Jackson’s achieves cutting edge, comfort food.  

By Jan Walsh 

Photography by Beau Gustafson


Sometimes dining is an adventure. I discover new foods, new preparations, and new restaurants. But it is always nice to have places to “come home to,” such as Jackson’s Bar and Bistro. Slipping into a big, black booth, near the wood burning oven on this late Saturday morning, I take a look at the menu and am comforted—not bored—by my choices. Stuffed jalapenos, a pizza with an egg on top, a seasonal side of squash casserole, even fried ice cream—and 70 dishes to choose among. 


Brews of Peroni and Pabst Blue Ribbon are chosen and arrive icy cold with chilled glasses. We pair them with Texas Lollipops and Fried Green Tomatoes for a fried heaven beginning. The “lollipops” are actually enormous, panko-fried jalapenos stuffed with a divine house made pimiento cheese and topped with a flavorful comeback sauce. I fall in love with these spicy, creamy peppers at first bite, eat more than my share, and will be back for more. The cornmeal-breaded tomatoes have a thin, golden crispy crust that adheres well and locks the juiciness of the tomato inside. And the delicious, horseradish cream sauce adds an unexpected bite to the dish. 


For our mains we select a Cowboy Pizza and Chicken Fried Chicken. This cheesy breakfast style pizza is chock full of country ham, crisp bacon and melted mozzarella with a sunny side up egg crowning the center. So the next time you are tempted to have the cold, leftover pizza in the fridge for breakfast, think, “hot Cowboy Pizza at Jacksons.” The substantial, boneless chicken breast is beautiful and of a high quality bird, fried to a golden crisp and served with black pepper, cream gravy—like your grandmother’s—atop on a large bed of scrumptious, Parmesan mashed potatoes. With a menu that made our eyes bigger than our stomachs, we did not save room for dessert.  But there was no need because we left both full and fulfilled. 


More than seven years has passed since Tom Sheffer opened Jackson’s Bar and Bistro in Homewood’s SoHo Square on September 11, 2006. He might not have chosen a worse day in history to open. But that did not stop the restaurant’s success of Sheffer’s second Jackson’s. The original one opened in Nashville in 2000. 


The restaurant boasts a full bar, loft for private dining and overflow from the main dining space, and an expansive, people watching patio, which seats 100. Jackson’s is open seven days a week, offers full brunch and lunch every Saturday and Sunday, lunch specials of regular menu items at a discount, dinner and late night. 


Published, April 1, 2014, Favorite