The Restaurant: One Block East has an interesting story as it isn’t a traditional restaurant, but rather one of the hidden dive bar treasures just above the old industrial district in Downtown Jackson. Located on Tombigbee Street next to George Bell Rugs, One Block East is where festive meets food. In 2014, One Block East got its start in the aftermath of one of Jackson’s most popular annual attractions, formerly Mal’s, now Hal’s St. Paddy’s Day Parade. Inspiring the nightlife scene of Orleans and bringing the late-night dining options Jacksonians can appreciate, One Block East is one block party for all who love live music, a festive atmosphere, and good food. The signage throughout this venue lives up to its lively, never-ending party atmosphere. Open 7 days a week, One Block East guarantees all day happy hour, drink specials, and live music/notable DJs every day. The kitchen is open in the evenings and, to my delight, remains open until 2 am.
The Menu: One Block East is home of the Bad Ass Burger (sorry, Mom!) and other tantalizing platters and sides. If you’re up for a gut busting food challenge, One Block East has you covered with its Brave Heart Burger Challenge. The challenge is a steep one, daring brave tummies, and withstanding hearts, to 18 ounces of beef fully dressed with pepper jack cheese, jalapenos, and house sauce. As if the burger is not enough, it also comes with a side of seasoned fries. If you finish it in 10 minutes, the meal is free. Otherwise it runs you $20 and the cost of bragging rights.
Other menu items include southwest egg rolls, a wide assortment of Bad Ass Burgers, lots of fried deliciousness covered in chili and cheese, some sandwiches, and a grilled chicken salad if you’re looking for lower calorie items. But, who would come here for that when you have six Bad Ass Burgers to choose from?
The Food: I selected the Comeback Jack Burger, which included a fully dressed burger with pepper jack cheese, a fried egg, and topped with Bad Ass Secret Sauce (sorry again, Mom!). I went with the traditional seasoned fries for my side. I requested my meal to go, as I was not prepared for a late evening of party life, though I will say, they appeared to be gearing up for quite the party when I arrived. Justin appeared from the kitchen and greeted me with my order. He asked me to check it for correctness and to ensure the burger was prepared to my satisfaction. When I took a bite of my burger, it was an instant party in my mouth – not just the dance floor. The patty is hand-pressed and grilled to your satisfaction. The sauce was not a traditional Mississippi Comeback sauce, but it had all the makings of traditional comeback sauce with an added kick. If the midnight burger hunger strikes me in the middle of the night, I’m giving One Block East a run and I’m coming back (literally) to try some of the other burgers soon.
The Service: I placed my to-go order with Letrice, who was very accommodating and polite. I’m not sure if I had “newbie just looking for food” written all over my forehead, but Letrice went out of her way to ensure I was comfortable as I awaited my meal.