Jackson, Mississippi is deservedly famous for its wide variety of local, family-owned restaurants. The city’s culinary legacy, a unique blend of cultural influences, is a large reason Jackson earned the nickname “city with soul.”
Local hot spots from Washington Addition and Farish Street to Midtown and Fondren provide more than enough choice for every palate. Simply put, if one is in search of authentic southern fare in Jackson, Miss., it isn’t hard to find.
That said, however, County Line road and I-55 is certainly not the place most people would think to look. The area is packed full of strip center shops and national chain restaurants, which—along with the shopping mall—draw enough of a daily crowd to make the traffic nearly unbearable by Jackson standards.
So it may come as a surprise to learn that one of the city’s best hidden gems lies nestled amongst the trees just off of the interstate on the west side of this busy intersection as you approach Tougaloo College.
If you’re looking for authentic soul food, Country Kitchen absolutely fits the bill. Its situated in a homey looking building that feels more like grandma’s kitchen than a commercial restaurant, and patrons sit at long folding tables that encourage socializing with one’s fellow diners. Unlimited refills on sweet tea are available from a huge cooler in the corner, making it all too easy to linger happily over a long, relaxed meal and a good chat with a friend, new or old.
You’ll definitely want to linger over the food. The buffet-style menu includes all the southern classics you won’t find north of the Mason-Dixon line, from turkey necks and pig feet to collard greens. And the plate lunch special (which is available all day, and “buy one get one half off” after 5pm) includes enough food to feed an army. But if you’re expecting to have leftovers you’ll likely be disappointed: mama’s advice to “clean your plate” is easy to follow when everything on it is this delicious.
A slice of cake from the dessert table finishes off the meal on the perfect note. If you’re too stuffed to eat one more bite, don’t worry; all the desserts are plated and wrapped ready to be carried out the door.
After a culinary experience this perfectly Southern, you’ll never want to go back to the national chain restaurants across the street.