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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region.

ORAL HISTORY

Eddie’s Snack Bar


Batter matters at Eddie’s Snack Bar. The fry coating at this 30-plus-year-old fish shack is the perfect mix of cornmeal and spices. Leaving behind a career as a chef for a local country club, Eddie Bennett crafted the seasoning recipe and, with his wife Rubye, opened their eponymous Snack Bar in 1981. Today, it is run by their daughter, Pat—you can find manning the fryer five days a week.

This joint’s name is a misnomer. It is not a bar; there is no beer or liquor served. But it is a fine place to both snack and fill up on fish. There is pan trout (whole, bone-in), catfish (large Mississippi-raised fillets), and buffalo fish (more bone than meat—Pat warns first-time eaters to take it slowly). Eddie’s is a small place that is packed most hours of the day. It acts as a focal point for the Gowdy Street neighborhood and nearby Jackson State University.

Date of interview:
2014-03-09

Interviewer:
Rien Fertel

Photographer:
Rien Fertel

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