As I approach my Jackson arrival anniversary date this spring (Earth Day 2013 was the big, memorable, cold day), I’m looking back on all the dining experiences of the past 9 months after receiving Rebecca Calkins’ 16 Days of Jackson foodie collaboration piece.
My Top 10 dining experiences in Jackson County
10. Schlenker’s cheeseburger for lunch (had the pleasure two times already)
9. Knight’s lunch specials (too many to list)
8. Reuben pizza at the Beach Bar on Clark Lake
7. El Mariachi burrito at Chilango’s
6. Spinach salad followed by mussels at Grand River Marketplace
5. Stuffed burger at Blue Moon Cafe
4. Muffin toast egg, swiss and bacon sandwich at BZB
3. The Dahlem veggie burger sandwich at Pickle Barrel
2. Sunday brunch at One Five One (fried chicken and waffles!)
1. Sticky burger at Night Light
My Top 9 most memorable dining moments
9. my first Jackson Coney, prepared with beef heart. I can’t believe I ate the whole thing and I won’t do it again.
8. every dining experience under Sue Chapel’s guidance at the Cascades Manor House. Many lunches and several dinners have all lived up and exceeded expectations.
7. Polish breakfast at Bone Island Grill benefiting Disabilities Connections
6. Headliners fashion show and Jackson Rotary Holiday Bash at Grand River Marketplace … great fellowship, loads of delicious food and Fun!
5. Sunday brunch at One Five One benefiting Jackson Rotary. From my loaded veggie omelette to the fried chicken and waffle, every taste was surely satisfying.
4. Soups at Blue Moon Cafe — pork, sauerkraut and bean or spinach and bacon, or any of the other signature combinations make for winter treat.
3. Soups at Night Light — the french onion is the signature, but the other varieties prove the voters at the 1st annual Soup Bowl got it right by choosing the one and only Night Light.
2. The best breakfast sandwich in town, hands down: BZB’s muffin toast egg sandwich. I’ve tried it with pepper jack or swiss with bacon. I’m stuck on the swiss option for now and never order anything else on their loaded menu.
1. Cascades Ice Cream Company. A root beer float and two coneys. And my $8.25 IOU inspiring a “How Jackson of You” speech, leading to 16 Days of Jackson and rodmalloy.com
Here is Rebecca’s One Five One review –
For a small to medium town, Jackson has a lot of restaurants. In fact, I’ve heard that Jackson has a very high restaurant per capita ratio. Us Jacksonians, we love to go out to eat. Jackson is a town of foodies, some blue collar steak and potatoes kinds of foodies, some gourmet filet mignon kind of foodies and sometimes both. We love our restaurants in Jackson. It’s always a hot topic when a restaurant is closing or a new restaurant is coming to town.
Being a foodie myself I am always looking to try the newest restaurants and newest dishes. So when I was planning a celebratory dinner I had to try out one of the newer restaurants in Jackson, One Five One. In fact, I heard they had a new menu with lower prices! Bonus! Now I’ll admit I wasn’t the biggest fan of the restaurant that occupied this location before, but I must say the menu has improved significantly as One Five One. We started with appetizers of course. The first was Goat Cheese Cake, goat cheese baked in a garlic tomato sauce garnished with two black olives, creating a delicious face staring up at me. Served with toasted bread to smear the delicious combination on I was in heaven. Our second appetizer was fried asparagus and I must say I am always a big fan of taking anything healthy and making it delicious and slightly less good for you.
For my drink I decided I wanted to try a Dirty Martini because I have always wanted to try one and well I love olives. It was very olive-y to say the least but it was definitely a good pour and now I can check that off the bucket list.
For the main course I got a classic, One Five One Filet Mignon. I got my 6 ounce filet a little red at medium and with the classic baked potato, it was perfection. For those of you that don’t want your cow still mooing my dining companions were happy with their well-done steaks as well.
On to the dessert… The flourless chocolate torte was as rich and decadent as expected served with a raspberry sauce and a dollop of whip cream. The white chocolate bread pudding was topped with a crème anglaise, or a delicious custard-y sauce, and more whip cream.
Overall One Five One is not nearly as highfalutin as you might think. The menu is as identifiable and relatable as your average steakhouse or full service chain yet fancy enough to make you feel like you are truly having a night on the town.
I did make it back for lunch and, me being me, I did order the most unique thing on the menu, duck lettuce wraps. But my more traditional dining companions were still able to find something to suit their palettes.
There are a lot of great new restaurants around Jackson with Grand River Marketplace, Chase Bar & Grill, Chilango’s Burrito Bar and even down in Brooklyn with The Pointe and Shady’s Tap Room, great Michigan beer on tap and a really delicious Reuben sandwich on the menu.
Or new to me when I finally made a stop at South Side Deli for what claims to be the best steak hoagie in Jackson. It was amazing by the way but order ahead if you are stopping at lunchtime. It seems many more people know about this best kept secret than I thought.
So whether you are the kind of foodie with a highfalutin flourless chocolate torte kind of palette or a blue collar greasy spoon steak hoagie kind of palette or both, Jackson has something to satisfy everyone’s tastes. Go to http://www.experiencejackson.com/restaurants/ to find your new favorite Jackson restaurant.