- Special Sections
- Public Notices
By Bethel Poston
I have previously written about the lunch meetings of my Oak Ridge High School reunion committee. We did have a reunion every five years, but now we have one every year because at our age some of us may not be around for a later get-together.
At our annual Christmas dinner, classmate Don Cobb brought me a menu from Jackson Square Bistro, a new restaurant in Oak Ridge. He recommended we have our next committee meeting there.
“I’ve carried out twice and eaten in once,” he said. “Had a sandwich on carry-out and the catfish bites another time.”
Lemon-dusted catfish bites served with tartar sauce and a choice of two sides is described on the Bistro’s menu as one of the house favorites.
I searched Jackson Square Bistro on the Internet and found: “My new favorite restaurant in Oak Ridge! Remember the Bleu Hound? Well, the Bistro restores the heritage of good quality food at a reasonable price! Located in the same building that housed the Bleu Hound, 80 E. Tennessee Ave.”
I remembered it as a gas station in the ’50s. My auto dealer friend, Jerry Duncan, said it was a Texaco station.
I called and reserved a table for 12.
My wife and high school sweetheart, Carol, went for the Southwest Chicken salad served over house lettuce blend with roasted corn, avocado, black beans, red onion and tomato served with ranch dressing in a tortilla bowl (minus the avocado).
My Internet source influenced me with the comment, “The corned beef sandwich is awesome.”
I consumed 90 percent (half would have been enough) of my house cooked corned beef sandwich on marble rye bread with sauerkraut and Swiss cheese, served with a pickle spear.
I probably didn’t need the bacon basil potato salad I chose from the large choice of sides that came with my order.
I did good.
After ordering, I usually table-hop and talk with other customers, asking what they are eating and what they do.
I took advantage of this latest adventure and just passed my note pad around the table, asking each former classmate to record what he or she ordered.
I’ve known them more than 50 years but won’t tell what I know, except that they are retired.
I was pleased that Ellis Mae Darby Stonecipher joined our group and brought me a photo of the two of us, taken when we were in the fourth grade and “sweethearts.” Her red hair wasn’t evident in the black-and-white photo.
We were standing by my new Schwinn bicycle, with famous Oak Ridge flattop houses in the background.
She married Nathan Stonecipher, an outstanding athlete from Oliver Springs. They recently moved back to Tennessee after living in Las Vegas for many years. I hadn’t seen her since high school.
Ellis Mae had the wil-ted spinach salad on this visit, without adding the option of chicken or salmon.
Don Cobb and Wes Delaney both went for the Monday special, chicken and dumplings. Don had sides of steamed broccoli and (I think) soup; Wes selected tri-colored pasta salad and fries.
Other daily specials are a meat loaf platter on Tuesday; crispy country-fried chicken on Wednesday; roasted pork tenderloin on Thursday; and fish and chips on Friday.
All specials come with a choice of two sides.
Benny and Jean Davis Houser chose sandwiches. Jean ordered the Big BLT, served on wheat berry bread.
Benny had the tuna salad on a croissant topped with crispy bacon, Swiss cheese, lettuce and tomato, plus a side of potato salad.
Classmates Jan Harlan and Mildred Bailey also had the tuna sandwich, with fries as their sides.
Dee Deatherage and his wife, Jennifer, opened Jackson Square Bistro on Oct. 25, 2010. They did most of the building remodeling themselves.
Dee worked with the Regas family and Mike Connor (The Chop House) at Grady’s in Knoxville during its heyday.
The Bistro can seat 99 inside and 58 on the outdoor patio.
A selection of beer is available, with a wine and liquor license application in progress.
Hours are from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday.
Dee told me some of customers’ top appetizer choices are Bistro Bombers, house-cooked corned beef and cream cheese wrapped in a wonton and served with a sweet chili sauce; and potato skins, twice baked with Cheddar cheese, bacon, scallions and sour cream.
Classmate Betty Ralph Stokes chose another house favorite a smoked homemade chicken salad on JSB lettuce blend with tomatoes, cucumbers and a basil balsamic vinaigrette, topped with a cool raspberry drizzle and crunchy walnuts.
Without Betty sitting next to me in chemistry and not blocking a view of her test papers, I would have never passed the class. In college, I majored in chemistry and worked in analytical chemistry at Y-12 in Oak Ridge. I just needed a little extra help in high school.
Mimi Small Brock and Marjorie Card Matthews both ordered cups of French onion soup. Mimi had half a BLT, and Marjorie had half a smoked-chicken-salad-stuffed
“I don’t know about you all, but this is really good,” I heard Barbara Walker White say as she enjoyed her chicken Caesar wrap. It’s the Bistro’s vintage chicken Caesar salad all wrapped up with tomato and served with a Caesar dipping sauce.
She also had a large serving (she took some home) of homemade peach cobbler with a scoop of ice cream on top, passing on other choices of caramel brownie sundae or blueberry cheesecake.
As our server, Megan Tsiamis, was describing the made-in-house desserts of the day, Carol and I looked at each other in agreement to share the Hot Toddy. Megan did a great job of serving our group that grew to 13 people.
Hot Toddy is a cream of wheat cake, drizzled with an apple juice reduction, topped by a scoop of vanilla ice cream with small spears of Granny Smith apples randomly stuck in the ice cream. It was a great presentation and delicious.
I was told that all Bistro burgers are 8 ounces of fresh Black Angus beef, cooked to your order. The No. 1 choice is the Guinness Burger with Swiss cheese and topped with Guinness mushroom gravy.
For a complete lunch menu, go to www.jacksonsquarebistro.com and check out the warm roast beef sandwich, jumbo lump crab cake sandwich, grilled all-beef hot dog with white chicken chili, plus a wide selection of other appealing items.
A dinner menu for dining after 4 p.m. offers shrimp and grits, crab cakes, steaks and pasta.
“I enjoyed the scallops served over sautéed spinach one evening,” Jan Harlan said.
• • •
Bethel Poston is a Roane County businessman and entrepreneur who writes about places of interest in our area. E-mail suggestions and comments to email@example.com.