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When stocking your bar, is it worth it to go across the river?

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Toney's 61 North Liquor & Wine(photo from their social media)

A post on Facebook yesterday brought up an interesting question. Is it cheaper to go across the river to buy your liquor?

The Vicksburg Daily News investigated this question by going across the river and getting the price on seven big sellers in the world of liquor at Delta Discount Wine and Spirits.

We then went to three Warren County liquor stores—Toney’s on U.S. Highway 61 North, The Liquor Store on the South Frontage road and Far East Liquors on Halls Ferry Road—to check the prices. At each store, we checked the price on the seven items, surveyed the wine selection, and, finally, we spoke with the staff (all of whom had already asked if they could help us at every single location) about wine.

Melissa Mullen stocks up at The Liquor Store on South Frontage Road.

We should clarify there are some differences in state law from across the river and here. In Mississippi, Alcoholic Beverage Control dictates what liquors and wines they allow in the state. If you want a rare wine in Mississippi that is not in stock, you are at the whim of the ABC on whether you can get it. In Louisiana, retailers buy from the wholesalers with no state middle man.

Every one of the stores we visited had very friendly staff who were eager to show us their wares and show off their selection. Every one of the stores also said they would order whatever wine or liquor we wanted if they could get it.

The well stocked aisles of Far East Liquors on Halls Ferry Road.

For the purposes of comparison, all prices listed include sales tax, as the tax across the river is 9 percent, and in Warren County it is 7 percent.


In the 750 ml, “Fifth” size (prices include tax):

Crown Royal in Delta is $26.51. In WC the best price was at The Liquor Store, $24.98. Far East was $25.95 and Toney’s $26.74.

Hennessy in Delta is $38.14. In WC the best price was at Far East, $34.95. Toney’s was $35.30 and The Liquor Store was $36.37.

Taaka Vodka in Delta is $8.16. In WC the best price was The Liquor Store at $6. Far East was $6.95 and Toney’s was $7.39.

Tito’s Vodka in Delta is $19.61. In WC the best price was Far East at $18.95. The Liquor Store was $19.25 and Toney’s, $19.77.

Burnett’s Vodka in Delta is $7.07. In WC the best price was at The Liquor Store, $7.26. Toney’s was $7.48 and Far East, $8.95.

Seagrams Gin in Delta is $11.98. In WC the best price was at Toney’s, $9.73. Far East was $9.75 and The Liquor Store, $10.

Jack Daniels in Delta is $21.79. In WC the best price was at The Liquor Store, $20.00. Toney’s was $21.34 and Far East, $21.50


In the 375 ml, “Pint” size (prices include tax):

Crown Royal in Delta was $16.34. In WC the best price was at The Liquor Store, $11.99. Far East was $12.50 and Toney’s $13.90.

Hennessy in Delta was $22.24. In WC the best price was at The Liquor Store, $16.25. Toney’s was $18.18 and Far East $18.50.

Taaka Vodka in Delta was $5.44. In WC the best prices was at Far East, $3.95. The Liquor Store was $4 and Toney’s $4.27.

Tito’s Vodka in Delta was $11.98. In WC the best price was at The Liquor Store, $9.62. Far East was $9.95 and Toney’s $10.69.

Burnetts Vodka in Delta was $4.35. In WC the best price was at Far East, $3.95. The Liquor Store was $4 and Toney’s $4.27.

Seagrams Gin in Delta was $6.53. Both Far East and the Liquor Store was $5.50 while Toney’s was $6.41.

Jack Daniels in Delta was $16.08. In WC the best price was at The Liquor Store, $10.69. Far East was $11.75 and Toney’s $13.90.

______

Allen Kitchens Sr. of The Delta Wine and Spirits gave The Vicksburg Daily News a grand tour including  four fully stocked trailers out back.

The wine selection was huge in Delta but so was the selection at The Liquor Store on Frontage. We couldn’t tell from a visual comparison which store stocked the largest inventory. Far East and Toney’s both had a large wine selection as well, but their buildings are not as large as the other two.

So, in conclusion, Delta is worth the trip if you want a frozen daiquiri or a special wine not available in Mississippi.

For liquor, Warren County prices are just as good, if not better, on the seven items we compared.

 

 

Food & Drink

Willie Mae Stevenson’s spirit lives on in Vicksburg

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Willie Mae Stevenson. Photo courtesy the Stevenson family.

Willie Mae Stevenson was born on Aug. 12, 1955 in Vicksburg. For as long as people can remember she was always out in the community helping someone or giving back to the community that made her who she was.

One thing that many remember her for is her great cooking. During her lifetime she worked for 40 years with the A&P Food Store, Sack N Save, Kroger, Winn Dixie and her own restaurant, Sweet Magnolias Southern Cooking, preparing meals for the community. 

In addition to working in the food industry, Stevenson used her talents in the kitchen to help others. Each year she would roll up her sleeves and make Thanksgiving dinners for the homeless, elderly and anyone who was in need.

Sadly, on Oct. 4 of this year, Stevenson made her transition, leaving behind her husband, three children and numerous grandchildren.

“There are no words that can describe her, but if I had to they would be: woman of God, loving, heart of gold, inspiring, dedicated and hardworking,” said Dawn Stevenson, Willie Mae’s youngest daughter. “My mother has always loved cooking and it showed. She has been cooking over 40 years throughout Vicksburg. Wherever she cooked she was sure to bring a crowd. With each and every dish, it was prepared from the heart, and it touched the soul. 

“She has cooked for years for Meals on Wheels, people of the community and even the first Gator Reunion Breakfast. She leaves a legacy behind and has touched so many even during her lifetime and even after her passing.”

In 2018, after working diligently as a chef for others, Willie Mae Stevenson decided it was time to go out on her own. She opened Sweet Magnolias Southern Cooking, a breakfast and brunch restaurant, with her daughter, Dawn.

“When my mother talked about cooking in her own restaurant in 2018 I decided to give her her flowers while she was still alive,” Dawn said about recognizing her mother’s wishes while she could still enjoy them. “She and I opened Sweet Magnolia on April first of 2019 on the corner of Washington Street and Bowmar. I didn’t know that I was giving her her last wish.”

Though Willie Mae Stevenson is no longer physically in Vicksburg, her spirit lives on while her family carries on the work she did in the community.

“She loved giving back wherever she could. If she didn’t have the money, best believe she prepared some of her delicious food in place of it,” Dawn said. “Five months into the business, her sudden illness and death shocked us as well as the community. She will definitely live on in the community. Sadly, we’ll be closing the doors of Sweet Magnolia Southern Cooking in November, but in her honor, we will be starting a scholarship in honor of her. Be on the lookout for her mobile food truck in 2020.”

The family also has plans to continue Willie Mae’s tradition of feeding the homeless during Thanksgiving. They will be providing information soon on the Sweet Magnolias Southern Cooking Facebook page.

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Food & Drink

How many calories is in that fast-food choice?

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Hardees Monster Thickburger can add to the thickness of your waist and thighs. Image from Hardees.

Almost all of us do it from time to time. Hungry, short on time or on the road, we pull into that fast-food joint’s drive-through lane to grab a quick bite.

Finding something healthy can be a challenge depending on the restaurant we choose. Even a relatively safe choice like salad can add a ton of calories if you douse those greens in creamy ranch dressing.

Some selections, though, are clear winners for most calories in a single serving, even without the added tasty “meal” options of a large serving of fries and a super-sized soda.

USA Today recently ran a feature showing the top 29 most calorie-laden choices on fast-food menus.

Sonic’s Asian Sweet Chili Boneless Wings topped the list of high-calorie fast-food choices. Image from Sonic.

Here are a few of the “winners” that you’ll want to stay away from if you’re watching your weight, or you’re tracking your sugar and salt intake. Keep in mind that the number of calories, salt and sugar you need in a day varies on your gender, age and activity level, but all of these options represent from half to all of the calories a healthy adult requires in any given day, and exceed the limits of sugar and salt—some by quite a lot.

Arby’s had several items on the list, including a large Jamocha Handcrafted Shake at 950 calories, not to mention 700 mg of salt and 141 grams of sugar. But hey, it’s a milkshake. What did you expect?

Del Taco’s Macho Combo Burrito matches that Arby’s shake in calories, but ups the salt to 1,840 mg.

And those oh-so-tasty Sonic Chili Cheese Tots? A large portion comes in at 960 calories and even more salt: 2,690 mg. Its Peanut Butter shake? 1,490 calories.

Whataburger makes the list as well with a few sandwiches including its Green Chile Double: 980 calories.

Speaking of shakes, a large Oreo Shake at Krystal runs 1,010 calories with 127 grams of sugar. And a dozen Boneless Wings with BBQ Sauce are 1,080 calories with a whopping 4,040 mg of salt.

Hardees Monster Thickburger comes in at 1,300 calories.

Coming in at no. 1 on the list is Sonic’s Asian Sweet Chili Boneless Wings. A single 24-piece serving has 1,860 calories and 5,820 mg of salt.

To see the full list of 29 items, visit the USA Today website.

 

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STEAK: It's What's For Dinner!

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