CLARKE COUNTY, Miss. (WTOK) - If you're ever headed down Highway 145 south of Quitman, you'll pass a place on the side of a road that looks like an old full-service gas station. That's exactly what it was. But now it has been transformed into an old fashioned mom and pop cafe serving up homemade food.
Tracy McCarty has always had a love for food, cars and music. So about a year ago, he combined the three to come up with The Garage Food and Drinks Restaurant.
"I build old cars and and I couldn't think of anything better it ought to be. We do watch the football games and stuff here and everything, but I'm more car orientated, you know," McCarty said.
And to say The Garage is a family-run business would be an understatement. In the kitchen most days, you'll find Tracy's wife, sister and aunt cooking up some great food, while other members of the family are involved as well.
There's a variety of food on the menu, including chicken wings, fish and shrimp. But when I asked him what the go-to food was, there was no hesitation.
"Our Mama D's Big Burger. It's an eight ounce burger. It's plenty of meat. We have a special sauce on it," said McCarty. "Like I said, that's the thing. They say it's the talk of the town so that's what we go to."
Patrons dining in will notice a Quitman Panther football jersey hanging on the wall. It belonged to 8-year-old Ethan Moody, a student at Quitman Upper Elementary school who died of asthma. Customers can make a donation in his honor for a great cause.
"We're in the process of getting this bench made. It's a marble bench and it will have his picture, his birthday, his name and everything on it. Hopefully it will be ready in the next couple of weeks and we're going to place it at the school," McCarty said.
Tracy wants his place to be more than a restaurant. When the weather allows, folks can go outside for karaoke, movies and even some occasional live music. But he knows the down-home food is the big draw.
"All of our recipes are family recipes. You know that's what we work by," he said.
The Garage Food and Drinks is located on Highway 145 just south of downtown Quitman and serves lunch and supper Wednesday through Sunday. For more information, call 601-274-2929, or visit its Facebook page, The Garage Food and Drinks.