Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Forkfuls of happiness

Two places to nosh in downtown Jackson that I thought I'd post about.

Years ago, I used to frequent the buffet at the Edison Walthall Hotel for lunch. It was quick, delicious, and reasonable. But then, as is the case at many historic hotels, the property began to show its age. Worse, the staff at the restaurant began treating patrons as if they were an inconvenience rather than a revenue stream. As a result, I stopped going there. (There are plenty of places in the downtown area that will take my money, feed me well, and treat me like a queen.)

I had such hope when I heard that the property had been purchased by new management and was being renovated. This week, I popped in to check out the restaurant, and you can color me impressed. First of all, the staff is friendly, professional and prompt. Secondly, the food is absolutely delicious. Third, prices are reasonable and on par with similar offerings in the downtown area.

Today, the buffet boasted chili, a full salad bar, lasagna, spagehtti, a variety of vegetables and breads, roast beef, and desserts. In addition, Wednesday is "pastabilities" day, where they have a fresh pasta bar. Basically, you choose your ingredients, noodles, and sauce, and the chef will create a pasta dish on order for you.

It's all yours for a standard price of about $10. If you haven't been lately, it is definitely worth checking out. I will be visiting often in the future.

I have also had the opportunity over the last few weeks to visit Taste of the Island, a new Caribbean restaurant on Capitol Street. (It's located in the old Blue Cafe space.) For a mere $7 you can get an entree with two sides, and an additional $2 buys you an authentic Jamaican soda. (I loved the pineapple soda and the cream soda.) So far, I've had the jerk chicken (spicy and lovely), the curry shrimp (delicious, and a very generous portion), and the meat pies (piping hot, with a wonderfully flaky crust).

For sides, you can't beat the rice and peas and the fried plantains. YUM. It's not the type of place I traditionally dine-in (it has more of a takeaway feel), but let's be honest here: with food this good and prices this cheap, who cares WHERE you eat it?

Go there asap!

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