The next day of my Mississippi trip, I found my way to the Parlor Market located at 115 West Capital Street, Jackson, MS 39201, in the heart of downtown Jackson. Right in the midst of the government buildings and others office buildings is the Parlor Market that combines the history and richness of Southern culture with a modern sensibility to create a culinary experience like no other. They serve Seasonal Southern cuisine with regional ethnic influences. Fun fact, there are located just two doors down from the Mayflower Café which has been in existence since 1935 and was included in The Help movie.
From the outside of the restaurant, the location looks a bit small and quaint with a small sign hanging of the restaurant name. On the inside, the restaurant dining room is rather large and has a rustic vibe with brick walls, wood beams, and a marble bar. I took a seat at the bar, due to the lack of tables available for one, and was quickly greeted by a welcoming bartender. The restaurant is one large open space and the kitchen, while partially enclosed, is still open to the restaurant and you are able to see the completed meals before they arrive at the table.
The Parlor Market has a lunch menu with daily specials called the PM Blues Plates to include Mon-fried catfish, Tues-hamburger steak, Wed-buttermilk fried chicken, Thur-pot roast, and Fri-glazed baby back ribs. The PM Blues Plate is $11.50 and includes a choice of two sides, a sweet potato muffin, and tea (sweet tea). I visited on a Wednesday, so I ordered the Buttermilk Fried Chicken PM Blues Plate with spicy honey, smoked cheddar mac and cheese and the chef’s seasonal side of fire-roasted squash. For a starter, I ordered a cup Duck Gumbo ($6) with duck confit and delta blues rice. My server told me that the chicken served is delivered fresh weekly from a chicken farm and is quickly brined overnight before being fried for the Wednesday specials. He also shared that they usually run out of the chicken so I did well to come early to have the experience. Lucky me!
I have never had Duck Gumbo before and since I love Gumbo and enjoy duck, I figured this has to be worth trying. The server warned me that it was a bit rich and salty for some people. People have even complained but this was the chef’s family recipe and he decided to stick with it and keep it on the menu. I’m glad he did. The gumbo was incredible! I would never thought to put duck in my gumbo pot but it worked and it was delicious. The gumbo roux was very thick almost like red beans and rice and was very rich. It was definitely salty but it wasn’t unbearable. The duck was tender and broke into pieces to enjoy for every bite. What an amazing cup of gumbo! I requested the rice on the side because usually it can be too much rice but the server forgot. However, it was added to the bottom so there was still plenty of broth to enjoy. I definitely recommend this, if you are not overly sensitive to rich, salty food.
The Buttermilk Fried Chicken arrived on a fairly larger plate with little cast-iron pans of the mac and cheese and roasted squash. I requested dark meat and was served a thigh and a wing. And unusual combination but acceptable. The chicken has this glaze on top of it that turned out to be the spicy honey sauce which was just a mixture of honey and hot sauce. But this mixture was outstanding!!! The chicken was cooked to perfection. It was hot when it arrived so I had to wait on it but it was juicy and delicious. The amount of juice made me worried that the meat was under-cooked but it was perfectly prepared! The seasoning of the meat was perfect, and that sauce took it to another level. I was not sure how I would feel about the sweet potato muffin but it was delicious also. It has an orange tint and great flavors. While the mac and cheese and the roasted squash were good, I have had better. I prefer my mac and cheese casserole style and this was a bit in between but the smoked cheddar cheese did not do anything special to the dish. I was eating it because it was there and after I while, I realized that I was not all that impressed and stopped. For me, it really lacked flavor. The squash had a lot of potential to be great but was under seasoned. I was looking for something more like hints of garlic, pepper, or more salt but I was left underwhelmed. However, I finished my veggies anyway but left the mac and cheese behind.
Overall, I had an amazing lunch that I would love to repeat with a few different side selections! The supper menu has quite a few things I would like to try including this fried oyster salad ($14) that I saw on several menus down there in Jackson, the Duck Breast dish ($28), and the steak looked divine also. I spent $19.08 and after tip was $22.08. My server even asked if I wanted to take sweet tea for the road. I happily accepted which is why he got a larger tip. I would go back for lunch or supper and try more dishes. They even have a Prix Fixe 5 course tasting menu for $70 that would be worth trying with an additional $30 wine pairing. What a nice gesture. The following is my Seven Mac Score for the restaurant:
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Please look out for my next post as I share more of my week in Jackson, Mississippi in my Jackson, Mississippi Food Diaries! Also, you can find me on Instagram @finediningdiva and twitter @moderndaybeauty. Also, if you would like to follow my blog to receive notification when a new blog is posted, please send your email to email@example.com.
And remember: It’s a BIG world and we are going to eat our way through it!