With a name like Jackson & Rye I should have realised straight away this was an American-style restaurant. Rye is used in making whiskey and Jackson is the capital of the state of Mississippi. The restaurant, which has three branches in London, has a ‘rye list’ – like a wine list but different types of whiskey – and a ‘blue plate special’ section. This is a term I’ve come across in other American restaurants like the Diner in Spitalfields and am never quite sure what it means – I even asked an American colleague once and she was a bit unsure but said it was a mixture of a specials board and a special (low) price.
I was there for dinner with two friends and found it difficult to choose from everything on the menu – this is a restaurant for people who like their food, and plenty of it. From steak and eggs to fried buttermilk chicken and crab cakes – and of course hamburgers – the menu is American through and through. There are also salads and pasta dishes, and fish – including lobster – and side orders including creamed grits, baked mac and cheese and maple bacon.
I chose the shrimp burger which came in a brioche roll with fries; it had a chunkier texture than I was expecting (I’ve had fish burgers that are more like fishcakes) and was delicious. My friends ordered the lobster and one of the daily specials, a rack of lamb, and we decided to have the truffled mac and cheese starter to share. My friend then also ordered the truffle arancini, which was delicious, and a side of maple bacon, which I didn’t try – I found it quite strange as an idea. I can understand ordering extra bacon if you want to put it in a burger or mix it into your mac and cheese but as a side to eat with a rack of lamb? Each to their own I suppose!