On my first visit, I developed a little crush on Chimneyville Smokehouse (970 High St., Jackson). For one thing, everyone loves a train (right?) and the restaurant is tastefully train-themed, located in an old train depot. It is also pleasantly rustic, open, and light inside.
The food was lovable as well. For $8 even (including tax!) you can get a meat, two sides, bread and a drink. The regular meat options include chopped pork barbecue and ribs, and there are daily specials as well. There are six or so vegetable choices, which also change with the day.
All of the sides I tried were very mellow and rich. This was especially true of the cabbage, which was one of the better cabbages I’ve had lately (and I’ve had a few). Only the baked catfish had off-balance flavors–it was far too salty.
I helped myself to some of everything on my friend’s plate too. He thought the collards weren’t quite tangy enough–they were definitely more subdued than collards can be, but I thought they made up for their lack of sharpness with some extra depth and earthiness. I recommend the cornbread over the roll, but the roll was fine as a vehicle for the delicious barbecue sauce on the table, just in case for some reason you don’t order some pig to put the sauce on. The ribs were by far my favorite part of the meal. The sauce was definitely not mellow–it was extremely tangy and extremely sweet, but the two extremes combined for a pretty heavenly result. The ribs were meaty; the meat wasn’t quite fall-off-the-bone but provided a bit of resistance (in a good way) and was nice and smoky.
It’s a good thing Chimneyville is about a mile walk from my office because I absolutely needed the exercise after that meal. I’d exercise a lot more often if that barbecue sauce was always waiting for me at the end.