Erected in 1889, the building that houses Greg & Jim’s Restaurant was originally a general store that served Colt’s local farming community.
In 1973, the owners at the time — sisters Hazel Gray and Evelyn Haynes (whose images still hang above the establishment’s entrance) — began serving sandwiches and other offerings in addition to groceries.
The restaurant’s namesakes, cousins Greg Gray and Jim Haynes, assumed daily operations in about 1985, but Jim decided to pursue a college education soon after. And, in 2012, Greg ceased offering groceries and shifted to a restaurant-only format.
The busy restaurant grew steadily, feeding residents and thousands of hunters flocking to the area during duck season. In December 2020, local businessman James Tracy and his wife, Jamie, purchased the business and carry on the legacy — and name — of Greg & Jim’s.
“I grew up eating here,” James said. “I had heard that the family was thinking of selling, and after a short talk, I was in the restaurant business.”
James said that his goal was to keep the restaurant running as it always has. “I don’t want to mess with perfection,” he said with a warm smile. “Our long-time employees are critical to our success. We haven’t changed any recipes but did start offering some different, higher-end items on Friday and Saturday evenings,” including steak, crab legs, and the like. And, according to locals, the specials are, well, very special!
I could sense the history of the restaurant when I walked in. It felt like a classic Delta farmland place, where many, many discussions about politics, the price of cotton, and other issues were discussed and debated over the years. Quite frankly, I felt at home, and I bet you will too when you visit.
Be sure to try the Fat Boy Burger, a monstrosity with three all-beef patties, cheese, tomato, onion, lettuce, and much more. This big boy definitely earned its name based on size, but the flavor was equally big.
A comfort-food classic, the Country-Fried Steak Plate came with mashed potatoes, fried okra, a bonus serving of broccoli drizzled with melted cheese, and a roll. The meat and mashed potatoes were coated in biscuit “lotion” — aka white cream gravy.
The Catfish Plate featured three USDA catfish fillets, breaded perfectly and fried to a golden brown; the team knows how to cook Ol’ Mr. Whiskers just right. The fish was accompanied by classic crinkle-cut fries, house-made coleslaw, sliced onion, and tartar sauce.
If you are craving a salad, I suggest the Crispy Chicken Salad of mixed greens, shredded cheese, a boiled egg, and a signature fried chicken strip. Homemade Ranch was the perfect dressing. The Cheese and Sausage Plate included sliced, smoked sausage, American cheese fingers, pickle chips, a few sweet peppers sprinkled with a delicious barbecue seasoning and served with saltine crackers.
According to many of my farmer and duck-hunter friends, Greg & Jim’s breakfast is legendary. So, I ordered the Breakfast Plate with over-easy eggs, biscuits and gravy, country ham, toast, and hash browns covered with chopped jalapeños and cheese.
Farmers and hunters don’t often miss the mark on much, and they were right on target with this suggestion; the plate was as good as a bumper crop. Be sure to have a homemade cinnamon roll or take one home to enjoy later as you treasure your visit to Greg & Jim’s.