(From the Burgerdogboy travel archives!) I’d been wanting to hit the Dinner Bell in downtown McComb for some time. On the way back from my Southern hot dog quest, I drove another couple hundred miles out of my way to take advantage of time and opportunity.
The Dinner Bell is only open Tuesday thru Sunday for lunch, 11A – 2P, so you have to time a visit from out of town just right.
The Bell serves its meals family style, at round tables that sit 18. Atop the table is a huge “lazy susan,” laden with entrees, salads, side dishes, desserts, and icy pitchers of sweet ice tea. On a typical day, you might find any of the following: fried chicken, carved ham, turkey, chicken and dumplings, meatloaf, catfish, ribs, liver and onions, white rice, dirty rice, gravy, sweet potato casserole, cole slaw, greens, green beans, black-eyed peas, okra, red beans, corn, biscuits, rolls, corn bread and a multitude of desserts. Sundays at the Bell are even more lavish.
I dare say it’s the best fried chicken I’ve “ever et anywheres,” and I don’t usually give a hoot about fried chicken.
The 50 year old restaurant specializes in “comfort food” and has been in its present location, a restored home from the early 20’s, since 1959. The restaurant has passed through several generations of owners, and the current proprietors, although new to the Bell, are old-timers in the area, and have continued the traditions, menu, and service of the Bell without missing a beat.
The Bell is available in the evenings for private parties. You need a minimum of 36 people for that. Otherwise, weekday lunches are $8.50, Friday and Saturday it’ll cost you a sawbuck, and on Sunday, be prepared to drop $12.50 a person.
Well worth the price. Well worth the drive. The Bell is at 229 Fifth Street, McComb, about 90 miles north of downtown New Orleans.