Admittedly, I arrived on a Sunday afternoon. Admittedly, this is a fairly conservative area as well as being economically depressed. Admittedly, I was asking for it.
But this is a state capitol. I assumed that no matter how bad things were, the state government at least would need somewhere to eat on a Sunday. I showed up not that late, around 5 pm or so, and nothing was open unless I wanted to resort to fast food. I finally ended up at a decent sushi place (Wasabi, which had crayfish in its rolls and a homemade hot sauce that was a bit more meaty than the usual, kind of like chili oil mixed with Chinese barbecue sauce, which gets its pungency from pounded shrimp), which was literally the only restaurant open for about four blocks around. And still, it had maybe ten people in a space that could seat fifty.
Lion roll, Wasabi
The roll was a bit better than decent. It had crispy tempura bits that weren’t greasy, just crispy, and the crawfish had slightly more personality than the normal fake crab meat. Still, wasn’t what I’d been expecting to get.
Walking around the downtown area on Monday morning didn’t really improve the picture. I attempted the walking tour on the official tourism website, and while Jackson isn’t any more walk-friendly a city than Birmingham was, the Birmingham tour took me a little over an hour without lingering. Jackson was about fifteen minutes.
Also, Birmingham calls out its Civil Rights Movement sites all over with markers everywhere; Jackson doesn’t seem to see the value in such. Or in musical history–I went to Farish Street, the old center of Jackson’s music industry, and supposedly under redevelopment, only to find a line of abandoned, gutted buildings, with a lonely Mississippi Blues Trail marker in the middle.
Just not a good roadtrip stop, Jackson.