The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Restaurant Review: Miss Jackson’s serves Southern comfort food at steep price

Photo by Madeline Marriott for The Lafayette
The shrimp and grits bowl and the hot chicken sandwich were among the editorial staff’s favorites. 

Adding to the growing list of new faces on College Hill this semester, Don Juan owner Juan Martinez has opened Miss Jackson’s Kitchen. Featuring a menu with a Southern flair, Miss Jackson’s can be found in the space on McCartney Street previously occupied by the Trolley Stop Diner. 

Members of the editorial staff at The Lafayette made the short trip from the newsroom to Miss Jackson’s to try out some items from their wide menu. 

We started with a classic bacon and cheddar omelet. There’s not much here to write home about, but nothing to complain about, either: crispy bacon and a copious amount of cheese. Next up, we tried the chocolate chip pancakes. Opinions on this were mixed from our editorial staff. When combined with warm maple syrup, I personally enjoyed the dish. 

Then came the hot chicken sandwich complete with habanero-infused honey and pickles on a biscuit roll. All of our participating staff members agreed this was delicious. The chicken was crispy and juicy, and the hot honey added the necessary zing. 

Finally, the belle of the ball: the shrimp and grits. According to Martinez himself, this is his favorite dish on the menu, and we can see why. Both of the editors who tried this dish are Northerners, so we can’t speak to the authentic Southern quality of the dish, but it sure was tasty. The grits had a great texture and flavor and the shrimp complemented it well. I can see this being the perfect warm breakfast on a chilly fall day. This dish was comfort food at its finest. 

Frequent customers of Trolley Stop will be familiar with the furniture and decor of Miss Jackson’s. The tables and booths are the same, with a few different pieces of wall decor thrown in the mix. Among the new additions are some couches, a wall of succulents and infused water dispensers — all the makings of a comfortable hotel lobby. 

With its own Wi-Fi network, a coffee menu and high-top window seats, Miss Jackson’s would make a nice backdrop for a weekend morning study session. 

Miss Jackson’s is particularly convenient for a number of reasons. First, the location makes it a realistic option for students without a car looking to stay on the Hill. Its service is also quick — much quicker than its predecessor, the Trolley Stop. You order and pay at a kiosk, eliminating the hassle of waiting for a check. When your food is done, members of the waitstaff call out your name and deliver it to your table, making the dining experience a casual but pleasant one. 

Speaking of payment, there is one pitfall of Miss Jackson’s: the price. The restaurant does not take meal swipes – don’t believe anyone who tells you it’s a dining plan option – and the Pard Dollars reader is not yet up and running. While I recommend the shrimp and grits bowl, it will cost you $15 to see what the hype is all about. The food at Miss Jackson’s is good and different from anything else offered around campus, but I can’t see it being a regular destination for college students on a budget. 

If you visit Miss Jackson’s, don’t make the same mistake our editorial staff did and try to go for dinner — the restaurant is currently only open for breakfast and lunch from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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About the Contributor
Madeline Marriott
Madeline Marriott, Editor-in-Chief
Maddie (she/her) is a senior English major with a Government & Law minor. As the Editor-in-Chief, a Mentor Writing Associate, a Senior Student Contributor for Lafayette Communications, a Communications Intern for the Office of Sustainability, co-founder and Vice President of English Club, and a Senior Interviewer for Lafayette Admissions, no writing happens on campus without her knowing about it. Her Google Calendar would make your head spin. She is a die-hard Swiftie and Phillies fan, a collector of tote bags, a builder of a Hay Day empire, and an avid Goodreads and Letterboxd user. She smokes cigars and uses an old-timey typewriter and notepad in the newsroom.

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