America Eating Abroad

Jackson, MI to Dallas TX

February 5, 2014

Leaving New Orleans, the first leg of our adventure was almost over… in the next couple of days all we had to do was a load of laundry, some Christmas shopping, and get to Dallas for our flight to Mexico City! With some time up our sleeves, we decided to stop into Jackson; it was on the way and there’s a Johnny Cash song about it- must be good. So with Johnny singing away in the background we rolled into town… only to find what felt like a scene out of those end-of-the-world apocalypse movies.

Some grand old buildings, a couple of pretty green spaces, and a handful of parked cars but where were the people?! We walked around for about half an hour hoping to stumble upon some life, with very little success. Turns out, downtown Jackson has been in decline for some time, though from some googling and the local rag, it seems the good folks of the town are trying to turn that around. Good luck to them- they’ll need it.

Jackson_capitol2We did encounter some life at Hal & Mal’s, a well-known local diner dishing up some simple, southern staples. Crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, the catfish nuggets were a good way to start- and to think we almost didn’t get them as a certain someone was put off by ‘catfish’. He was then bombarded with a giant plate of their ‘award-winning’ red beans ann (not a typo) white rice, while I was happily wolfing down the andouille sausage po boy with a side of slaw- have I told you how much I love coleslaw?! All washed down with some more local craft beers and an Angry Orchard cider which is becoming my usual here.

Jackson_HalMalsThen it was off to Dallas where there was definitely no shortage of life. Especially not in the rather boisterous little neighbourhood restaurant we went to- Urbano Cafe. It was unpretentious and the food was hearty; but what would you expect from beef tenderloin on grits, and venison on polenta. Extra bonus- the restaurant is BYO, pennies saved there were spent on dessert.

Dallas_UrbanoOn our last night we headed to Toko V Sushi Bar in the swanky suburb of Highland Park for our last chance to indulge in sushi and noodles for a while. What a disappointment- the whole place was style over substance, filled with designer clad trophy wives who spent more time looking at the food instead of eating it. The dumplings were outrageously overpriced, the sushi was lack lustre, and the laksa was barely passable. But I guess I shouldn’t have expected too much…

Dallas_TokoVAnd then it was onto the next leg; after 5000 miles, 10 states, and many more cities and towns… we said our goodbyes to Penny and ended our great American road trip. Next stop- Mexico City, via business class! Friday 13th proved to be very lucky for us as we enjoyed our large cushy seats, trashy movies, a light lunch of beef salad, and oh yeah, the glasses of wine…Dallas_Mexico



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