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Ethnic Food in Jackson MS

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What's available? Authentic Mexican? Ethiopian? Thai? Vietnamese? I want to hear about it all.

Thanks,

Megan

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  1. Authentic Mexican might me a little hard to find, as will be Ethopian, but there is at least one place for the other ethnic foods.

    Thai house

    1405 Old Square Rd
    Jackson, MS 39211
    (601) 982-9991

    and Saigon is the only place I know for pho and other Vietnamese foods.

    2640 Lakeland Dr, Jackson, MS 39232-8823

    1. Spice Avenue on the I-55 frontage road (just North of Northside Drive, don't confuse with other Indian place just North of Spice Avenue) has great Indian food and Taqueria La Guadalupe on Old Canton just past County Line has fantastic tacos.

      1 Reply
      1. re: JaneWinston

        Had lunch today at Taqueria La Guadalupe with the wife....Very friendly and polite service!
        The Taco Combo was as fresh as a morning dew. Beef, Chicken, and pork --- I could see the difference, but not taste it. All were good --- With a little salt, a squeeze of lime, and one or both of the sauces on the table they became very good!! I wanted corn tortillas, but forgot to tell the lady, so they came out flour. The wife, not a fan of the cuisine went with a chicken burrito...again very fresh ingredients. Her comments were positive, after a dash of salt.
        I will definitely drop by again...There are several other items on the menu that I want to try...
        Taqueria La Guadalupe is refreshing....

        Enjoy!!

      2. Thank you both! There's a chance my husband is getting transferred there so I'm trying to figure out the food scene.

        Are there any chefs in the area that focus on local and seasonal ingredients? Any other suggestions in general for outstanding food?

        1. Here's a link to a previous discussion about Jackson food. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/480511 I'd second JW's La Guadalupe rec, and Mint is a place not discussed in the original post that I've enjoyed -- although I've only had lunch there. As for chefs who seem to use a lot of local ingredients, Derek Emerson at Walker's and the guy at Ro Chez frequently source local products.

          22 Replies
          1. re: pkimble

            The tacos at La Guadalupe are so fresh, it makes me not want to eat anything else. Good thing it's a whole 7 miles from where I live or I'd have eaten there every day and burned out on them already.

            And this is weird - the taco salads at Baptist Hospital on Wednesdays make a good lunch for a little more than $4.00.

            1. re: JaneWinston

              Jane, you were the first person to turn me on to Spice Avenue- for this reason, I will eat lunch at La Guadalupe tomorrow (today, actually), even though we are going to a birthday party at a Mexican place tomorrow night!

              1. re: Clarkafella

                You'll love it ( I forgot, the tacos also come topped with fresh avocado) and I'm willing to bet the food won't bear any resemblance to what you eat tonight.

                Someone told me that the Mexican place behind Sal and Phil's was also good but I've yet to try it. .

                1. re: JaneWinston

                  I'm sure that it will be wonderful! It seems to me like almost all of the "Mexican" restaurants in the area use the exact same recipes and the exact same canned goods for their ingredients. It will be wonderful to try something new!

                  Since this thread is about "ethnic" food, have you tried the Big Apple's fare? Great hot tamales, an "interesting" house made sausage sandwich (not what you might expect, but for $1.05, worth taking a chance on- I love 'em), and the thing that they are famous for- the pig ear sandwich. I'm scared to try them but I've heard they are good!

                  1. re: Clarkafella

                    I haven't but I will try the tamales on your recommendation. Seems like the Big Apple Inn got some national press coverage recently for the pig ear sandwiches. I think they have an outpost across the street from my neighborhood in Triangle Mart on State Street.

                    1. re: JaneWinston

                      If people are looking for good tamales, my vote goes to Tony's Tamales on Woodrow Wilson.

                    2. re: Clarkafella

                      Here's the piece on the pig ear sandwiches at Big Apple Inn.

                      http://gardenandgun.com/blog/squeamish

                      I love "Garden and Gun" magazine.

                      1. re: JaneWinston

                        Wow, weird! We subscribe to G&G! This month's issue has an article about the Shack Up Inn!

                        1. re: Clarkafella

                          Did you make it by La Guadalupe? Those tacos are not what all the other Mexican restaurants in town mean by taco.

                          1. re: JaneWinston

                            I did- you are 2 for 2 in my book! I got the combo (one pork, one beef and one marinated steak taco), and all three were great- good thing too, 'cause I don't know which was which!

                            Have you tried their tortas? Someone else had ordered one, and it looked really good too. I want to go back and try one- and I probably will on Monday...

                            1. re: Clarkafella

                              I haven't tried anything but the tacos but I've seen the soup and it looks delicious too.

                              If this is real Mexican food then I say bring it on! They are open 7 days a week which is nice.

                              1. re: JaneWinston

                                Yes, I think that this is closer to the real thing- I eat at a place in Memphis (Los Tortugas?) that is supposed to be "authentic" and that was the first thing I thought about here. I talked to a couple of the ladies behind the counter though- one was from Colombia and one was from Peru, so I would guess that they might be adding their own little touches to some of the stuff- for example, the chicken soup was a Colombian recipe I think...

                                Anyway, it sure is good to move away from the norm in Mexican food around here- thanks for the tip! Now if we could just get Ethiopian...

                                1. re: Clarkafella

                                  I'll let you know if I stumble on some great Ethiopian food in Jackson but I wouldn't hold my breath. We were discussing on Tom Freeland's blog the other day about how the Thai House has gone downhill.

                                  1. re: JaneWinston

                                    Sorry to hear that- Thai House always seemed hit or miss to me anyway. The last time we ate there, we had both the red curry and the green curry, and both were wonderful! I ate the same stuff on the lunch buffet once and it was total yuck...

                                    1. re: Clarkafella

                                      Maybe I should try ordering off the menu, then.

                                      1. re: JaneWinston

                                        You haven't been? There is a *big* difference in what you get- at least it was for us! Been a little while since we've been there though.

                                        You mentioned eating at Baptist Hospital- do you ever go to Pizza Shack? They have a great roast beef sandwich- good pizza too!

                                        1. re: Clarkafella

                                          Spent all day blogging about tacos so had them for dinner. Heaven.

                                          Pizza Shack is great.

                                          1. re: JaneWinston

                                            Good for you- we had Mexican from one of the 800 clones in the area....

                                            1. re: Clarkafella

                                              For whatever it is worth, took my wife and her sister there for lunch today. Had tacos and empanadas. Again, everything was wonderful!

                                              He said that on Sunday they do a special Colombian chicken dish that sounded really good. Don't think I can make it for three days in a row! I did ask him if they had tostones- even though they aren't on the menu, he said just to ask- they would be happy to cook some up!

                                              1. re: Clarkafella

                                                I stopped by there around 1 after getting a pedicure down the street. I was determined to get the chicken soup but was told they only have that on weekdays. I happily settled for tacos.

                                                I'm cooking lunch for my Dad tomorrow otherwise I'd drag my boyfriend there for my third meal in three days but maybe we can get dinner there. And then the chicken soup on Monday night.

                                  2. re: Clarkafella

                                    I live in Memphis, and I like Las Tortugas. Even though it's in a strip mall out in a suburb, the owner makes everything as authentic as possible. He has fresh produce delivered daily.

                                    1. re: megany09

                                      Oh, I like Las Tortugas too! That's what I was saying- this place reminds me of Las Tortugas, so I think that it is pretty authentic. And they also make everything fresh- to the point of slicing the avocado right on to their tacos after you order one- just like LT!

              2. Went by La Guadalupe to check out today's special. It was Arroz con pollo served with chicken soup on the side. Unfortunately, they had sold out by lunch and since I didn't get there until 5 p.m. I was forced to eat the incredible tacos instead. Maybe next time. I'm still dying to try one of their soups since I am a major soup fan.

                3 Replies
                1. re: JaneWinston

                  It seems like I am on my own here, but I am not very impressed with Guadalupe (and I love taqueria-style tacos). Has anyone tried La Morena on Old Canton? I have been hearing about it a lot recently and Carpe Jackson recently put up a very favorable review ( http://carpejackson.com/2009/10/28/la... ).

                  1. re: nekst

                    I've tried La Morena and felt like their tacos were very much inferior rto the ones at La Guadalupe. The ones at La Guadalupe are LOADED with meat and fresh vegetables.

                    One warning, don't try the Tres Leches cake unless you are prepared to be addicted.

                    1. re: JaneWinston

                      Guadalupe is where we go for Mexican food, but we have ventured across the street to La Morena as well. The food was good just a bit more dressed-down, and two of us ate for under $20.

                2. Omonia Deli & Bakery is a Columbian/Mexican family owned place on County Line Road between Northpark & Tico's. They also owns Omonia Deli & Bakery in Pearl, Hwy 80 (behind the cool looking 2 story concrete Trustmark). They say if you want authentic go to the place with the native customers. Omonia is a truely authentic, most excellent Mexican-Colombian food unlike anything else in the area. They have things you might expect AND breakfast, cactus, baby goat tacos, plantains, Pork-Skin Tacos, Beef Stomach Tacos, ox tripe, tongue tacos, baleadas (a Honduran specialty), sincronizadas (a type of grilled quesadilla), Moyetes (toast with toppings) & all the crazy fruit juices, to show you how unlike any other Latino restaurant in the area they are. The Torta/Sandwich bread is baked fresh daily for the 16 sandwiches on the menu. The pastries & all their breads are excellent & very fresh. So technically the place is a Columbian Bakery & Deli, but its mainly a restaurant. The Cuban sandwich (see images) with 6 kinds of meat is amazing (ham, steak, pork loin, grilled hot dog AND scrambled eggs with chorizo and mexican cheese on one sandwich in a fantastically grilled bread). It's served with the best Chipolte sauce I have ever had in my life, You must put this on your sandwich or whatever you get! When you sit down you get fresh chips and amazingly flavorful salsa, but save room. The grilled Honey Ham Sincronizada (quesadilla) is great. Or I thought it was until I tried the Moyete (mexican toast) with Chicken & beans. Again, the bread is out of site. This thing is a must try! It is freakin' fantastic. The chips and salsa, the Chicken Moyete, & Cuban Sandwich, with a cinnamon-apple pastry is the best meal I've had in many moons. You need to check this place out and support it often! Check out the menu in the images: 1 page is sandwiches, page 2 are the breakfast, steak, chicken, pork & taco dishes. Also worth checking out is the Mexican breakfast like the Heuvos Con Chorizo, Fried Honey Ham & Pineapple sandwich, Spiced Pork Tacos, great spicey saucey dishes, Beef Brisket Sandwich with Cilantro & Onion.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: hwsnell

                    The best ethnic we've had in a while is Ruchi India, on County Line Road (next to Beagle Bagel). We love Indian and think it's the best - they moved from somewhere else, and this new place is really nice inside, and pretty. The service is really attentive, and they have a great lunch buffet for around $10 during the week if you want to try a variety of items. We eat lunch there once every week or so at the buffet, but we went the other night and pigged out off the menu - amazing! Butter chicken, lamb curry, curried chickpeas, spiced okra, and the variety lentil - and it comes with free soup (tomato/curiander - yummy) and rice and garlinc naan (I would butcher the Indian names of these if I tried). We got ALL of that food for about $50, and almost killed ourselves trying to eat it all. We've been to Spice World a few times and it's ok too - but this place rocks, and we hope it makes it. Everyone should try it and pass the word! Good luck with Mexican - I'm originally from Texas, and have tried all the places mentioned above with disappointment. Papitos in Madison is a chain, but it's decent, and Taqueria... on Old Canton is ok as well. Good luck!

                    -----
                    Ruchi India
                    5101 I 55 N, Jackson, MS 39206

                    The County Line Bar
                    6525 Highway 6 E, Marks, MS 38646

                    Beagle Bagel Cafe
                    898 Avery Blvd N, Ridgeland, MS 39157

                    1. re: foodatty

                      I am from Texas as well and finding authentic Mexican food here is almost impossible. The majority of the people here have been held hostage by places like El Charro, El Patrillo, etc. which in my opinion are horrible. One of the first indications of a good Mexican food place is if they make their own tortilla chips and don't throw down a basket of crappy corn chips that are from a bag. The best places I have found are Fernando's in Brandon (ask for their spicy green salsa), Jose's Tamales in Pearl, and Casadores on 51. (Spelling may not be accurate)

                      -----
                      Jose's Tamales
                      136 S Pearson Rd, Pearl, MS 39208

                      El Charro
                      1937 E Main St, Ville Platte, LA 70586

                      1. re: m1ellison

                        Been to La Guadalupe on Old Canton Road just north of County Line? Or Omonia on County Line? At Guadalupe, when you order a taco they have to make the tortilla first!

                        -----
                        The County Line Bar
                        6525 Highway 6 E, Marks, MS 38646

                        1. re: Clarkafella

                          Yes, I have tried both and I love them. They are more of a Taco stand than a traditional full menu Mexican restaurant. The tacos at both places are real cantina style tacos. I fear that Omonia will go out of business because it does not ever have a lunch crowd. I think most people expect the tacos to be like the tacos from the typical generic Mexican food places here that are hard shelled with regular ground beef.

                  2. I ate at a Mexican place recently that I doubt anyone else on this board has tried - Taqueria Guanjuato (sp?) It is on Terry Road near Highway 80 in one of those seedy motels. Very authentic and very delicious. They serve grilled cactus with your tacos, and have brain and tongue in addition to the usual suspects (al pastor, chorizo, etc).

                    1. There is a new Ethiopian Restaurant open in Jackson and from my understanding, they have a buffet at lunch just like Spice Avenue. The name of the place is Abeba (pronounced "ah-buh-bah"). It is in the old "Last-Call Sports Bar" location.

                      You can also find the menu on facebook.

                      I am actually going to try it today.

                      -----
                      Spice Avenue
                      4711 I 55 N, Jackson, MS 39206

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: m1ellison

                        Ooh, keep us posted on how Abeba is - where is the old Last Call bar? (I'm not from this area). There's also a new mexican restaurant that, while not authentic, is supposed to be tasty and a little more upscale - it's in the Colony at Township by the Viking store in Ridgeland. And there 's a new fusion place on Lakeland (maybe it's called Fusion or something like that?) with 1/2 of its menu Thai - and the Thai food is actually supposed to be good. Haven't tried either, but will post when I do.

                        1. re: foodatty

                          The day we tried Abeba they had a power outage. I was finally able to try Abeba a few days ago. Their lunch buffet is all vegetarian which is great for a vegetarian. I eat meat and this probably would not have bothered me if there had been a greater selection on the buffet. I decided to order a meat based dish from the menu and I ordered the "Tibs Fit Fit" which is a beef dish that is mixed with their injera bread. I was very disappointed. The ratio of bread (mixed in) to the beef was way overboard and I found myself poking around in the mixture in hopes of finding a morsel of beef. Do not get this dish! While I was prospecting my dish in a search for a meaty nugget, a sizzling dish of large chunks of meat went to another table. Then the aroma floated our way and prompted me to summon our waitress. I asked what dish it was that had just went by and it was the "Beg Tibs" which is a lamb dish.

                          There were four of us in our party and overall I was the most disappointed. Two other enjoyed the experience and the third person either did not want to take sides or was still trying to formulate an opinion.

                          I plan on returning one more time (I always give a restaurant two chances) and will try the "Beg Tibs." One last thing that was a little irritating is that I was charged for the wrong tab and had to get them to correct it. This is a common mistake so I did not worry about it too much.

                          I will post a follow up once I have tried the place for a second time.

                          1. re: m1ellison

                            I had the lunch buffet there today- thought it was great! Going back tonight and will try the "Beg Tibs"...

                            1. re: Clarkafella

                              Well, we did go back- and again I loved it! But there were certainly a few kinks...

                              My wife decided to go with the vegetarian combo. While the presentation was really cool- a large round platter topped with a large round injera (a flat brown spongy bread that is used as edible dinnerware- all the food is designed to be scooped into pieces of the bread), some of the things that were served hot at lunch were luke warm for this. I don't know if that was by design or not, but I liked it better when it was hot off the lunch buffet.

                              Anyway, there were small portions of Ataklet Wat (spicy cabbage, carrots and potatoes), Gomen Wat (collards!), Kik Alicha (split yellow peas with garlic, onion and tumeric), Shiro Wat (chick peas in a spicy berbere sauce), Misir Wat red lentils in a red berbere sauce), Timatim Fit Fit (a salad with injera) and Key Sir Dinich (stewed beet and potato salad)... ($10.99)

                              The Kik Alicha is awesome- my favorite of anything!

                              Because I had the vegetarian lunch buffet earlier in the day, I decided to try a meat dish- the Beg Tibs, which is described on the menu as "Tender pieces of lamb sauteed in spice-infused butter (kibbeh) with onions, green peppers, tomato and rosemary. ($12.99).

                              This was mighty tasty and pretty spicy, but as was mentioned earlier on here, several people had ordered something that came out on sizzling platters (think fajitas) that smelled incredible- and while I enjoyed my dish very much (good and spicy), the next time I'm getting the sizzling stuff, whatever it was!

                              We were also served a platter full of injera to scoop everything up. This injera was rolled up- it basically looks like a platter of the steamed washcloths that you get at a sushi place, but is made out of the same spongy brown bread. I don't know anything about Ethiopian food but I sure do think they would have been better if served warm. As it stood, as you unrolled them, they seemed to be chilled, as in not long out of the refrigerator chilled...

                              At any rate, everything was spicy, everything was tasty. The service was kind of spotty- none of the waitresses I talked to had been there more than a couple of days, but were all very friendly. None had ever eaten Ethiopian food before working here, and at this point have very little to offer in recommending or describing anything at this time. I'm sure that after working there a little longer, this problem will take care of itself!

                              I'm so glad that this place is here-- I'll be going often! I hope that Jackson can keep up with all of the new places that seem to be opening, the food around these parts is really getting good!

                        2. re: m1ellison

                          Abeba is a new Ethiopian restaurant east of highway I-55 (not the best location), previously Bombay Bistro and then a Mexican place for a split second. I've heard it's very good and the lunch buffet is vegetarian, but you can order meat dishes off the menu.

                          The new Mexican place in the Township is Sombra Mexican Kitchen. I've eaten there once, it's only been open for about 2-3 weeks. The cheese dip, chips and salsa were great but be forewarned, the salsa has more of a kick then what people are used to. The margarita was fantastic and made with premium ingredients, which I cannot recall the specifics right now but it was fresh and smooth. We weren't impressed by our entrees because the flavors had little depth. This restaurant is part of the Char/Amerigo group and they are going for upscale/authentic. I'll try them again and get the guacamole and fajitas, everything was fairly reasonably priced. http://www.sombramexicankitchen.com

                          For Mexican food we stick to Taqueria la Guadalupe.

                          Fusion Japanese and Thai Cuisine is off of Lakeland behind Applebee's. Yes, half the menu is Japanese with sushi and hibachi dishes, the other half is Thai. Again, I've only been once because it was quite an experience. They are slammed at lunch time and when we went only 2-3 people were working the dining room (host stand/waiting tables/manning the register). Hopefully the operation has evened out a bit. My friend and I ordered off the Thai menu and our food was okay, the Pad Thai was strangely sweet. People rave about the food, depending on what dish you order so I need to go again.

                          Your only other option for Thai food is the Thai House off I-55. They have a lunch buffet which was okay and I've eaten at once, so I would try again for dinner.

                          Spice Avenue is consistently fabulous and the lunch buffet is the best deal to sample many dishes. If you can manage, get a Mango Lassi to go.

                          Saigon is where we go for Vietnamese Pho soup and hot pots, the soup has healing powers on a cold day. Top off your meal with a iced coffee or avocado smoothie, my husband is partial to the mango smoothie.

                          For Greek/Mediterranean food we go to Petra Cafe. They have a lunch buffet usually featuring a fish dish, moussaka, gyro chicken, hummus, tabbouleh, olives, feta and other staples.

                          For Chinese food we go to Ding How Asian Bistro or Mr. Chen's, either is good and both have a cheap lunch deal.

                          The Asian in a Strange Land recently posted about a new place called Chinese Express in Clinton. I take his word for their authenticity. :)
                          http://www.pamudjiphotography.com/blo...

                          Also, Tony's Tamales has great tamales and moved to a new location (hut) in Ridgeland, off Old County Road in the same little cove as Ding How Asian Bistro.

                          I tried to keep it fairly short! If you have questions let me know or visit my blog at http://www.gidgeteats.com

                          -----
                          Thai House
                          2131 7th Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35233

                          Ding How
                          5350 I 55 N, Jackson, MS 39211

                          Mexican Kitchen
                          400 Highway 82 E, Columbus, MS 39701

                          Chinese Express
                          2800 Highway 90 Ste 1040, Gautier, MS 39553

                          Spice Avenue
                          4711 I 55 N, Jackson, MS 39206

                          Asian Bistro
                          2932 N Hills St, Meridian, MS 39305

                          Thai Cuisine
                          607 Kaliste Saloom Rd, Lafayette, LA 70508

                          1. re: gidgeteats

                            I decided to try Sombra today for lunch. Sat at the bar, the nice bartender brought me chips and salsa (I turned down the queso and the guacamole because I was by myself.

                            I ordered from the lunch menu- the two enchilada special, one meat and one cheese with the green sauce. It took quite awhile to get my food, in fact I devoured a whole bowl of chips and salsa and was well into the second one when the guy finally brought out my food from the kitchen! And it was the wrong order -- two meat enchiladas instead of one meat and one cheese, and they were covered in the red sauce!

                            I wouldn't have cared really, but the two ladies behind the bar spotted it immediately and sent the guy back into the kitchen to correct the order.

                            Then they comped my entire meal because I had waited so long!

                            Couple of things: It was kind of a long wait, but it wasn't really *that* long. In fact I was kind of thinking how nice it was that they were back there cooking my meal to order -- most of the Mexican places around here are faster than Taco Bell, which makes me think that everything is already made just like Taco Bell.

                            The chips and salsa were great, and the salsa did have a bit more heat than we usually get around here. To me that is a wonderful thing, but I can already imagine the complaints that are going to come! I hope they keep the heat and maybe provide a milder version for those who need it.

                            All in all the enchiladas were just ok. They weren't very hot temperature wise and I think that maybe they had rushed them out so I wouldn't have to wait longer. I wasn't in any kind of hurry and would have preferred that they had been cooked a little longer.

                            Also, they still had the red sauce instead of the green sauce. I didn't really care for the sauce, but that might just be me.

                            All in all, I will certainly return. They have only been open a week or so, and I figure they deserve to get a few chances. In fact, I'd still give them another try even if they hadn't comped my food, but I thought that it was very nice of them and something I certainly didn't expect them to do!