We’ve featured a lot of unique restaurants on our blog. But none compares to the culinary experience we had earlier this year while road tripping across the south. Flabbergasted (yes, that’s the name of the place) is known across the South for its vintage jellied beef ring and was by far, the most interesting place we’ve eaten yet.

Steve and Ann at Flabbergasted

Known for its outrageous renditions of retro and vintage American cuisine, including fondue and liver pate, Flabbergasted opened in 2014 in the small, rural town of Truco, Mississippi. We would not have known about it, but for our Canadian friend, Roger Speer, whom we met on a cruise several years ago. Here he is with his with his wife Jane having lunch with us on the Amalfi Coast last summer. 

Jane Roger Speer

Roger and Jane, had been following our blog as we toured the south, and sent us a text about Flabbergasted. We’ve had many wonderful foodie experiences with Roger and Jane and trusted their opinion. So, it seemed worthwhile to venture off our intended route and make a pit stop in Truco and we stopped for an early dinner.

First, a cocktail

Steve at Flabbergasted

Our dining experience began with cocktails. I had the Aviator Crashing, which was a spin on the classic Aviation cocktail, but with Bailey’s Irish Creme instead of creme de violette (sorry, I forgot to take a photo). Steve had the Dirty Manhattan, which was a lot like a bourbon Manhattan, but with olives.

Flabbergasted Dirty Manhattan

He loved it so much, he asked the bartender for the recipe so we could make it at home. We recreated it this weekend and shot this instructional video below so you can make it at home, too.

On to dinner

Our Flabbergasted server, Hank, recommended we each try an appetizer and then pick one or two of the outrageous retro entrees to share. I ordered the cottage cheese ring starter and Steve had the pureed spaghetti soup.


The cottage cheese ring wasn’t too bad. Apparently, these rings were popular in the 1950s. I found it on a vintage recipe website HERE. The one at Flabbergasted was served cold with a chilled vegetable medley in the center. It was good. Different, but good, I guess, considering the vegetables were chilled and I’m not a huge fan of lima beans, anyway. 


Steve, however, loved the pureed spaghetti! It was basically cooked spaghetti noodles pureed with a flavorful Italian spaghetti sauce, heavy on the oregano. It was smooth and slightly creamy, but with a few remnants of the cooked spaghetti noodles floating around. The spaghetti puree soup was beautifully garnished with a noodle and roughly chopped, wilted basil.


The main course

For our entree, we decided to go all out and ordered the Jellied Beef Ring. It was a classic 1970s dish invented during the Jell-O craze, we were told. Hank, who was born and raised in Truco, said it has been the most popular item since Flabbergasted opened. He said they often sell out of it early, so if we wanted to try it, we’d better order it quickly. 

Jellied Beef Ring

The Jellied Beef Ring was just as it looked in the picture on the menu (and above). It was made of slightly seasoned browned ground beef, set with gelatin in a jelly mold with spiced pimento-stuffed Manzanilla green olives. The dish was served chilled, family-style on a bed of leaf lettuce and topped with a generous amount of olives. Gotta tell you, when we sliced into it, the slurping sound wasn’t very appetizing but the taste was out of this world.

Unicorn Mac-n-cheese

Knowing that the Jellied Beef Ring would be quite a bit to eat by itself, we opted for a smaller side and ordered the Unicorn Mac-n-Cheese. It was also delicious and, as expected, turned our tongues different colors.

Unicorn mac cheese

This dish began with pasta cooked to a perfect al dente, then coated in a smooth and creamy cheese sauce, served in four different neon colors just like a unicorn! I was so happy we ordered it because let me tell you, this dish was meant for Instagram (especially with the Clarendon filter).  As you probably guessed, we ate the whole thing. Steve may or may not have licked the dish.

Finally, dessert

For the grand finale, we took Hank’s recommendation again and ordered the sweetened bologna cake. (B-O-L-O-G-N-A — remember that commercial?). He told us that bologna cake was a savory dish normally served as an appetizer with crackers. He apologized for the not-so-perfect job on the cake decorating, explaining that the pastry chef had recently broken her pinky finger.

bologna cake

However, the bologna cake at Flabbergasted was more of a sweet and savory mix and was on the dessert menu, instead. Made of thick-cut slices of house-made bologna, this unique cake was layered with a slightly sweet cream cheese and mayo frosting, topped with bright yellow buttercream frosting, and garnished with green olive slices. They must get a good deal on olives at Flabbergasted. 

slice bologna cake

The bologna cake was served on one of those vintage snack trays like your grandma had, along with mixed nuts and … wait for it … three candied Vienna sausages. Yes, Vienna sausages. Not a great compliment in my mind, but whatever.

As we finished our meal…











Did you really swallow all this bologna? Do you really think we’d ever in a million years eat a jellied beef ring? April Fools! (Now, please help us keep the fun going…NO SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS ON SOCIAL MEDIA.) Oh, and by the way, “Truco” means “trick” in Spanish. NOTE: No actual bourbon was harmed in the making of this post.


For more April Fools’ fun, read about Ann’s first visit to a nude beach, as well as what landed in Ann’s wine during our first class flight from Miami to Houston.

  • One of the quirkiest stops we've ever come across is Carhenge, near Alliance, Nebraska. Over a couple of weeks, a family decided to recreate the world-famous Stonehenge out of junked cars. Using farm implements, they constructed a replica that even has a heel stone...errr...car. In so doing, they created a must-see roadside attraction for anyone traveling across the United States.
  • Ann stands next to one of the huge rocks at Toadstool Geologic Park in Nebraska. The unique geology of this park happened because a hard rocky layer sat atop a soft under layer. As the soft layer erodes, huge rocks are left standing in unique positions.
  • You gotta start somewhere...⁣
In all journeys in life, you must start somewhere. Here we were at Mile Marker 0 in Key West about 70 pounds (between the two of us) ago. Our journey isn't over, but we're on our way to a healthier lifestyle. @noom
  • These cucumber-salmon bites were a perfect taste treat for a bridal shower Ann hosted recently. She started with a slice of cucumber, then a bit of salmon topped with a dollop of cream cheese and dill.
  • ...Why don't you come with me, little girl, on a Magic Carpet ride...⁣
One of the most unique features of the new @celebritycruise Edge is the Magic Carpet, a platform that moves up and down the side of the ship and serves different purposes at each stop. There is something truly special about sitting directly over the sea and looking back at the ship while you sip a delicious cocktail.
  • This prosciutto pizza served overlooking the Amalfi Coast is the stuff dreams are made of. The homemade crust, hand tossed before being baked to thin perfection in a wood oven. The sauce and cheese were so fresh it brought tears to our eyes. And the prosciutto was sliced thin enough to be translucent. This is what pizza is supposed to be.
  • Cookie, cookie, cookie start with "C."⁣
This is what we found when we walked into our beautiful room at @thepioneerwoman Boarding House after dinner at the Merc. As part of turn down service, they gave us a couple of Ree's delicious cookies, which made for a perfect end to a great day.
  • Walking through the streets of Pompeii last summer, we felt an eerie sensation. There we stood, on streets that had been built more than 2000 years earlier. The city was so well preserved that you really didn't have to think very hard to imagine what life would have been like. You could see the marble countertops in the bars, the ovens in the bakeries, and yes, even the art on the walls. Have you been to Pompei?

Second most popular blog in Pawhuska