Vacationing Where You Live, Secret Bars and Patty Melts
Who wouldn't want to travel to some of the most popular destinations in the world? Just drop everything and hop on a plane to Bali, Tahiti or Paris? Of course, you would. We all would. All too often though money, kids or other responsibilities keep us from taking even the simplest of vacations. But that doesn't mean that you can't have fun and find great things to do close to home. There's no need to do the same old thing day after day, when a little research may reveal great sites in your hometown or close to where you live.
We live in Monroe Louisiana. It's not exactly a hot tourist destination. The closest "large" cities to us are Shreveport Louisiana and Jackson Mississippi. Again, these cities aren't exactly aspirational travel destinations. That doesn't mean that there aren't great things to do in these places, it just means you might not have them on your radar. So often we only focus on vacations and miss different spots in our local areas. Sometimes all it takes is a Google search or a Yelp review to reveal fantastic hidden things to do. Bent's Drugs is just such a place.
Located in The Fondren neighborhood of Jackson Mississippi, Brent's is a classic mid-century diner. In fact, it's so classic, that it was a set piece in the movie, "The Help." You instantly feel transported to another time as soon as you pass through the doors. As you slide into one of the teal vinyl booths or walk up to the Formica bar, you might as well be on a movie set.
We came one morning for breakfast and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We met several members of the staff, and they were helpful and attentive. In fact the service, all around, was excellent. But how was the food? It was terrific. Charise stuck to the classic breakfast fare of pancakes and potatoes. I had a patty melt, and of course, we had to get a milkshake. You won't be disappointed with a stop here for breakfast or lunch. If you find yourself in the area, make a point to run by and experience it for yourself. As impressive as Brent's is during the day though, it's hiding a secret that's revelead at night.
The Apothecary Bar
Brent's turns into something completely different at night. The grills are turned off, and the lights go down in the front of the house. You might assume the diner closed if you were passing by. The main entrance, however, is left open. In the back is a secret Apothecary bar. You merely open the front door and walk through the diner to the back door with a peephole.
Once you enter the bar, it's dark and quiet, as these places tend to be. We sat at the bar and ordered some drinks. We got two old-fashioned and enjoyed them very much. The menu also offered more adventurous drinks, if that's your thing. If you visit on a Saturday night prepare for the place to packed. It's also small, so it may be hard to find a table. It's worth it though. We loved the vibe of this bar and could have spent a lot more time here.
We would love to stumble upon a place like Brent's if we were traveling. So why not do our best to find these kinds of places closer to home? We had a great time at Brent's and The Apothecary Bar. If you find yourself in or around Jackson Mississippi, be sure to visit the diner and hit up the secret bar. In the meantime search your own town or surrounding areas for unique places to visit. You may be surprised at what you find.
What hidden gems are located in your town or close to where you live? Answer below in the comments.