By Kara Kimbrough
Deciding to list some of my favorite restaurant dishes around the state was a little concerning. After all, everyone’s tastes are different and what may appeal to me may not be everyone’s idea of heaven on a plate. However, response was positive after the first two installments of can’t-miss dishes on the Gulf Coast and in the Pine Belt, so I’m ready to move on to the Jackson Metro Area.
There’s no way I can list them all, but here are a few on my and others’ top places to enjoy a meal or dessert.
My first pick is 100% nostalgia-based…I’ve written about Scrooge’s being one of the first restaurants I frequented after moving to Jackson after college. There’s something comforting about knowing the same Scrooge-Burger is still available (the location has changed, but I can get past that) for me whenever the urge to revisit the past arises. Topped with bacon, sauteed onions, mushroom gravy and chili, the massive burger quickly sends me back to a simpler time. Even better, the Scrooge-Burger is as good as the one I remember.
Scrooge’s Restaurant & Pub, 5829 Ridgewood Rd., Jackson. 601-206-1211.
Another Jackson landmark that has changed locations, but still serves up classic Italian dishes is Cerami’s. Since opening near the Reservoir in 1977, Cerami’s now holds court in Flowood, offering the familiar salad wagon and many of the same dishes, including my favorite, old-school spaghetti and meatballs.
Cerami’s, 5417 Lakeland Dr., Flowood. 601-919-2829.
If you read my column with any regularity, it’s pretty obvious I frequent Italian restaurants quite often and will choose a pasta meal before almost any other. One of my favorite places to indulge in my favorite cuisine is Biaggi’s in Ridgeland. The menu contains a multitude of delights, but my favorite has to be baked ziti al forno. It’s a delectable dish of pasta, shrimp, grilled chicken, caramelized onions, crispy pancetta, Italian cheese blend and lobster cream sauce.
Biaggi’s, 970 Highland Colony Parkway, Ridgeland. 601-354-6600.
You can actually indulge in this next treat in either Flowood or Madison – whichever one you choose, the deliciousness translates from one county to the next. Blue-plate specials draw diners from far and near, but it’s a thick slice of caramel cake that attracts me anytime I’m near either of these locations. Along with a hot cup of coffee in a thick Primos mug, it’s the perfect ending to any meal or anytime snack.
Primos Café, 2323 Lakeland Dr., Unit A, Flowood. 601-936-3701. Also 250 Baptist Dr., Madison. 601-853-3350.
If you’re in Madison and have worked up an appetite, a trip to Mama Hamil’s Southern Cooking & BBQ might be in order. Everyone raves about the massive buffet and sumptuous barbecue, but it’s Mama Hamil’s potato salad that brings me by. Picking up a container to go is never a bad idea anytime a special event is on the horizon. I can make the copycat version, but it’s not the same as the original.
Mama Hamil’s, 751 Hwy. 51, Madison. 601-856-4407.
Next week, I’ll venture further north to list some Delta delicacies, along with college town favorites.
Kara Kimbrough is a food and travel writer from Mississippi. Email her at [email protected].