A back room mural at Uncle John's.
...stop in at Uncle John's
. It's THE place to eat.
No matter that it's the only place to eat in the tiny, three-block town west of Memphis, Uncle John's serves up Italian-meets-homestyle-Southern fare that's worth a detour: catfish, ribs, heaping portions of spaghetti, homemade ravioli and spaghetti and meatballs.
The restaurant began, informally, in the early '80s, when local rice farmer John Marconi started preparing his favorite heirloom dishes with ingredients out of his garden. You can taste the authenticity in the toasted ravioli appetizer, stuffed with beef and herbs, lightly breaded and dusted with a sprinkling of Parmesan.
We also sampled an entrée of spinach-and-beef-stuffed shells topped with the house Alfredo, with plenty of thick slices of buttery garlic toast on the side. At a table nearby, we couldn't help but eye an Italian roast sandwich, stacked high with all the fixings on a toasted French bread. Next time.
Make sure, too, you check the restaurant's backroom, where a local artist is painting a mural that promises to include all of Crawfordsville's citizens. 5453 Main Street. Beer. CC $-$$ 870-823-5319. LD Tues.-Fri., D Sat.
Toasted ravioli.Spaghetti and meatballs.