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.
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.
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.
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…
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.