16. Jackson, Mississippi

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I’m going to be honest–I had no idea what Jackson, Mississippi was going to be like when we rolled in. And yet, somehow, I still managed to be completely wrong about the place.

First, allow me to publicly scold myself for the northerner’s bias that led me to believe Jackson would be some sort of small town whose No. 1-rated restaurant on TripAdvisor would have room for us to stroll right in on a Saturday night. Wrong.

Walker’s Drive-In, in the city’s Fondren District area, was hopping when we got there, and there was an hour wait for a table. Conveniently, though, the restaurant has a wine bar basically around the corner–Caet–so you can go there to wait for your “table’s ready” phone call.

Going to Caet did nothing to help me hide the fact that I was clad in road-trip clothes that smelled like our Caddo Lake campfire; everyone was tall, blonde and dressed to the nines. But we grabbed a couple local beers, took them to the corner, and waited our turn at Walker’s, which was without a doubt worth the wait.

You know that saying that I’m probably going to butcher right now–if it looks like a duck, and sounds like a duck, it’s a duck?–or something? Yeah, that’s not true at Walker’s. From the outside, it looks like an old-school drive-in, with a neon sign to boot. And “drive-in” is even part of the name. But drive-in it was not. On the contrary, it may have been one of the best–if not the best–sit-down dinners of my life.

I’m not going to go on about it, because I don’t know nearly enough about food to describe it without sounding like an asshole. Here’s the menu, though, and whatever you see with a Brussels sprout in it–grab it, immediately. I don’t know what they do to them, but it’s something amazing. Also, upside down shortcake.

Sadly, Walker’s was pretty much the start and end of our Jackson trip. The hour-long wait wasn’t exactly conducive to our plan of getting to our sleeping spot–Birmingham, Alabama–at a reasonable hour, so after we wrapped up dinner, we had to bolt. I did hold up both Jake and traffic while taking photos from the middle of the street, though, so I hope you enjoy.

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