Foodie Fathers | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Foodie Fathers

It all started on our Web site. Blogger JimNWR* started a forum thread, "Cool places to eat," which quickly attracted Men Who Like to Eat talking about their favorite Jackson haunts. Then, at our prompting, they started to exchange ideas about cool places to eat for Father's Day. Certainly sounded like a good idea: If you want to know where to take Dad, ask Dad. From casual dining to ritzy places, they gave the lowdown on dining.

It seems that almost everyone who posted on the blog liked some restaurant that doesn't boast steaks as their main attraction. Olga's, a Russian restaurant; Aladdin, Mediterranean; and Ruchi for Indian cuisine were some of the international picks. There were some disparaging comments about the "Dixie-Mex" that passes as Mexican food here, but just because there's a lack of authentic Mexican food in the area doesn't mean that you don't have a hankering for it. If you do, the closest you'll get to on-the-border fare is La Cazuela. Or you can just head on over to BullsEye Tamales. There's a limited menu, but there's little need to venture out when you have your specialities.

The list doesn't stop there. You want seafood? You've a plethora of places from which to chose for Dad to get his grub on, including Crechale's and Monte's. It takes special cooks to make a delectable Chinese dish like they do at Emperor's Palace and Dragon's Garden. Rico advises that Asian people make the best Asian food. I imagine this rule applies to the sushi at Sakura Bana (formerly Little Tokyo) and the soups at Saigon as well.

The men will certainly eat dishes from other countries, but they equally enjoy the food from their own backyards. Literally. As a matter of fact, Rico claims to be a "legend in my own backyard." One can only assume this means barbecue. Have you ever had grilled asparagus? JimNWR has. And by the time he was typing, "Not to brag," he was bragging mightily. The best ribeyes you could have put your mouth on—he grilled them, along with the asparagus and corn his wife prepared.

The bloggers weren't thrilled with the "ribbing" they took from our editor about veggie riblets. Some of the responses were lukewarm. Millhouse said, "I'd try it at least once. … [T]here's just nothing like a big slab of barebecued pork." Rico, on the other hand, was "speechless" at the thought of such a thing.

If for some reason, on Sunday, you don't have time to prepare juicy steaks or ribs on the grill yourself, let Tico's, Shapley's, Huntington Grille or Pig Out Inn give you a good substitute until you have time to dedicate to making that special marinade of yours.

It seems counterintuitive that a man would prepare his own meal for Father's Day, so what places are friendly to kids' wallets? Well, we're back to American standards with Steak Out, Rooster's and Stamps Superburgers. You can also find good food with a casual dining atmosphere at Buffalo Wild Wings, Mudbugs, the Mayflower or Cherokee. And if the chips off the old block have wallets that are lined with just a little more cash, give pizza with an unexpected topping a try at Old Venice.

Of course, more restaurants were named than the ones sited here. Suggestions were made as late as 9:28 p.m. Monday night, but you get the point. There's little reason to run to the store and pick up a gift that you've given little thought to when you and your father, step-father, father figure or just a man you really like can be dining in a local restaurant where someone else has to do all of the cooking and cleaning for a change.

By the way, when evening comes, and it's time for Dad and you, his special someone, to sit and have a glass of wine, stop by McDade's Wine and Spirits or Briarwood Mart Package Store on your way home. Overall, the men seemed pretty disappointed in the wine lists at restaurants, but said there's always a good bartender on duty at Shapley's. If you've had enough being out, though, Jimmy Hendrix says for a dynamite red wine, try Dynamite. Let it breathe a full hour, ignore the corny name and enjoy.

Visit the Features Blog for more food ideas or to give your input.

Olga's, 601.992.1092.
Aladdin's Mediterranean Grill, 601.366.6033.
Sakura Bana, 601991.3800.
La Cazuela, 601.353.3014.
Crechale's, 601.355.1840.
Monte's Steak & Seafood, 601.362.8182.
Steak Out, 601.366.1100.
Rooster's, 601.982.2001.
Stamp's Superburger, 601.352.4555.
Buffalo Wild Wings, 601.856.0788.
Mudbugs, 601.992.5225.
Huntington Grille, 601.957.1515.
Saigon, 601.420.4848.
McDade's Wine and Spirits, 601.366.5676.
Mayflower, 601.355.4122.
Old Venice, 601.366.6872.
Briarwood Mart Package Store, 601.956.5816.
Tico's, 601.956.1030

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