We really did it! We ate at fifty local restaurants in a year! And guess what? We're doing it again! Yep, we're challenging you to join us in hitting 100 local meals by spring of 2018. Where have we been so far, you ask? Winter has brought so many opportunities to cozy up for some of Jackson's best comfort food. Check out Katie Howerton's play-by-play below.
1110 Vann Drive | 731.506.3530 | $$
Who's up for some chips and salsa? Casa Adobe offers a wide variety of traditional Mexican classics like flautas, tamales, chalupas—even huevos rancheros for breakfast and churros for dessert! Lunch prices run $5-$8, dinner $9-$12. Or pair a few $3-$5 a la carta items plenty big enough to fill your appetite.
550 Carriage House Drive | 731.668.4937 | $$$
Pile on the pasta, please! Old Town Spaghetti Store is the perfect place for a classic Italian date for $12-$18, but don't miss their lunch menu! Favorites like lasagna, tortellini, and chicken parmesan for just $9, including a salad and that addictive bread. (And yes, you're allowed to go halfsies on sauces if you're indecisive like us.) Or go the extra mile and order a veal or steak dinner under $25, perfect with a drink from the bar and some tiramisu for dessert.
507 North Royal Street | 731.427.6468 | $
It doesn't get much better than $6 for fried chicken, corn cakes, and two sides, huh? Royal Reed's cafeteria-style country cookin' may be the most affordable in Jackson, but the glamorous setting is fit for royalty. Everything Thursday brings Thanksgiving favorites, and Fridays are for fish and ribs. Keep in mind they're only open on weekdays, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., but you can always get them to cater your next event. And make sure to say hi to the friendliest staff in town; they'll be sure to make you feel like family.
1160 Vann Drive | 731.668.3528 | $$$$
Flatiron may be best known for their gourmet dinners and sophisticated Sunday brunch, but their lunch salads, sandwiches, and plates have all the fabulous flavors for a $10 budget. Whether choosing the chicken caesar wrap, French dip, or the newly added Southern chicken club, most meals come with chips (or substitute fries or the soup du jour) and a free drink. As far as dinner goes, make sure to budget $20 to $40 a person for mouthwatering meals like wild mushroom risotto, Atlantic salmon, and their various steaks and chops. Brunch prices are similar to lunch and include classics like croissant florentine, eggs benedict, and french toast.
660 Carriage House Drive | 731.736.3273 | $$$
This bowl of ramen is pretty much bottomless, the tastiest we've found in West Tennessee, and just $12! Zen Japanese Steakhouse specializes in hibachi, sushi, and authentic Japanese favorites like tempura, negimaki, sashimi. Rolls run from $5 makis to $12 specialties, and entrees tend to cost $12-$20. But don't miss their lunch specials of $10 hibachi, $9 bento boxes, or even three rolls plus soup/salad for just $12!
621 Old Hickory Boulevard, Suite J1 | 731.668.6980 | $$
Who wants a bite of this torta overflowing with goodness? El Mezcal offers authentic Mexican food both in their extensive grocery and intimate dining room. Whether choosing a variety of tacos like buche, chorizo, and tongue or ordering favorites like milanesa, chircharrones, or mole poblano, your meal is sure to satisfy a hungry stomach and a low budget. Ranging $5-$10 for lunch and dinner, you might have enough extra cash for a Mexican soda and popsicle from the grocery.
195 Carriage House Drive | 731.664.6678 | $$
Carriage House Antique Market is sure a fun, eclectic collection of the past, but the café is just as much of a delight! Whether choosing their strawberry salad, salsa pimento cheese, chicken salad, or one of their four fabulous quiches, their quaint $8-$11 meals perfect in their charming, antique-lined dining room. Plus, it's open seven days a week, and their from-scratch desserts are sure to satisfy any sweet tooth—how does banana pudding, chocolate cobbler, or a cakeball sound?
215 East Baltimore Street | 731.423.3359
933 Airways Boulevard | 731.300.4790
3059 Bells Highway | 731.664.1030 | $$
If you're craving a good burger, mean steak, or hearty patty melt, Dixie Castle is your place. Open 10:30am - 2:00pm Monday through Friday, their lunches will only cost you $3-$8 but are sure to fill you up. Their unique $6.50 daily specials include favorites like meatloaf, pork tenderloin, and Salisbury steak, but don't miss out on a generous side of onion rings and a scrumptious slice of lemon ice box pie.
4 Stonebridge Boulevard | 731.660.0603 | $$$
Bring on the burritos! Coyote Blues is a Jackson favorite, which might explain its popularity at its three other locations in Louisiana and Mississippi. Although they have no lunch-specific menu, but most favorite items from poblano chicken to shrimp and grits to their quickly expanding taco menu range from $9-$14, not to mention the free, endless chips and addictive salsas. Can't decide what to get? Check out their fan faves on the front of the menu.
630 Hollywood Drive | 731.265.9771 | $
Go get your pic with the hot pink pig at Mac's BBQ—but don't think they've only got pulled pork; be sure to try their catfish, bologna, and polish sausages, too. While sandwiches and individual items run $3-$5, you can add a drink and sides like potato salad, baked beans, or slaw for just a few bucks more. And you better believe they've got three kinds of chess pie for the perfect dessert.
584 Carriage House Drive | 731.660.3838 | $$$
How does ribs, some red beans & rice, and maybe even a piña colada? Redbone's has flavors of both Memphis and New Orleans, ranging from oysters and catfish to bacon-wrapped shrimp and gator bites. Their diverse lunch menu offers customer favorites from $6-$10, sandwiches and burgers all run $7-$9, and dinner entrees range $12-$16 (unless you're craving one of their $26 ribeyes). And don't forget to grab something from their bar.
1037 Union University Drive | 731.660.6595 | $$
Yeah, we're pretty sure this Boom Boom Chicken is the definition of finger-lickin' good! Mulligan's is an Irish pub with hearty soups, unforgettable burgers and sandwiches, and a full bar, of course. Try their monthly lunch specials for just $8, or explore the rest of the fun menu for just a few bucks more. (How does an Irish pizza quesadilla, St. Patty melt, or PB&J burger sound?) Check out their music scene sometime soon, and be on the lookout for their new location!
Want to join us in taking on the #OurJacksonTable challenge to try fifty MORE different local restaurants by spring of 2018? Click here to learn more.
Originally from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Katie Howerton moved to Jackson in 2011 to study Graphic Design and Drawing at Union University. She discovered Our Jackson Home in January 2015 and used it as a guinea pig for her senior design project, creating the first issue of Our Jackson Home: The Magazine. After graduating she was given leadership over Our Jackson Home at theCO, where she now runs the blog, designs the magazine, and coordinates events. She and her husband Jordan live in Midtown and are active members of City Fellowship Baptist Church.
Photography by Katie Howerton.