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Restaurants & Bars 5

Jackson Mississippi Run-down

Barry Strugatz | Apr 30, 200101:02 PM

I was in Jackson, the capitol of Mississippi, a few weeks ago. Here's a brief report on a great weekend of eating in the deep South.

Farish Street is the main artery of the African American community. Historically the center of business, entertainment, culture and the civil rights movement -- it is also an avenue of culinary pleasures.

Next to the beautifully restored Alamo Theatre is Peaches a classic neighborhood soul food restaurant. I had an excellent lunch of fried chicken, turnip greens, mac & cheese with lemonade and cornbread.

Thanks to the authoritative guide Southern Belly I visited the Big Apple Inn. Nothing there suggested my native NYC. This place is a Jackson institution. The lighting is low, the juke box playing and busy with loyal customers. I sampled the pigs ear (recently featured on TV's Ripley's Believe It Or Not) and the sausage sandwiches. They were served on White Castle type buns with a spicy sauce and other condiments. The sausage was good and hot and the pigs ear was good and...cartlidgey.

The fish place across the street looked very promising.

Fifteen minutes outside of town in Florence, MS is Jerry's Catfish House. A catfish mecca. But this mecca is a giant two story tall white igloo. Inside there are two floors of tables. The rounded igloo ceiling makes you feel like you're eating in a planetarium, but the stars and heavenly objects here are the delicious (mostly) fried foods. Hushpuppies: probably the best I've had. Fried Cat Fish: thin, moist, with a hint of bacon in the batter...addictive. Fried psychedelic potato chips...a mind-altering experience. Lemon Ice Box cake...light, very tasty and cold. The menu contains other items that would undoubtedly be of the highest palatability.

And then there's the Subway Lounge a highlight of my trip. Probably the last juke joint in town. Incredible blues and r&b of the highest order in a unique colorful basement club. Had a first-rate Blues (chili) Dog at 2:30 to cap the evening.

Also had good food at Que Sera, Sera (Cajun); Elite (Southern and Greek);Country Boy's Produce (sandwiches, fruit, etc.). Due to bad timing I missed eating at Frank's which I heard was really good for breakfast (they claim world famous biscuits).

The Jackson Visitors Bureau has a good listing of eateries in their "What's Going in Jackson" booklet.

All in all much good vittles in this town.

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