I’ve found a new favorite place to eat in Tupelo, Miss. Or, rather, my dear husband found it. He asked Ginna Parsons, the food editor at the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal (read her blog, Speaking of Food, at http://djfoodblog.wordpress.com/) for lunch recommendations, and she sent us to Southern Ice Cafe, 3952-D N. Gloster, in the shopping center near Barnes Crossing Mall where Bed, Bath and Beyond is. “You’re going to love it,” my husband promised. And he was right! Housed in a former Quiznos’ (the sandwich oven and basic setup are still there), Southern Ice Cafe is a sandwich shop, ice cream (actually, gelato and sorbetto) store and tapas bar in one. I’ve never seen the tapas small-plates format translated to fast food, but it works here. You can order from four different “World Plates”: bistro, from France, featuring quiche lorraine and rataouille (eggplant and zucchini stew); tapas, from Spain, with ham-wrapped shrimp and roasted/marinated vegetables; Middle Eastern, with hummus, baba ganoush (eggplant dip) and tabouli (bulghur salad); and antipasto, from Italy, with tuna, bruschetta and mozzarella. This is my kind of food! I asked for the addition of grilled bread with olive salad, part of the Spain plate, to my Middle Eastern plate, and it was all fresh and delicious. My husband ordered the Santa Fe Salad, with black beans and chicken, plus the broccoli cheese soup — also fresh and yummy. Southern Ice has an extensive sandwich menu, with subs, wraps, muffulettas and sandwiches made deli-style, toasted or hot. There also are specialty salads and you can create your own with more than a dozen additional ingredients. And we didn’t even get to the gelato and dessert menu, but I’m planning a return trip soon. Most prices were about $6-$7 — reasonable for the amount and quality of food you get. Southern Ice opens at 11 a.m. every day and closes at 9 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, 10 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays and 6 p.m. Sundays. Call 662.840.5885. I’m telling you, it’s worth the drive!