LOST FILES: Review of the Big Apple Inn – Jackson, MS

This visit occurred a year ago, right after my retirement from the United States Air Force. For some reason, i never got around to posting this review so here it is. The Big Apple Inn is located in historic downtown Jackson, Mississippi, minutes away from Jackson State University.

Big Apple Inn, 509 N. Farish Street
Jackson, Mississippi 39202

The Big Apple Inn is a small place but has a huge history. The restaurant started out asa food stand selling tamales during the 1930s. Kinda strange for Mississippi, right? Well, the original owner Juan Mora came from Mexico to work on the railroad. When the job was no longer there, he used his mother’s tamale recipe to make ends meet.

In addition to the salarymen eating there daily, the restaurant has hosted blues singers, Freedom Riders, and was a frequent meeting place for Civil Rights Activist Medgar Evers.

My sister, son, and I entered the Big Apple Inn and were greeted by the three people cooking…well, they were performing all tasks in the restaurant. There were eight people waiting on their orders along the wall. I asked for help since it was our first time and they quickly told us how to order. Choose a protein from sausage, pig ears, or bologna then add/remove slaw or hot sauce. There were more options but not on this day. The grill/cashier were near the front door which made it very crowded.

All of the orders were taken on a napkin. It was so efficient, the lovely lady helping us did not ask for a name. All of the sandwiches were $1.10 each. We ordered three of each. Chips were available for $0.55 per bag.

After ordering, we made our way to the back of the restaurant to grab a seat. We passed a Clarion-Ledger news article about civil rights activist Medger Evers’ office being bombed. The original office was just above the restaurant. Just below the article was a jukebox that has been around as long as I have been alive. The history was overwhelming.

Just past these items was a soda vending machine which included Sunkist, Dr. Pepper, Mountain Dew, Pepsi, water and Hawaiian Punch. The drinks were $1.75.

There were six tables in the seating area. Five tables were four seaters while the last one was a two seater.

There was not a restroom in the restaurant. If a guest was there long enough to have to use the facilities, they would have to walk down the street to another restaurant.

We kicked back and enjoy the radio, customer banter, and the calling of orders above it all. The restaurant felt really comfortable. One thing that stood out to me was the restaurant was not smoky. I am used to wearing the scent of whatever being cooked in smaller restaurants for the rest of the day.

Our food ordered was called about 30 minutes after ordering.

Pig ear sandwich. It was a little chewy but the cartilage pieces and saltiness balanced out the sandwich. There was mustard, lettuce, and some sort of hot sauce on the sandwich. We ordered all sandwiches without modifications.

Pig Ear Sandwich

Hot sausage sandwich. Same accoutrements as the pig ear sandwich. The sausage was a chopped up or deconstructed hot link cooked to have a little crisp to it.

Hot Sausage Sandwoch

Bologna sandwich. Same toppings at the other sandwiches. The bologna was salty and a bit burned, just the way I like it. It was also equally delicious.

Bologna Sandwich

My favorite sandwich from the visit was, in this order, the bologna, sausage and then the pig ear. My sister, on their hand, enjoyed the hot sausage followed by the bologna. She could care less for the pig ear sandwich.

Final Word

The Big Apple Inn was a pleasant experience. It is rare to find a place that stood the test of time while serving on a few items at a discounted price. If you are ever in Jackson, visit the Big Apple Inn for the sandwiches but please stay for the history.

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