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Help Improve Mississippi Schools

Next week, several very good people I know will be in Jackson, Mississippi, working very hard to demonstrate that it is too possible to send Mississippi students to college prepared for both football practice and class. While it’s not the first time these people have been to Jackson, they’re an adventurous bunch. They’re curious about local foodways, but, unfortunately, the conference hotel is surrounded by too many Dixie Cafes and Outback Steakhouses to be worth much. So if you live in Jackson or lived there in the past, where would you eat after robbing your kid’s piggy bank? Where would you eat when you wanted to blow two years’ worth of savings—or $50, whichever greater? I’ll pass all recommendations on; all I ask is that you rate your recommendation on a scale of 1 (for “Fancy”) to 5 (for “Hole-in-the-Wall”). I’ll assume that, regardless of rating, the food is good.1

1 Because these people are from Iowa, it’s unnecessary to recommend places that serve pork, unless said pork has been pulled apart and shoved into a sandwich or has been prepared in some ribs-oriented or particularly local way. Likewise, good Mexican restaurants are everywhere.



Good Mexican in Iowa? This must be the key difference between Iowa and Indiana. The almost five years I spent in the Midwest (Indiana and Michigan) were devoid of good Mexican. More props to Iowa!

People who’ve lived in Jackson are better suited to make a restaurant recommendation, but I think there’s a Cock of the Walk in Jackson – great for catfish and for amusing discussion over how the chain got its name.

(There are too many slaughterhouses here not to have good Mexican restaurants.) There’s at least one pretty decent Mexican restaurant in IC, which we also love because it’s cheap; if we go a dozen miles to West Liberty, we can even find unpasteurized cheeses and lots of people to stutter our poor Spanish at.

Hello Greg and travellers to Mississippi. This is JRB’s other half. We lived in Jackson for five years and enjoyed a few restaurants. I’m sure JRB will chime in soon.

Some of our favorites:

1. Keifer’s- a small, Greek place. The Gyro’s are good, although it was always a little heavy for me. The hummus was always good. JRB loved it.

2. Broad Street is a good up-scale sandwich place. They have fresh breads and a great mixed green side salad.

3. Primo’s is a good, clean blue-plate special kind of place. I think their slogan is “Biscuits are like bagels, except they are soft and taste good”- or something like that.

4. OH! I just remembered Julep’s. This place has the most delicious, wonderfully made fried chicken you can have! It is not soul-food fried chicken, although that is delicious in its own right. Now this is probably my favorite recommendation to your collegues. Julep’s. Go there.

I’ll let JRB add to the list when he gets here.

Hope they enjoy Jackson. We never enjoyed visiting there, but it was a great place to live.

Sorry about not including a rating.
Here they are:
Keifer’s 4
Broad Street 3
Primo’s 3
Julep’s 2

Hope they enjoy Jackson. We never enjoyed visiting there, but it was a great place to live.

That’s a common theme from those I know who’ve visited.

And many thanks for the recommendations, jduckb; I will definitely pass them, and anything JRB adds, on. When the travelers return, I’ll give their reviews.

Your recs piqued some interest. They’re already eyeing Julep’s.

I heartily endorse all of the wife’s picks.

In addition, let me add HAL & MALS’s, a grill, bar, music venue owned by Jackson racconteur and our neighbor Malcolm White. Tell him we sent you. It’s in a warehouse downtown and has tamales and fried things that will make you see the light.

Also, for basic but totally respectable pizza, see OLD VENICE PIZZA CO.

IF they are downtown and need lunch, I recommend my once-regular stop STEVE’S DOWNTOWN DELI with chicken salad and sweets that will make you get re-baptized.

For better than fair red-beans-and-rice in the Louisiana vernacular, they should seek out QUE SERA! They have pleasant outdoor eating.

Excellent. The restaurants have been forwarded, just in time. I’ll collect reviews when the travelers return. Many thanks to both of you.


Hal & Mal’s: 5+

Old Venice: 3

Steve’s: 4

Que Sera: 3

Other notes:

Broad Street Bakery has much good food and coffee from salads and sandwiches to pizza, pasta and bizarre cheeses. More importantly, it shares space with LEMURIA, Jackson’s best independent book store.


Julep’s fried chicken is made with rosemary and honey and served on mashed potatoes that will make you volunteer for the Peace Corps.


KIEFER’s hummus is so good your phileo will turn to eros if you’re not careful.


Best Mexican: Cazuela.

Best too expensive food: Nick’s.

Too expensive food: Schimmel’s.

Solid lunch, white table cloth dinner: Walker’s Drive In. (With cornbread salad that will make you wonder about the man’s inhumanity to man.)

Meat and Three for lunch downtown with a pleasant porch: Two Sisters

Best place to hear blues while you nosh: 320 Blues Cafe

Now I want to go to Jackson, even if it’s not a great place to visit.

Restaurant Report: The travelers returned today and report that Julep’s is as good as advertised. They loved it hands-down, clogged arteries notwithstanding. They ate at another restaurant down the street from Julep’s which they also liked. Primo’s catered the meeting and left them fulfilled. Many thanks and warm regards to jduckbaker and JRB for your recommendations!

It’s the “Best of the New South” according to the PR materials.

I’m glad they had fun. Please do not research Mississippi’s incidents of heart disease.