Dine at Weidmann's in Meridian, MS

By Nancy Mann Jackson on May 13, 2013 at 10:00 am EST

Since 1870, Weidmann's Restaurant in downtown Meridian has shared its signature dishes with local diners and visitors. After almost 150 years, the landmark restaurant continues to serve much of the same fare enjoyed by generations of Meridian families.

Felix Weidmann, an immigrant from Switzerland, worked as a chef on a transatlantic steam ship before settling in Meridian to open his restaurant in the historic Union Hotel. His years at sea influenced the establishment's popular menu, which still includes a wide variety of seafood dishes, along with steaks, burgers, porkchops and chicken. Many favorites are served up with a Southern twist, such as shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes and chocolate bourbon pecan pie.

For the first 129 years, Weidmann and his direct descendants owned and operated the restaurant. In 1923, his grandson Henry Weidmann moved the restaurant to its current location on 22nd Avenue. Henry had a tradition of setting each table with an assortment of crackers and butter, an especially gracious act during the Great Depression, when many patrons couldn't afford much, if anything, to eat. During the 1940s, while the country was at war, there was a butter shortage. When a guest mentioned that peanut butter might be a good replacement to accompany the crackers, Henry Weidmann agreed. He located a potter in Louisville, Miss. to make small crocks to hold peanut butter, and ever since, the crocks of peanut butter with crackers have been a staple at every table.

From the 1940s through the 1960s, Weidmann's was open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, closing only for Christmas Day.

Today, Charles Frazier owns and operates Weidmann's. Frazier bought the restaurant in 2010 and aims to "provide outstanding, affordable Southern cuisine in a historic setting," he says. In addition to introducing some new classic recipes, Frazier is committed to maintaining the restaurant's lasting traditions. For instance, he has revived many of the original recipes, and commissioned a local artist to create handmade peanut butter crocks to be placed on every table. 

Check out more restaurants in Meridian, MS.

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