Photos by Anna Goodson
The town of Canton may be best known to visitors for its biannual flea market, Hollywood movie sets, and Christmas lights display. We can now add an impressive steakhouse to the list of reasons to visit the town just 20 miles north of Jackson. The Tomahawk Steak Company, located on the historic Canton Square, serves great steaks and seafood in a laid back, casual atmosphere.
The inspiration for the restaurant came when owner Gary Clark was in Las Vegas dining on a tomahawk cut steak and decided it needed to be available in Jackson. He called on his friend and frequent business collaborator Chip Matthews to make it happen. Chip has over 25 years of experience in the bar and restaurant industry in the Jackson area. A lifelong resident of Canton who even ran for mayor a few years ago, Chip knows the local demographic very well and decided it would be perfect for the Canton Square.
Open only for about 18 months, Tomahawk has already grown from a traditional steakhouse into a full-service restaurant, serving three meals a day, seven days a week. Chip thinks of it as a throwback to his childhood. “It’s a place for locals to gather and eat any meal of the day, any day of the week,” he says.
The building is quaint, just like Canton itself. You won’t find pretentious white tablecloths inside. What you will find, a rarity on the Square, is a bar offering full service wine, beer and liquor. Tomahawk is the only restaurant on the Square to offer that. There are also several craft and local beers on tap.
The menu is not complicated. Chip says they keep it simple with steak and seafood. Tomahawk serves hand-cut ribeyes and filets, both available in two different sizes, depending on your appetite. And for a restaurant specializing in steak, there are a surprising amount of seafood options, including shrimp and grits, redfish and crab cakes. All steaks are available with lump crab meat as a topping.
Entrees are served with house salad and choice of side, including baked potato, onion rings, French fries and steakhouse staples such as sautéed mushrooms and creamed spinach.
And of course, the namesake menu item— the Tomahawk Steak, a cut of beef so named for its literal resemblance to a tomahawk. This steak is an impressive 32 oz. bone-in ribeye served with the entire bone left intact. The 17-inch bone is French-trimmed and makes for an amazing table presentation.
If you’re really hungry, then don’t skip the appetizer course. The house specialty is dynamite balls: pulled pork smoked in-house, coated with cream cheese and sriracha pepper sauce then deep fried. Other appetizers include standard fare of fried mushrooms, potato skins and a sausage and cheese plate. Chip assures that, “Everything is fresh and made in house. And all of our ingredients are local, if we can find it in season.”
Tomahawk is also open for breakfast and lunch. For lunch they serve prime rib, fried chicken, hamburger steaks, pulled pork and fresh vegetables. Breakfast consists of fresh-baked biscuits, pancakes, French toast and Eggs Benedict. Chip says the restaurant has also become the usual meeting spot for a 10 a.m. coffee club for seniors to chat about politics and share stories.
Guests are treated to live musical entertainment on weekend nights. There is also a lounge in the back room of the restaurant. This space has been recreated from the movie set of Strange Weather starring Holly Hunter, which filmed scenes in the restaurant building last year. After filming wrapped, Chip says they bought all props from the set and have recreated the lounge. He describes it as “a New Orleans type atmosphere.”
Tomahawk Steak Company is located at 165 West Peace Street in Canton. They are open daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.