-story by Ellis Anderson
“New” is the big buzz word at the Mockingbird Café (110 South Second Street, Bay St. Louis) these days. On February 25th, the coffee shop/restaurant launched three new menus offering breakfast, lunch and “pub” fare, along with original recipe cocktails.
Die-hard fans of the café can breathe easy, though: the award-winning Mockingburger and other favorites like the “Scout” sandwich aren’t going anywhere. And the rich array of fresh-baked goods emerging from the kitchen will continue to tempt even the most stalwart dieter.
The new menus offer additional dishes and beverages – while growing the café’s focus on “from-scratch” recipes.
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Click to open larger versions of the new menus
Many regular diners who actively lobbied to get Chicken and Waffles served later in the day will cheer – the scrumptious dish is now found on the lunch menu as well. Chicken tenders also appear as a solo with sides of house-made sauces - or coated with Sriracha Honey and sandwiched in a toasted brioche.
In the meal-sized Kale Salad, fresh kale and spinach mix it up with heirloom tomatoes, avocado, bacon and a hard-boiled egg, tossed with a bright garlic-lemon dressing.
However, the biggest “new” at the Mockingird is the evening Pub Fare menu. It’s offered Thursday through Saturday evenings from 5pm until closing (during the Second Saturday Artwalk each month, the pub menu will start at 2pm).
Alongside the classic Mockingburger (still only $10 with homemade chips) and veggie Garden Burger, three different tacos take front and center stage. They're all served up on a special hybrid tortilla made in New Orleans from 60% corn and 40% flour.
The two meat versions feature pulled pork drizzled with homemade expresso barbeque sauce, and grilled chicken with the ‘Bird’s own pico sauce and cheddar, topped with sriracha sour cream.
The meatless variety is just as hardy, filled with Garden Burger makings. Order one taco for $3, two for $5 and three for only $7.
Can’t decide? Try a $12 taco and beer flight and you’ll get one of each taco, paired with three 5oz servings of local beers like Lazy Magnolia’s Southern Pecan, Chandeleur’s Freemason and Mighty Miss’s American Pale Ale.
If you’re just in the snacking mode, dive into the “still crackling” pork rinds fried up fresh in the kitchen. In addition, loaded French fries, pretzel bites and a meat & cheese board provide savory accompaniments to the adult beverages co-starring on the menu.
All drinks and house wines on the evening menu are $5, with pitchers of beer available as well ($15). Warm weather favorites are the Lushy Lemonade (spiked with vodka), Mimosas and the Mockingbird’s secret-recipe Sangria. The unforgettably named (and delectably tasting) Tequila Mockingbird is a mixture of rosemary honey, rosemary tequila and blood orange juice.
According to the ‘Bird’s operation and marketing manager, Whitney LaFrance, the relatively new cold-drip product is made in Ocean Springs. The infusion process makes the cold drip taste creamier, without the addition of any dairy.
LaFrance and Mockingbird general manager Laura Hurt have both worked at the Mockingbird since it first opened 13 years ago, in August 2006. The two may be managers now, but regular customers still use their original titles: Coffee Goddesses.
“We’ve been here so long, the Mockingbird is much more than just a restaurant to us,” LaFrance said. “We have a really fantastic team too. Everyone [who works] here cares about the community and the people we serve.”
“We all enjoy talking about new ideas we’ve found and brought back to the Bay,” she said. “It’s great watching those ideas skyrocket here at home.”