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Food Blog


September 30, 2016

Deep South Pops=Luke's Diner

By amber_helsel

Calling all "Gilmore Girls" fans! In honor of the original air date of the show's first episode, Deep South Pops is one of 200 businesses around the country that will be named as a mini Luke's Diner on Wednesday, Oct. 5. The business will give away 250 cups of coffee from 7 a.m. to noon that day. Get your Luke's fix before "Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life" airs on Netflix on Nov. 25.

September 22, 2016

'Chopped' Looking for JXN Chefs

By amber_helsel

Food Network's "Chopped" TV show is looking for chefs from Jackson to try out for the show.

In "Chopped," four chefs compete in three rounds with a basket full of mystery ingredients in each one. The winning chef receives $10,000.

For more information or to apply, visit

August 25, 2016

The Palette Café Unveils New Menu

By amber_helsel

On Aug. 2, The Palette Cafe at the Mississippi Museum of Art closed for a revamping of sorts. But it wasn't the decor.

For the last couple of weeks, the museum's culinary curator and executive chef, Nick Wallace, has been working with restaurant staff members to create a menu "inspired by Mississippi foodways traditions, local ingredients, and the art on the Museum walls," a blog post on the website says. "His artistic appreciation and culinary prowess will now be fused in forthcoming menus that draw explicit connections between the narratives depicted by Mississippi visual artists and the storytelling that informs his own culinary creations."

Today, Aug. 25, the museum has announced the unveiling of the new menu. Here are some highlights:

Tomato pie: It's a classic Southern dish, but Wallace and his culinary team have added their own elements to it. The Palette Cafe's has baby sage, kale, sage, basil-whipped cheese and peppery olive oil.

Juke joint burger: For many people, nothing is better than a really good burger. Like the blues, this burger has soul. It's got Swiss cheese, a Hereford beef patty, lettuce, tomato, pickled onions and a homemade steak sauce, and it's all piled on an egg bun. And like any good burger, fries come on the side.

Vegan skillet: Vegans need love, too, right? Wallace had that in mind when he created the vegan skillet. It has caviar couscous, baby kale, confit tomatoes, pickled onions, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, wheat germ, oats, cauliflower, red quinoa, flaxseeds and tomatoes.

See more here.

August 4, 2016

Sombra Comes to Flowood

By amber_helsel

Sombra Mexican Kitchen is following in the footsteps of Amerigo Italian Restaurant. In November, a new location of the restaurant will open in Flowood in the former space of Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen.

The new space is 8,400 square feet and will be able to seat 225 guests. It will also have an outdoor patio.

“With the overwhelming embrace of Amerigo opening in Flowood earlier this year, we couldn't pass up the opportunity to open Sombra next door,” David Conn, who is a co-owner in 4-Tops Hospitality, the company that owns and operates Amerigo, Char Restaurant and Anjou, said in a press release. “The people of Flowood and Rankin county have been great to us, and we look forward to bringing our unique take on Mexican cuisine and house-made specialties to the neighborhood.”

Look out for our business round-up next Tuesday for more information.

May 28, 2016

LurnyD's Grille Named Best Food Truck in Mississippi

By amber_helsel

We may not have as many food trucks as states such as New York or Pennsylvania, but our food truck culture is growing.

The Daily Meal recently compiled a list of the best food truck in each state, and LurnyD's Grille in Jackson has taken the title for Mississippi.

The truck has been serving hungry Jacksonians since 2013 with burgers such as the sunrise burger, which has bacon, cheese and a fried egg, and the goober burger, which has peanut butter and bacon.

To see the complete list, visit

April 12, 2016

bōl Opens in Downtown Jackson

By amber_helsel

Downtown Jackson now has a new lunch spot.

bōl is located in the Walter Sillers State Office building (550 High St.). At the restaurant, patrons can build their own dish. They choose a base such as pasta, brown or white rice, tortilla strips or mixed greens, then a protein such as roast beef, bacon-ranch chicken salad and steamed shrimp; a sauce such as comeback dressing, barbecue, garlic ranch and vegetable broth; and toppings such as seasonal fresh and pickle vegetables or Parmesan cheese. The restaurant is open Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Stay tuned for more information.

February 25, 2016

Chef Lineup for NMHS' Filmmaker's 'Black Tie & Blues' Bash

By amber_helsel

The Filmmaker's 'Black Tie & Blues' Bash event, which is Feb. 27, marks the end of the annual "It's About You" Film Festival. NMHS recently announced its lineup for the bash. Here is a press release from the organization, verbatim.

NMHS Announces Chef Line-Up for the Filmmaker’s Bash

(Jackson, MS) – NMHS Unlimited Film Productions recently announced the chef line-up for the “Filmmaker’s ‘Black Tie & Blues’ Bash” event. The Filmmaker’s Bash wraps-up the annual “It’s About You” Film Festival and is scheduled for Saturday, February 27 at the Mississippi Museum of Art. The Bash will feature a “Farm to Table” competition by several area chefs. Guests will be able to vote for their favorite chef in the “People’s Choice” competition. One chef will also be awarded the “Top Bash Chef” by a panel of judges. The 2016 event also includes the new “Top Chef Challenge” in which Nick Wallace of the Mississippi Museum of Art and Jesse Houston of Saltine cook-off using a secret ingredient. The evening will include entertainment by international touring blues artist Dexter Allen and the melodic melodies of Melvin “House Cat” Hendrex, a new silent auction and an awards presentation.

Featured chefs of the Filmmaker’s Bash include the 2016 Coordinating Chef, Nick Wallace with the Mississippi Museum of Art; Alex Eaton with The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen; Kendrick Gordon with One Guy Steak and Chicken; Jesse Houston with Saltine; Grant Nooe with Grant’s Kitchen; Damian Shelby with the Mississippi Museum of Art; and Mike Roemhild with Table 100.

“I am very excited to have such talented people participate in our fourth annual event,” said Wilma E. Mosley Clopton, Ph.D. of NMHS Unlimited Film Productions. “Several of our chefs are returning from the previous year and we are also welcoming new chefs. We already have three designated “Top Chefs” in this group and I cannot wait to see who will become the fourth addition. In this competition, each chef’s dish must include local ingredients, -more-

which focuses on our “Farm to Table” competition. I am thrilled to showcase our local talents utilizing our local ingredients.”

The black tie event begins with a VIP Reception from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. VIP Reception tickets are $100 per person. The Bash and “Farm to Table” Competition will take place from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. General admission tickets are $50 per person. Tickets can be purchased online at

The purpose of the film festival is to showcase films that highlight the rich contributions of Mississippi African Americans. To view a complete film festival line-up and event details, visit

Thank you to our generous sponsors for their support: Jackson Convention and Visitors Bureau, ChefWorks, the Mississippi Film Office, The W.E.B. Du Bois Honors College, The Lanier Historical Museum and Arts Guild, Inc., The Lanier High School National Alumni Association, Women for Progress of Mississippi, The Jackson Advocate and Dependable Source Corp. This project is supported in part by funding from the Mississippi Arts Commission, ...

February 24, 2016

James Beard Foundation Recognizes Jackson Restaurant and Jackson Chef

By amber_helsel

On Feb. 23, the James Beard Foundation announced its 2016 America's Classics awards. Among the five restaurants that will receive this award, Bully’s Restaurant (3118 Livingston Road, 601-362-0484) is one. The JBF gives the award to restaurants that have "timeless appeal and are cherished for quality food that reflects the character of their community," the foundation said in a press release.

Tyrone Bully and his father, who are both trained masons, built the restaurant from the ground up. It serves dishes such as oxtail, macaroni and cheese, and sweet potatoes, and Bully's serves regulars that include police officers, city council members and state legislators.

Also on a James Beard Foundation note, chef Jesse Houston, who owns Saltine Oyster Bar, has been nominated for Best Chef: South, which is one of the highest awards in the American food world. The foundation will announce the finalists on March 15.

Congratulations go to Jesse for his nomination and Bully's for its award.

October 15, 2015

Scary, Good and Creepy

By amber_helsel

Mississippi Museum of Art Executive Chef and Culinary Curator Nick Wallace is in the kitchen behind The Palette Café at the museum, talking to his staff members as they pass through. In a small pot behind him, pig ears boil in a combination of vinegars, spices and sriracha. Eventually, they'll transform into a fried-green-tomato and pig-ear Panini for the October 'sipp Sourced menu, which he began serving at 11 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 15, and will serve through Saturday, Oct. 17.

Besides the fried green tomato and pig-ear Panini, the menu for "Scary Good Creepy Cuts" will feature a range of dishes with "scary" types of meat—chicken liver and gizzards, pig tails, oxtails and turkey necks.

It fits, considering the Halloween theme for this month's Museum After Hours. But besides that, Wallace wanted to take less desirable cuts of meat and turn them into something more elevated.

"To me, I think (Halloween) is pretty super, like in the Louisiana area," he says. "I think it's getting there for Mississippi, but I don't think it's there yet. This gives us a way to really embrace October, the Halloween season, all that stuff, which is great. As far as the menu is concerned, with the creepy goodness, all the cheap cuts of meat, that's how I was raised."

He grew up on a farm in Edwards, and says that his family used every cut of meat on the animals they cooked.

"We didn't throw anything away because we just couldn't afford to," he says.

For this month's 'sipp Sourced, he wants to bring that back.

"People that are poor really are the best cooks ever, because they'll take a chicken gizzard and boil it and marinate overnight, then fry it, and you think it's the best thing in the world," he says.

For those who are hesitant to try some thing like pig tails, Wallace will also serve dishes that include meat cuts such as the scaredy-cat seafood po'boy, which has shrimp boudin sausage, lettuce, tomatoes, blood sorrel, sun-dried tomato aioli and crispy catfish, served with fries. And for those who are vegetarian or vegan, don't worry. The menu also includes dishes such as the zombie-fried green tomato panini, which is basil, mustard, onion marmalade, breakfast radishes and Swiss cheese on sourdough bread, served with fries and ketchup. The adventurous eaters can try dishes such as the "no-guts-no-glory" fried chicken livers, which are served with white gravy, whipped potatoes, bread-and-butter pickles, braised greens and hot sauce.

Mississippi Museum of Art's Museum After Hours (380 S. Lamar St.) is Thursday, Oct. 15, from 5 to 10 p.m. The event will include works from artists who learned from, knew or were influenced by Marie Hull, whose art is currently on display at the museum and a showing of the film, "Night of the Living Dead." For more information, visit or find 'sipp Sourced on Facebook.

September 8, 2015

Food Truck Fridays

By amber_helsel

If you work downtown, or just like to be there, you now have another option for lunch. Every Friday until Oct. 9, local food trucks will be at Smith Park from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for We Are Jackson Food Truck Friday. If you need another reason to check it out, each Friday will have a DJ. This Friday, Sept. 11, DJ Kool Aid of WRBJ 97.7 FM will be there, and the food trucks will be Hog Heaven, LurnyD's Grille, Small Town Hotdogs and Pop Culture Ice Pops. For more information, contact Shelia Byrd, the director of communications for Mayor Tony Yarber, at 601-960-2324.

March 16, 2015

Surin of Thailand Now Open in Old Nick's Location

By amber_helsel

Jackson Free Press reported Feb. 11 that Atlanta-based franchise Surin of Thailand was close to opening a location in the old location of Nick's Restaurant (3000 Old Canton Road, Suite 105). The Jackson location of Surin is now open. For more information, visit, go to the location's Facebook page or call 601-981-3205. The restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 to 9 or 9:30 p.m., Sunday-Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday.

May 27, 2014

Nick's closes after three decades

By CCristo

Jackson staple Nick’s Restaurant is closed as of Monday after 31 years as part of the area’s culinary landscape.

Nick’s, previously located in the BancorpSouth building on Lakeland Dr., has called Fondren home for more than four years.

Owner Nick Apostle said on Facebook that his motivation for closing the fine dining restaurant was his family. “This closing will allow me to spend time with those that supported me during all the late nights and long weekend hours,” he said. “Alice and I are looking forward to being together and with our five young grandchildren.”

While Nick’s modern American fare will be missed, Mermaid Café in Lake Caroline, Apostle’s other restaurant, will remain open.

December 28, 2013

JFP Beer Fridge #6: Schlafly APA

By Todd Stauffer

Up this time in the beer fridge it's Schlafly APA from St. Louis Brewery; this is a smooth drinking, hoppy pale ale that's worth a taste:

October 31, 2013

Beer Fridge #5: Napa Smith Lost Dog

By Todd Stauffer

Todd reviews Napa Smith Lost Dog, an American red ale from California.

October 16, 2013

Tom Ramsey's New Restaurant

By Kathleen M. Mitchell

In addition to making his Food Network debut Sunday, Oct. 20, local chef Tom Ramsey is busy opening his first restaurant, La Finestra. The Italian eatery will open in the Plaza Building on Congress St. downtown the first week of November. Here's what he had to say about the restaurant:

This came together real fast. I got a call that this place was available. I came down and met the owner, and within a week, we had a deal struck. I got the keys on Oct. 1 and we’re turning it around in 30 days.

It’s called La Finestra, which means "the window." (He gestures to the walls of floor-to-ceiling windows surrounding the space in a corner of the ground floor of the Plaza Building downtown). It is traditional Italian food, very affordable. We make all the pastas in-house, all the sauces from scratch.

Well, initially I though I would open a burger place. When I came down to see the space, I had my son Whit with me. I said, “You know, it doesn’t really look like a burger place,” and my son said, “It looks like an Italian restaurant.” And I said, “Ooooooh.”

Anytime I have a concept for a restaurant, I write a menu. So I went home and wrote an Italian menu, and really liked the way it was coming together. I just made a decision that night to go Italian. We're really excited about the direction its going.

October 5, 2013

Beer Fridge #4: Samuel Adams Octoberfest

By Todd Stauffer

Todd reviews Sam Adams' seasonal Oktoberfest offering and is pleased to find a drinkable amber lager in an attractive, recyclable can.

September 26, 2013

Beer Fridge #3: Steven's Point Six Hop IPA

By Todd Stauffer

Todd (with guest star Mukesh Kumar) reviews Six Hop IPA, a higher-alcohol beer with a suprisingly smooth flavor.

September 19, 2013

Beer Fridge #2: Lazy Magnolia Deep South Pale Ale

By Todd Stauffer

Todd checks out Lazy Mag's pale ale, including a little discussion of the name change.

September 10, 2013 | 1 comment

Beer Fridge #1: Devil's Harvest Extra Pale Ale

By Todd Stauffer

Todd reviews Devil's Harvest Pale Ale, a brew by Southern Prohibition and a staple in the JFP Beer Fridge.

March 22, 2013 | 3 comments

Hungry? Jackson foodies share dozens of favorite local dishes

By Donna Ladd

Just in time for the spring food issue of the Jackson Free Press next week, we asked on Facebook: What is your favorite dish at a locally owned restaurant in the Jackson area? What and where? We've gotten dozens of responses so far—and some great suggestions! Here they are:

Nicholas Scott Whitehead EVERYTHING at CS'S!!

ReBecca Christine McDonald Beef Shwarma at Petra's Cafe

Christopher Alan Burrow Fish Tacos at The Islander ate great!

Leah Murry Mine is a "wish they were still here" - it was the GT's fries (and shrimp po-boy) at Good Time Deli. How I wish they were still around! No one has fries like that. Sigh.

Zachary Murphy Any and everything at Keifers!!!

Lindsey George Chicken & Dressing at George's Museum Cafe!

Melissa Burks Dearman Red fish and scallops at the Mayflower. And of course the comeback dressing!

Mandy Montgomery Mullen Hey Leah Murry, I am TOTALLY with you on that! We actually make em at home now just so I can 'get my fix' My Favorite dish tho would have to be the Pork Belly Taco at Babalu...I could eat those EVERY DAY! Or Shrimp and Grits at Table 100, which changed my view on Greens for life! Man, I could do this all day...

Sarah Asmus My favorite dish is grits and grillades at Steve's Downtown Deli & Bakery. Or the chicken salad. Or any of the cookies. Or the focaccia bread.

David Martin Buchanan Fried chicken sandwich with portobello fries at Julep

Richard Laswell Camerones al a Diabla from El Portrillo's in Flowood.

Marilynne Nelson Gyro with mushrooms, mozz, and feta dressing instead of tzatziki from Keifer's.

Savanah Perry Pimento and cheese at Brent's!

Bridgette Iupe Thursday lunch plate at walkers meatloaf with Mac and cheese. Just makes me feel good.

Tasha Grayson Bibb Short ribs with garlic potatoes and creamed spinach at Char! Oh! And that cornbread.....

Janice Hogan Grilled salmon and oysters at Eslava's on Lakeland

Pam Keith Dollar Shrimp and Grits and Creme Brulee at Bon Ami - and Peach Tea too - can't forget that!

Dorothea Brock Red fish Anna, Walkers

Lonnie Ford Lamb chops at Aladdins grille

Ashley Cummins Jolly PM burger at Parlor market.

Happy O'Quinn Shrimp pasta at Sugar's Downtown

Duan Carter Pho @ Saigon, Turkey Burger from Cool Al's, Chicken from Two Sisters, Rib Tips & Hot Links from E&L BBQ, Supreme Pizza from Pizza Shack, last but not least Steak Burrito from the Valdez on Old Canton! I know you said one - but those are my favs - just keeping it real.

Duan Carter OH - off the cuff - Saigon is moving into the old Fazzoli's on Ridgewood Road, they are supposed to be moved in and rolling by May - they closed the location on County Line road. Good for me, bad for Rankin county - yes indeed!

Leah Murry @mandy montgomery mullen - I don't think I could make them at home to taste anything like Good Time Deli! ...

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