With three boys in her immediate family, Elise Clinton knows how to cook. “I had two sons in college and one in high school, so I decided that I wanted to find something to do,” Clinton laughed, “after a house full of boys, I have this nurturing thing. I’m going to be the grandmother, someday, who says ‘I’m going to feed you!’ and has a full house again.”
Clinton went to work for a friend who started a restaurant, but they decided not to continue in 2012 and Clinton bought it. She moved it to its current location, behind the Mindfield in Brownsville, added a few walls and began cooking her recipes. Clinton added, “My rule is, if I wouldn’t cook it and eat it at home, I won’t serve it here!” What she’s doing must be working, because people keep coming back to enjoy her enticing entrees. “I’m good with my recipes, but my Mom makes our desserts,” she laughed as she added, “and I love it when people, neighbors, and customers who have become our friends hang out here!”
While a lot of her patrons are from Brownsville, she gets her share from other places because the Mindfield Grill has become a ‘meet-up spot’ for people meeting in the ‘middle’ between Jackson, TN and other parts of West TN, including Memphis. “We have a lot of people that stop in, or meet here with family, friends, and we get our fair share of people who come from the interstate.” She smiled, “It’s great when you see them come back, because you know you did something right.”
Brownsville is a small town, everybody knows everybody and new faces bring smiles to the staff’s faces. They take care of everyone, but they want ‘to make sure the new people keep coming back, too’.
Clinton can’t imagine doing anything else, “It’s like a big social event that I’m putting together every day, and it’s so fulfilling every night, when what we prepared is nearly always almost gone.”
And we can see why… The food they serve is creative and just plain good. The steaks are brought in prior to the weekend and cut by hand, so the meat is extremely fresh. Her entrees mix things up a bit, with sauces and glazes - the Salmon is to die for! With things like seafood spaghetti that includes ingredients like shrimp, tomatoes, clams, andouille sausage, parmesan and topped with a crab claw, the menu caters to choices with a slightly different twist in the preparation. Whether it’s because it’s so fresh, or it has different seasonings or combinations, it’s food you won’t want to miss.
While the menu includes steaks, salmon, chicken, sandwiches, salads, and the MOST amazing cheese balls, Clinton adds ‘off the menu’ specials on the weekend, and she is open on Sunday for lunch. It may be a little bit of a drive, but it’s worth it for a relaxed calm, different dining experience. “We’re not a big chain, we have different foods, and we don’t rush people to get them out to have another table open,” Clinton was quick to explain, “we want everyone to have an overall good feeling about their dining experience with us!”
The Mindfield Grill also does catering, they just finished a big wedding reception at the Country Club in Covington, and Clinton ‘loves doing for people’. Events, weddings, down to office lunches to go, it doesn’t matter - people get food that is lovingly prepared, just like it’s being ‘fixed for family’.
Clinton is planning to ‘do for people’ for Valentine’s Day. A special dinner is planned with three entrees from which to choose: Seared Duck Breast, Lobster Tails, or an 8 oz Filet. While reservations aren’t absolutely necessary, they are available. “I want to give people a great option for a special dinner on Valentine’s Day, without having to drive a great distance.” Clinton emphasized, “I like people, everywhere, every age, I like making things special, making people happy, and letting them enjoy good food.”
Clinton is one of those people who is ageless in spirit, but she has a reason for that, “I especially like working with younger people, because they keep me young!”