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For our recent trip to Houston, we decided to eschew the easy fast food at the interstate exits and follow our stomachs (and John T. Edge’s advice) to good, local food whenever and wherever we got hungry on the trip. The hunger pangs first hit us around supper time as we were getting into Jackson, MS. After reading up on the city’s offerings in Southern Belly, we took a vote and unanimously decided to have our supper at Crechale’s.
After following our trusty GPS, we pulled up to a homey old building with a full parking lot. This was obviously a local favorite — always a good sign. We walked in the door, and I stepped back in time. Crechale’s could be the Jackson outpost of my grandfather’s favorite old Memphis restaurant, the long gone but never forgotten Anderton’s. The decor was firmly late 1950s with that classic steak and seafood restaurant feel that you can only get from a restaurant that’s not decorated that way for the sake of kitsch. Crechale’s, like Anderton’s, found something that worked and has stuck with it ever since.
I remember plenty of early meals at Anderton’s where I learned to eat raw oysters from my grandfather in secret since my mother and grandmother weren’t even willing to eat them cooked. It was his favorite place to meet his friends and have a very rare beer. I loved tagging along and getting to hear all of their stories from back in the day.
Crechale’s has that feel. If I squinted hard, I could see little me sitting there. The food was simple and delicious. No choice on salad dressing; you get the homemade (delicious) thousand island that is waiting for you on every table. The steaks are well cooked and generously sized, the fried shrimp are addictive, and my fried flounder was perfectly seasoned and huge enough to have fed us all. The baked potatoes wore nicely salted skins and the onion rings are legendary.
What really sets Crechale’s apart is the management. Manager Juanita Jenkins and owner Bob Crechale make a point of greeting guests. When they learned that we had followed Southern Belly to their door, they were more than happy to share a story or two with us and provided the best blueberry pie that we’ve had in a while. We even got them to autograph our copy of Southern Belly. And it’s not just John T. They’re tops in our book too.
3107 Highway 80 W
Jackson, MS 39204