Category Archives: Mississippi

Jackson, Mississippi – The Fondren District

Babalu Tacos & Tapas
Babalu Tacos & Tapas

If there’s one thing I missed being away for so many years, its Southern hospitality. And, yesterday, two friendly young ladies helped bring back some of that by guiding me to a place I’d never been before: The Babalu Tacos & Tapas restaurant in Jackson, Mississippi.

I was told the crab cakes and margaritas are “to die for” and that the restaurants located in a super hip area called the Fondren District with lots of creative people, a place that I’d definitely fall in love with and feel at home again.

So, away I went bouncing down the pothole-ridden streets of Jackson like on some kind of special mission to “find my people” or something…

A few minutes later I was smack dab in the heart of Jackson in the Fondren. One of several historic areas in the US that’s made a major come back from earlier days of roaming streetwalkers, drug dealers and thugs, the Fondren District is special. It’s an artsy-tartsy-creative place that’s alive, full of soul and deep-rooted with history. An area where voices of the past can be heard once again through the hard work of dedicated citizens with a cause to revitalize what once was.

Southern Hospitality from Kila Mae
Southern Hospitality from Kila Mae

The Babalu is located in an old school building, its façade overflowing with character. Approaching the entrance I thought to myself, “I’m hungry and this could be the perfect medicine to ease my suffering”.

As soon as the door opened, I was greeted by Ms. Kila Mae, her friendly personality gleaming through a Southern “twang.”

And, while still holding a straight face from the humbleness of it all, my eyes began to scan the open air layout of this cool and unusual place, taking it all in…

With a light industrial ambience, a friendly staff and aromatics from the kitchen that would get anyones attention, I just had a gut feeling that this would be a memory of a lifetime.


Sauteed Gul Crab Cakes
Sautéed Gulf Crab Cakes


From the moment the waiter placed the scrumptious Crab Cakes and Margarita on the table, I realized that Babalu is an institution of originality with a passion of excellence that Chef Ferris and owners Bill Latham & Al Roberts have created from their love of food, one that will hopefully continue for generations to come.


Pescado Taco
Pescado Taco


During the week from 4:00-6:00 pm is happy hour, so I sampled the Pescado of the day, a grilled black drum with smoked corn & black bean salsa, poblano vinaigrette and radish…






Barbacoa Taco
Barbacoa Taco

And, I also sampled the Barbacoa, a braised beef short rib, horseradish crema with pickled red onion and micro-cilantro. In my little heaven floating above the table in Babalu Utopia, I silently thanked the two strangers whom guided me here.

Distinct flavors from each item, pared with a tasty hand-made margarita, simply complimented what already existed: An original, healthy-creative awesome meal that will absolutely keep me coming back for more and telling the world about!



Check out Babalu for daily specials Monday-Friday 4:00-6:00 pm-$2.00 tacos & $5.00 house margaritas


622 Duling Ave  Jackson, MS  39216


“Click” on one of the Gallery photos below to enlarge.