Lunch Lady's friends hear it all the time: Lunch Lady's getting too old for this. Too old for what, you ask? And for what, short of wearing footie pajamas, could a 24-year-old be too old? Well, Lunch Lady is too old to go out with her friends, watch them drink too much, wait around until they're ready to go home, and then follow them here and there to make sure they're not making regrettable decisions. This isn't college anymore, folks. (Well, maybe it is for some of you.)
Lunch Lady recently visited New York City and went out with some of her college friends. Not all of them seem to have aged to the ripe maturity Lunch Lady has, but Lunch Lady still knows how to have a good time, right? Beer me that CD, and let's hit the town!
First stop is Jackson's newest drinking emporium, The Bulldog (6111 Ridgewood Rd., 601-978-3502), which opened in the old Lager's. With more than 50 beers and ciders on tap and nearly 100 bottled varieties from 15 countries, The Bulldog has a beer for any drinker's taste, even if you don't fancy yourself a beer drinker.
Don't make the same mistake Lunch Lady did and get the drafts and bottles confused, though, because no one likes to find out she can't in fact have the Champagne of Beers (Miller High Life, for those of you not cultured in this area) in a pint glass on demand. She recovered, though: A typical night at The Bulldog now includes a pint each of the Lazy Magnolia Indian Summer Ale and Abita Amber. That's right, just two beers for this lady.
The Bulldog's specials can't be beat. Wednesday is wicked crowded and the preferred night for many a Jackson Free Press staffer because you can take home as many pint glasses as you drink. (Ask Art Director Darren Schwindaman how many he has.) Monday is $2 off import pitchers, Tuesday is $1 off import pints, and Thursday is $2 off microbrewery pitchers. If you're really anti-beer—which, by the way, you shouldn't be, because you likely just need to find the right one—The Bulldog also serves mixed drinks and wines, not to mention some bar food that really hits the spot like the Newcastle dip and their many sandwiches.
If you're looking for a different atmosphere from The Bulldog, any Jacksonian knows that the selection of bottled beers at Martin's (214 S. State St., 601-354-9712) is one-stop shopping. With Jackson rarities like Samuel Smith and the jumbo-size bottles of different Rogue varieties (not to mention less rare but ever reliable choices like Pabst Blue Ribbon), Martin's offers more than your standard Bud and Bud Light (but hey, they've got those, too!).
Of course, like many Jackson bars, spending an evening at Martin's means smelling like a special variety of ashtray when you stumble out of there at 1 in the morning, but hey, that's part of the charm. Besides, the karaoke selections and old-school video games make it totally worth it. If you're fussy about your appearance like Lunch Lady, don't wear black if you're going to spend any time in the back—the blacklight is going to draw attention to every piece of lint or pet hair your outfit ever shared a room with.
You know what Lunch Lady will never be too old for? Shaking it. Yeah, that's right. Favorite place to do so? Hands down, Dick and Jane's (206 W. Capitol St., 601-944-0123). The alcohol situation here requires a little navigation, though: They sell beer and mixers, and you can bring your own liquor. Sounds good to Lunch Lady. They also cater to the 18-plus crowd, which is nice for your younger friends, even if they do have to pay a little extra to get in. The dancing here is the best in Jackson because no one's being shy or uptight about it.
If dancing is not your thing, Dick and Jane's has plenty of other regularly scheduled events, from drag shows to Showdown talent competitions to movie nights. In March alone, "The Sound of Music," "Chicago," "The King and I" and "The Phantom of the Opera" will come to Dick and Jane's screen. Don't miss out.
After all this partying, you're going to need to eat something—if not for your own sake, for the sake of your tomorrow self. Unfortunately, everything Lunch Lady would recommend to you for that wee hour of the night comes from national chain restaurants that don't really need the support of your favorite local alternative newsweekly. At a certain point, though, you don't notice quality anymore so much as you are just glad to be eating hot melted cheese in whatever form you can find it.
Anyway, Lunch Lady's advice is to have a good time, but don't overdo it. Make sure your uptight friends (ahem, yours truly) can have a good time, too, without worrying about you. Remember, always pace yourself. And after you've had your hangover food, e-mail us at [e-mail missing] to tell us all about it.