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Jessie’s Restaurant offers sublime Southern cuisine

Jessie’s Restaurant & Catering is one of the few and far between places around Valdosta with a quality, vegan menu. Something like this is next to impossible to come by in southern GA.

There is even parking on the street in front of the restaurant for those who really are in a hurry. Two-hour parking is available all-around downtown Valdosta, so you are always within walking distance of this restaurant.

On a Tuesday, I wandered into Jessie’s with a party of two. While instantly being captivated by the brick, charming interior, I was immediately greeted by a kind, masked server.

The entire staff was masked, but it didn’t seem like masks were being enforced. However, how can they be enforced when you’ll be spending your time eating? The building had hygienic conditions, so I felt semi-safe from COVID-19.

The server offered us any table, so as many would in a town that’s warm in January, we chose to sit outside. Upon sitting down, the server offered us a drink and quickly, yet smoothly brought them to us.

The casual outside sitting area was right by the street, and sometimes got a putrid smell that would naturally happen in a city’s downtown area. The outside sitting was also expressively smoke-friendly.

However, the shade of the umbrella covering the table allowed for a pleasant breeze as the afternoon sun was beating down.

The tables at Jessie’s sits a single person at the bar, which seemed well equipped, to around a table of ten if rearranging took place. Highchairs were also available near the tidy restrooms.

As I examined the menu, I couldn’t help but notice the variety of options that were available to Jessie’s customers.

The server was patient with the indecisiveness of my party, thorough with the specials and quick to get our order in and out.

We started out with the fried pickle appetizer, which was adequate. The pickles were fairly thin, so they tasted more so like the breading rather than the pickle.

As my meal, I chose to get the buffalo grilled chicken wrap that included tomatoes, cheese and lettuce. The inside was drizzled with jalapeno ranch and buffalo sauce.

Served on the side was the sweet and salty potato fries with the perfect crunch.

The other person in my party chose the grilled pimento cheese sandwich topped with bacon and pepper jelly. There were many options for bread to have with this melted cheese sandwich, and they chose the buttery croissant.

This sweet and spicy sandwich left a small, cheesy mess, but this was expected.

Both meals were fresh and spicy and didn’t disappoint. There were a variety of different flavors the complemented one another well and didn’t overload our taste buds.

Not to mention each meal was less than $10, so it is affordable for a college student. Needless to say, my party would buy both meals again.

During our meal, the kind server made sure to check on us and our drinks. Any request we made wasn’t forgotten about and was fulfilled in a timely manner.

After we ate, the server let us know that cash payments are taken at the counter, and card payments are taken and paid at the table by the server.

I found this method efficient due to the normality of service workers holding onto your ticket and card, while being left to stare at empty plates and making small talk with the rest of the party. Here, I handed the card over, paid out, and signed in one go.

Even though the restaurant is closed on Saturday’s, there is also take out and catering available.

The restaurant is open Monday-Friday from 8-3 and Sunday brunch from 10-2, which includes bottomless mimosas and bloody mary’s.

Jessie’s is a local-themed restaurant that is VSU alumni owned and uses local sausage from Sunset Farms for their meals.

Star rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

Written by Jonnie Brewer, Assistant Copy Editor. Photo courtesy of Bailey Storey, Photo Editor.

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