Slugburgers: Signature Treat at Borroum’s Drug Store, Corinth, Mississippi

What began as a pharmacy in 1865, Borroum’s Drug Store is now Mississippi’s oldest drug store in continuous operation and now a wildly popular lunch choice for the locals in Corinth, as well as savvy travelers along Highway 72 heading to and from [amazon_textlink asin=’1631213679′ text=’Memphis’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’theyums-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’f6b92097-0e2f-11e9-9962-e96fbd9d9c5e’], Tennessee.

Location: 604 East Waldron Street, Corinth, [amazon_textlink asin=’1631215787′ text=’Mississippi’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’theyums-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’1dc528df-0e30-11e9-9fa3-6d5917056ea3′]

Menu: With its old-fashioned soda fountain counter as a focal point, Borroum’s Drug Store prides itself on ice cream sodas and milkshakes evoking tastes and senses from years past. In keeping with the vibe, cherry phosphates and “genuine” Coca-Cola are also served.

Daily specials range from taco salads, fried chicken salads, cornbread salads, and various sandwiches and wraps in warm weather to a wide variety of soups in the winter. Recent offerings have included a turkey melt, homemade chili with grilled cheese, vegetable beef soup, homemade potato soup, and hamburgers.

But, the must-try, always available item on Borroum’s menu is a slugburger. Slugburgers are made from a mixture of ground pork, soy flour and spices, formed into a patty and then deep-fried and served on a hamburger bun with mustard, a big slice of onion and pickles. The burger originated during the Depression when the price of meat was so exorbitant. Every portion of ground meat had to be stretched and extended as far as it could be. In those years, potato flour was often added to make the meat go farther. These burgers were sold for a nickel, which was often referred to as a slug. Thus, the name slugburger.

In addition to the sodas, shakes and cokes (as all carbonated beverages are called in the South), expect iced tea, either sweet or unsweet to round out the choices.

Thoughts:  Borroum’s still operates as a drug store with Camille Borroum Mitchell serving as the pharmacist. She was the town of Corinth’s first female pharmacist and has been practicing for more than 67 years.  The soda fountain is operated by her youngest son, Alexis. A huge part of Borroum’s charm is its nostalgia, history and sheer longevity.

Original owner, Dr. Andrew Jackson Borroum served in the Confederate army and was released from a northern prison camp when the war ended. He was headed to Oxford, Mississippi on horseback when he happened to stop in Corinth. There he met a doctor who persuaded him to stay and practice medicine with him. As he practiced and began to dispense medicines, he found that he had to make some of them himself. That led him to open a drug store.

The building where Borroum’s Drug Store is now housed was originally built in 1843 and was a tannery with a livery next door. Almost immediately, the drug store became a central location in the town, serving as a general store of sorts selling everything from books to produce and chickens. Dr. Borroum even produced a paper called A.J. Borroum’s Courier. It informed the townspeople about new medicines and let them know when fresh herbs and new merchandise had arrived. The paper also included poems, anecdotes, short stories, and tall tales.

Through the years, Borroum’s sons also became doctors and pharmacists and joined him in his practice and in managing the store. From time to time, new innovations were added, and various family members served as cashiers and soda jerks. The store is now over 150 years old and is in the hands of the 7th generation of Borroums.

In display cases around the walls, visitors can see Native American artifacts, Civil War relics, and other vintage collections.

Borroum’s is one of those special places that epitomizes small-town America in the South, AND the food is good.

Price range: Nothing on Borroum’s menu is more than $8. Most items are between $3-6. A milkshake is $3.50, and a soda is $2.95. The all-important slugburger is now $1.75.


Connie Pearson

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