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 msmuseumart.org or find 'sipp Sourced on Facebook.
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.
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 surinofthailand.com, 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.
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.
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:
Todd reviews Napa Smith Lost Dog, an American red ale from California.
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.
Todd reviews Sam Adams' seasonal Oktoberfest offering and is pleased to find a drinkable amber lager in an attractive, recyclable can.
Todd (with guest star Mukesh Kumar) reviews Six Hop IPA, a higher-alcohol beer with a suprisingly smooth flavor.
Todd checks out Lazy Mag's pale ale, including a little discussion of the name change.
Todd reviews Devil's Harvest Pale Ale, a brew by Southern Prohibition and a staple in the JFP Beer Fridge.
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! ...