For more information call (662) 285-6352, or visit their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/#!/papsplaceackerman/info.