Newk's Eatery Introduces New Springtime Favorites

JACKSON, Miss. – Newk’s Eatery, recently named America’s Top Fast-Casual Chain by Restaurant Business Magazine, recently announced new culinary-driven menu additions, available for a limited time through the spring season. Newk’s spring offerings, available now, include: Chicken Bacon Club Sandwich – "Spring Spotlight Item" Sliced, flame-grilled chicken breast topped with bacon, Ammerlander Swiss cheese, romaine, tomato, mayo, olive oil, and scrach-made honey mustard served on Newk's famous Parisian bread. Bistro Steak Club Sandwich A quarter pound of tenderloin steak topped with bacon, Ammerlander Swiss cheese, romaine, tomato, mayo, and Dijon, served on toasted French Parisian bread. Dozen

Zena Crown Pinot Noirs Are Worth Trying

Jackson Family Wines knew what it was doing when it purchased Zena Crown Vineyard in Oregon’s rich Willamette Valley. It was Jackson’s introduction to Oregon wine-making and one that would yield impressive results with a new line of pinot noirs. Zena Crown was not only their visa to very fertile vineyards in the Willamette, but it was also a visa to some of the best pinot noir. Jackson purchased the 115-acre vineyard in 2013 and with that vintage released its first Zena Crown Vineyard label. If the Jackson name isn’t enough to inspire a serious pinot-phile to try it, Zena Crown graces the labels of several more impressive labels, including Robert Parker’s Beaux Freres, Penner-Ash, Soter, and

Food Factor: Blueberry Baked Oatmeal

Some mornings, it’s hard for me to make healthy breakfast choices. Whether I’m running out of time or tempted by a hot breakfast sandwich from the local fast food restaurant drive-through, preparing ahead of time helps me stay on track. I may even start experimenting by adding bananas in the pan first or swapping honey for the brown sugar. This recipe has it all: healthy fruit, whole-grain goodness, and a touch of protein. Bake a pan of this breakfast treat on the weekend, and enjoy it for 2 to 4 days. Thanks to our friends at The University of Maine Cooperative Extension for this tasty recipe! Blueberry Baked Oatmeal 2 cups dry oatmeal (old fashioned or quick) 1/4 cup brown sugar 1 cup fr

Why Go to Nola When There's Crescent City Grill?

If you’re located near or driving through the Hattiesburg area and haven’t visited this long-time fixture on Hardy Street, it’s time for a visit. Crescent City Grill is right up there with the “best eateries in Mississippi” in terms of food, ambiance, and southern hospitality. And yes, it easily made my personal “never had a bad meal here” list. As its name suggests, Crescent City Grill serves all your Louisiana favorites, including seafood prepared a myriad of ways as well as creative variations of shrimp and grits, poboys, etouffee, red beans and rice, and jambalaya. Make that “pasta jambalaya,” and, like me, you’ll discover a dish you tend to order again and again. Actually, I’ve never sa

Wines From the Languedoc-Roussillon Region Should Not Be Overlooked

We’ve been on a quest of late to find more wines from the Languedoc-Roussillon. It hasn’t been easy. An ancient, but neglected, wine growing region of France, the Languedoc-Roussillon has been troubled by producing inferior wines for decades and, thus, discouraging merchants. But, that’s slowly changing, and wine enthusiasts would be wise to check out these wines before prices rise. Now the single biggest wine-producing region of France, Languedoc-Roussillon's more than 600,000 acres of vineyards yield mostly red grapes, such as grenache, syrah, cinsault, mourvedre, and carignan. The region has avoided regulation, which makes wine-making a free-for-all. However, in the last decade there has

Food Factor: Fruits and Veggies - Do You Measure Up?

I get it. You’re busy. It’s hard to squeeze a lot of fruits and vegetables into your daily diet. And, if you’re like me, when you hear a recommended number of daily servings, you just want to roll your eyes. Today, I want to offer you a bit of hope in the form of some tips on judging how much makes one serving. Because you might be eating more servings than you think you are! In fact, most adult women need 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit and 2 to 3 cups of veggies daily. (These amounts vary by sex, age, and level of activity.) And, did you know that all forms of fruits and vegetables count? Whether you’re snacking on fresh, frozen, dried, canned, or juice—these all count toward your daily servings. W

Restaurateur's Gift Will Help Ensure Longevity of UM Southern Foodways Alliance

OXFORD, Miss. – When restaurateur Steve Palmer overheard one of his servers say she'd like to buy a home if only she had the down payment, he started a company-wide home loan program. "We loan our employees their down payment interest-free," said Palmer, of Charleston, South Carolina, who has 890 people on his payroll. "We make zero money on it and we've had seven staff members buy homes in the last year." Palmer owns Indigo Road Hospitality Group, and within the restaurant industry, he's renowned as a visionary who supports transformative progress where he sees a need: among his staff, on behalf of his customers, and in his community – in that order. One of his most recent investments is a

Good Times and Good Guac Await You at Babalu

Located in the heart of the Fondren neighborhood, Babalu is perfect for any occasion, whether it's a birthday, company dinner, or happy hour. Check out this week's Sipp Jackson blog post spotlighting the Fondren hot spot.

Which Potato Salad to Make For Easter Dinner? That Is the Question...

It’s always fun to read online food stories and ensuring comments prior to major holidays, and Easter is no exception. It was no surprise to learn that a large picnic ham will be the main focus of most Americans’ Easter Sunday feast. The challenge is finding the appropriate side dishes to complement the star of the table. In my opinion, nothing beats some type of potato dish. In the past, I’ve made a stuffed hash brown casserole filled with a variety of meats and cheeses for my family’s dinner. This year, I’m in the mood for good, old-fashioned potato salad. The challenge lies in narrowing down one from my list of favorites. Because, contrary to popular belief, there are actually quite a few

From Vegetable Farming to Vineyards, Balletto Wines Reign Supreme

How wine producers get into the business of making wine has always fascinated us. There are those born into a multi-generational winery and those who abandon a lucrative business career to start a new adventure. There are those who graduate from University of California at Davis to slave at a winery and eventually graduate to a senior winemaker. And there are those who fell into the business out of desperation. That was the case with John Balletto, whose transition from a vegetable farmer to a successful wine producer embodies the proverbial Horatio Alger story of perseverance and hard work. Balletto was raised on a vegetable farm in Sonoma County near Sebastopol. He worked alongside his fat

Spice Up Your Easter Sunday Lunch

Easter Sunday is just around the corner, and like most people, you're probably trying to figure out what to serve for lunch so that you don't have to fight the crowds at local restaurants. Check out some of these fun and delicious dishes that everyone will love on Easter. Crab Deviled Eggs Spring Salad with Goat Cheese, Toasted Almonds, Avocado, and Roasted Garlic Honey Vinaigrette Baked Chicken with Okra and Tomatoes Carrot Cake Poke Cake with Salted Caramel Cinnamon Glaze

Rusty's Riverfront Grill is Right Up There With the Best of Vicksburg's Attractions

Mention the city of Vicksburg, and one attraction comes to mind: the Vicksburg National Military Park, one of the nation’s most distinguished Civil War battlefields. But, there’s actually a lot more to see and do in the River City which annually attracts over 150,000 visitors from around the world. Vicksburg is filled with historic museums, including my favorites, the Old Courthouse Museum and Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum where the first Coke was bottled in 1894, art galleries, antique shops, bed and breakfasts, and antebellum homes dating back to the 1800s. These things, along with sweeping vistas of the Mighty Mississippi River, are reason enough to drive over for a day trip or weekend. How

Springtime Calls for White Wines and Ports

April is a transition month for many people If you’re in a northern state, you start to see robins and green grass. But for those of us in southern states, such as Florida and Texas, April is the last month for brisk mornings and low humidity. You can have your wines both ways – port to ward off the cooler nights and white wine to cool off the warmer days. This week, we explore both. PORT Port has a fascinating history. It was created in the 18th century when the Brits were warring with the French and turned to Portugal for wine. Alas, the Portuguese wine had a hard time surviving the voyage to Great Britain, so some brandy was added to fortify it. The brandy increased the alcohol content of

Food Factor: Make Your Own Ranch Dressing

If you’re like me, a full bottle of salad dressing often expires before I can use it all. Plus, ready- made salad dressings tend to be loaded with hidden sugar, salt, and fat. By making your own ranch dressing, you can control the fat, the flavors, and the portions. This recipe from Oregon State University Extension uses a fraction of the buttermilk and mayonnaise typically used when you mix up a batch of dressing using a packet of premixed spices. By choosing low-fat mayo and buttermilk, you can cut back on fat. Adjust the spices to suit your taste. Maybe you want to kick up the heat by adding a bit of cayenne. Other fun ideas to try are dill weed or a splash of lemon juice. Homemade Ranch

Starkville's Inaugural Taco Hop Set for Saturday, April 6th

Starkville’s first-ever Taco Hop craft beer and taco tasting event is set for this Saturday in College Town! Purchase tickets in advance for craft beer tastings and enjoy your favorite Starkville culinary creations from local restaurants as they prepare specialty street tacos. Ticket holders will receive unlimited 4-ounce tastings during the event. Starkville's favorite restaurants will also prepare speciality street tacos for only $1 each. Get downtown and join the Taco Hop fun! Live music will be put on by Hood Baby & the Barnacles. This year, we’re excited to showcase craft beers from Clark Beverage & Mitchell Distributing. Advanced ticket holders will be guaranteed one of our limited edi

Help the Mississippi Food Network Raise Funds for Seniors in Choctaw and Simpson Counties

The Mississippi Food Network is seeking to raise a minimum of $6,000 so that they can qualify for a $100,000 grant from the “A Community Thrives” USA Today program, and they need the community's help! Funding received from this campaign will be used to purchase supplemental food for seniors in Choctaw and Simpson Counties. Help the MFN win A Community Thrives, part of the USA Today network and get $100,000 for the cause! What does the face of food insecurity look like? Do you see the concerned face of a single mother struggling to afford nutritious food for her family? Perhaps, you see the face of a senior citizen who must decide to either pay their electricity bill or buy food. From adults

This Iconic Eatery is a "Must Experience" Destination in Downtown Jackson

The longevity of some restaurants is measured in a few years or a decade or two at most. This Jackson landmark restaurant continues to create memories of delicious meals while passing through generations of families like a treasured keepsake. Opened in downtown Jackson in 1935 by George Kountouris and John Gouras, the Mayflower Café is one of, if not, the oldest restaurant in Jackson. It has reigned supreme at the corner of West Capitol and Roach Streets for over 80 years and is one of those “you have to experience it” Jackson eateries. Specialty dishes like broiled redfish with lump crab meat, veal cutlets with cream sauce, and succulent steaks attract after-dark attendees of arts and cultu

South African Wines Are Worth Trying

Maybe it’s time to stop the snickering when the topic of South African pinotage wine comes up. Sometimes associated with off-putting burnt tire aromas and flavors, pinotage can be a delicious wine when properly made. Simonsig red wines proved that maybe the burnt rubber boogeyman is on the run. Fashioned in 1925 as a cross between cinsault and pinot noir in an attempt to create a hardier grape variety, the red pinotage grape became synonymous with South Africa. Today, pinotage represents about 8 percent of South Africa’s total vineyard area, but is still the grape variety most associated with the country. The burnt rubber flaw is attributed to various smoking guns ranging from viruses plagui

Food Factor: Smart Snacking

Time and money are both precious resources, but you don’t have to sacrifice them to eat healthier foods. Next time you find yourself standing in front of the vending machine at work or dashing into a convenience store for a snack, have a plan! Snacks can be mini-meals or single foods you eat between meals. Many fruits and vegetables make great snacks, especially those that come in their own wrappers, such as oranges and bananas. Unlike many processed foods, fruits and veggies provide important fiber, vitamins, and minerals without all the extra sugar, salt, and fat. You want a snack to fill you up and give you energy, not leave you feeling hungry and drained. Keeping a couple of pieces of fr

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