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Posted by on Feb 17, 2015 in Central Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky | 1 comment

Richmond: Jackson’s Restaurant Carries On the Meat & Three Tradition

Richmond: Jackson’s Restaurant Carries On the Meat & Three Tradition


The traditional meat-and-three, like most traditional restaurants, has fallen on hard times. Not that they’re not popular, but just as the local burger joint has to fight the chains, so do meat-and-threes. Those in many ways most devoted to traditional food are also the ones most inclined to run off to Cracker Barrel and its prepackaged Disney World nostalgia.

Jackson's front

Jackson's counter

That’s why finding a place like Jackson’s Restaurant in Richmond is always an encouragement. Just off Main Street on South 3rd you can find your meat-and-three or two or even just one.

My friend Dave and I were eager to try Jackson’s out, and arriving right at lunch time we found the place buzzing. The tables were filled and the line substantial. This is a good sign.

Service is cafeteria style. You choose your meat and then whatever sides you want. Neither of us could resist the country fried steak, a standard of the meat-and-three. Jackson’s offers their corn bread as a hoe cake, which is a unique move on their part. It avoids the often overly dry cornbread one finds too frequently. 

Jackson's Country Fried Steak

Jackson's pie

I tried the green beans as a side (good), and also a bit of Dave’s greens when he wasn’t looking (a potential danger of eating out with me–and also good). 

The country fried steak and mashed potatoes were very good, worthy of the meat-and-three tradition.

And what would such a restaurant be without a wide offering of meringue topped pies? I ordered a slice of coconut cream and found to my delight that for first time patrons dessert is free. I would have liked a little more coconut in the cream, but who can resist coconut cream pie?

Jackson’s, although only a few years old, is the sort of place that could have existed in the same spot for decades, where you’re likely to be called “honey” multiple times. When you’re in Richmond, don’t fail to visit Jackson’s. May its kind grow and prosper.

Jackson’s Restaurant
203 S Third Street
Richmond, Kentucky
Monday – Saturday: 6:30 am – 8 pm
Sunday: 8 am – 7 pm

Jackson's desserts

Jackson's dining


1 Comment

  1. Well before your time but there was an ancient meat n three in Richmond back in the 80s that defined the archetype.

    Ma Kelly’s was in a beat-up old clapboard house that a strong wind could’ve blown down.

    Ma Kelly would sit around in her bathrobe with her hair in curlers while you helped yourself to what was on her old gas cook stove.

    When you got done eating she’d take a look at you and decide what you could pay.

    Dress nice? $6 maybe $7.

    Dress like a stumblebum? $3 or $4.

    A buddy would dress like a Steinbeck character and oft time he would dine for free.

    As you left you wrote your name on the wall, along with thousands of other EKU students.

    I miss that place. Ma Kelly would be well over a hundred if she was still alive.

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