Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Is it Curtains for the Elite?

The Elite Restaurant posted the following message on Facebook:


Good Morning to all of our friends who have supported us for 72 years and still do. The restaurant business is a hard one. It is time-consuming beyond belief and the degree of success one enjoys can turn on a dime! By that I mean there are factors that play into whether customers make a decision to eat in your establishment or not. These factors can be short, medium or long term factors: short term may be “it’s raining” or “you don’t feel well” or you’re out of town on vacation or there’s a ball game this Friday or Saturday. That’s understandable.  Then there are medium term issues such as: Road construction downtown, or on the Interstate coupled with the threat of bad weather and many others.

Long Term factors may be that there are so many other dining options closer to where you live, or perhaps a perception about safety downtown (While acknowledging this is a real concern for many, (downtown Jackson is perfectly safe!), The perception of many who feel that the leadership needs to steer the core of the city where it needs to be for viability and dynamic excitement. Or some may feel that the d├ęcor of the restaurant is dated and out-of-touch. Never the less, the bills must be paid and employees paid their salaries irrespective of the vagaries of the current state of the business climate.
These all play a role in determining whether or not a restaurant is successful or not.

Most importantly, it must be financially viable. We are at a point in this restaurant where a decision must be made regarding our future, these plans vary from a “Lock the door” and sell to an interested restaurateur or sell the building and parking lot to a developer. There is always a desire to see the trend reverse and we can enjoy and deserve your business.

Help us make this decision. Please support us by asking your friends and acquaintances to enjoy our delicious food on as regular a basis as they can, the lifeblood of any business is a “Customer for Life” many of you already embody this description and we love you for it. We wanted to share this with all so that you know what’s happening and shine a light on rumors and what we wish to do. 
The Management of the Elite Restaurant

Kingfish note: As my friend TNT would say, Uh-huh!

The Mayflower seems to have no problems packing it in a few doors down, male strippers be damned. The food has been mediocre on the last few visits to the Elite. Want more customers, provide better food and a better experience.




98 comments:

Louis LeFleur said...

Saw this a little earlier. Meeting a few friends there tomorrow for lunch just for old time's sake. The food has never really been great, but most people had a favorite or two. Sad to see another downtown "institution" come to an end, but that will probably be the ultimate outcome. I mean, if you have to beg for customers....

Anonymous said...

Yes, short, medium and long term factors can include the food and the service. Up. Your. Game.

Anonymous said...

The very best Veal in Mississippi

Anonymous said...

Anyone know why it's called the Elite? I've eaten there. It's by no means elite.

Anonymous said...

I like the decor, probably the one saving grace to it. Now, the food...not so much.

Anonymous said...

This is a textbook example of what not to do as a small business owner.

Anonymous said...

Maybe put some effort into marketing the place to the public. Like a big ad on Kingfish sayin' "hey y'all! we're open for business! come try our Deep-Fried Tater Tots, recently voted number one in the state!"

Anonymous said...

the perception of crime is real, just ask any of the victims! or go down to the courthouse and police headquarters and see the crowds shuffle in and out. how's their perception lookin?

the perception of a heated up piece of catfish on a scalding hotplate is also real at the Elite.

Anonymous said...

how did people access the Elite in the 70's, 80's and 90's? was the parking better or worse? now, it seems there is no ideal place. you can gamble and park on the street, park at their little location and gamble there by being robbed. it just seems like any business on Capitol St. is doomed from this perspective. They need a better parking garage or a streetcar or something!

Anonymous said...

Food and service is horrible.

Anonymous said...

KF - everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but I ate at the Elite last Thursday night and had a very good meal. Fresh redfish, grilled.

Yes, I also enjoy the Mayflower's food and try to eat there often as well.

But for you to begin believing that you should also serve as our "Epicurious" along with all your other appointments is crowning yourself a little too much.

Anonymous said...

maybe don't write in sharpie on a customers window "do not park" when that customer spent $100 at your restaurant? good place to start.

Anonymous said...

I ate there three times when I visited Jackson with some frequency (meeting with clients who insisted the food was to die for); I found the place to be dirty and dated, the food was awful, and the environment was not conducive to long(er) lunch meetings (maybe they planned it that way - ha!). I also noticed most of the clientele were really OLD - maybe when they started coming the the Elite in the 60s or 70's it was great, and they just kept coming when the quality began to fail??

Sorry Jackson, it just ain't that great.

Anonymous said...

I quit dining there almost a year ago as the service was crap and owner was grumpy. I now dine at lou's or parlor market as well as mayflower at times... everyone I know complained about the grumpy staff

Anonymous said...

Delicious food...did they change the menu?

Louis LeFleur said...

Now that I think about it, there were rumors of The Elite closing before now. It was before we moved from downtown, and that's been 6 years now. Maybe that was after Mr. Pete died? Don't remember.

10:39, the way people would "access" the Elite in days past was by foot from their office! There were 1000's more people working downtown back then. These days you can always get a parking spot within at least couple of blocks and at night their own lot probably isn't full, plus you could probably park pretty much at the front door.

Louis LeFleur said...

10:47, where/how on earth did you park to get that kind of treatment? Must have been blocking the driveway or something.

Anonymous said...

"The very best veal in Mississippi" .... that's kinda like "The very best tacos in Moldova"

Anonymous said...

Oh man, the food was terrible. I ordered a burger, it was ice cold in the middle and the bread/lettuce and pickle were hot, like it had been cooked the day before and reheated in the microwave.
I requested comeback and she turned around and asked the table behind me if they were finished with their squeeze bottle and then handed it over to me.. All sticky and funky..i can get past the dated venue, but the food alone is why I wont go back.

Kingfish said...

The Elite also has something most restaurants would kill for downtown: A parking lot. I get tired of hearing the griping about parking from the owner when Parlor Market has to make do with street parking as does the Mayflower to some degree.

Anonymous said...

Old restaurants should be like old soldiers and just fade away.

Unknown said...

Best yeast rolls anywhere!

Anonymous said...

Best grilled fish. And rolls to die for!

Anonymous said...

I normally like nostalgic things of all sorts (food, music, movies, etc.) and I went there once. Never went back. It was just disgusting. The interior was cool but the food very low quality and overpriced. If I were a Trustmark executive in the 80's, sure I'd go. A corrupt councilman from the 70's? I'm there!

Cynical Sam said...

Turn out the lights, the party's over.

Anonymous said...

I've worked downtown for for more than a decade. Downtown is safe. There's a ton of security and police presence down here. As for The Elite, I haven't been since I ate lunch there several years ago and had the worst food poisoning of my life. The food was never all that great and the last time I went it appeared as though the A/C vents hadn't been cleaned since the 40's.

Anonymous said...

12:15 you are full of it. I left down town for greener pastures three years ago. The homeless in the area had gotten so bad that you couldn’t walk anywhere without constantly being asked for money. Some of the homeless would get angry when I would say no. Several of my coworkers cars were broken into or stolen. Our secretary was mugged in the parking lot. The last day I was there I heard gunshots in the middle of the day. Downtown is far from safe. Hence why more and more businesses leave there every year. Soon it will be nothing but government employees and bums. Even the lawyers are leaving.

Anonymous said...

The crappy service was ok when the food was decent. She is rude and has social interaction issues. Typical narcissist.

Anonymous said...

I can open canned food at home. It’s easy to blame other factors, but the truth is, the food and service is not good. The Mayflower and Parlor Market are busy and within a block of the Elite.

Anonymous said...

Those who get the comeback dressing never usually do

anonymous said...

I have eaten at the Elite many times over the years. After the old gentleman that ran it for 50+ years passed away, it steadily went downhill. Last time I was there (a couple of months ago) one side was completely closed off as they only had one waitress. Then, when I ordered, they were out of my favorite, the corned beef, and I settled for my 2d favorite the veal, but it was like leather as though it had been cooked the day before and reheated. The current manager apparently puts little effort in quality control in the kitchen and has issues with staff. Either call Chef Ramsay in to see if it can be saved on one of his "makeover" shows, or call it quits... I would hate to see it go, but it is only a shell of its former self right now.

Not Epicurious said...

My wife and I stopped in to eat a late lunch awhile back and the experience was less than optimal. The restaurant was not very busy and after being seated, our waitress appeared and took our order. We waited and waited for our food to come out and finally had to ask about our order. Amazingly, our order did not get to the kitchen. When it finally came out, the food was not what we expected. The combination of bad service and food ended any future desire to eat at the Elite again, which was a shame because the yeast rolls they serve were absoultely the best.

Anonymous said...

For whatever it's worth, I've lived in Mississippi (and the Jackson metro area) for over three years and this is the first time I've ever even heard of the place. I don't want to necessarily kick someone while they're down, but they really need to do some outreach or marketing. Just now, I've looked them up and can't find their menu. With all the great food in the area, they need to make it a little easier to want to try it. With all of that said, hell, I'll swing by later and see what they've got.

Anonymous said...

Love the Elite!

Consider it a big part of Jackson.

Service has always been good for me and the food was real simple: Veal cutlets and fries !

Let's all put forth some effort and help the owners out !!

Anonymous said...

I've lived in central MS my entire life. I've never heard of this place. I guess I won't miss it.

Anonymous said...

I worked downtown for many years, and ate at the Elite occasionally. However, it's probably been 10 years since I last at there, and I swore then that I'd never go back. And I haven't and don't plan to. It was pretty good back in its prime, but those days are long gone.

Louis LeFleur said...

No, 12:15! I'm sure those vents got a good washing out in the 1979 Easter Flood.

Anonymous said...

I went a few years ago and it was not good, nor were there many customers. Unless something drastically changes (new management, updated menu, etc.), it will be closed sooner than later.

Anonymous said...

Upon entering the Elite, I wondered if I had stepped back into time ... back to a time before soap was invented. I was worried that some ruffian might mistake me for a wandering lavender minstrel so I high-tailed it outta there and went down to Parlor Market. But then they told me they would only accept a bank note from a golden parachuted trust fund at Trustmark. So, I went to the Mayflower, but the pale blue lights of the establishment painted an eerie glow over the week-old grilled tilapia fish. Just then, I looked down at my watch and realized I was late for a City Council Meeting down at City Hall!!!

PittPanther said...

Those of you who have lived in Jackson forever, What year did the Elite start allowing black customers?

What year did they start making black customers feel comfortable and welcome? Seriously, I have asked my friends and acquaintances over the years, and not one has ever eaten at Elite. Not the reputation you want to have it you plan to be successful in Jackson Mississippi.

Some throwbacks need to go away...

Anonymous said...

@1:08 & @1:11
Your clearly the same person or a tin foil hat wearing basement dweller.

Anonymous said...

Tell you what. You do your part and I'll do mine. Make it worth my while (and safety) and I'll come back. You've got a lot of fence-mending to do.

Anonymous said...

Arm Pitt Panther, 1:42 PM, dude why are you always commenting on issues that don't concern you? Do you know that all Southerners laugh at Northerners (to their back and sometimes front)?? Maybe it's payback for burning this whole town to the ground, except for City Hall - thanks Bro. Sherman.

Do you know how many big city classic restaurants in the North were segregated in the 50's and 60's, either explicitly or implicitly?? I'm sure quite more than you'd care to admit.

Anonymous said...

Pitt Panther, thanks for commenting, now you can return to watching CNN all day. Do you have any friends, by the way?

Anonymous said...

1:42 PM, PittPanther, aka our resident kook, always comes up with a good one. So, in anticipation of this post and the potential closing, you have "asked [your] friends and acquaintances over the years". What great preparation you've done. Do you have any friends or acquaintances that feel Tate should not run for a second term after that major scandal in his last year of his first term?

Anonymous said...

Back in the 80s, I ate lunch with friends at the Elite once a week on average because my office was downtown in the Deposit Guaranty (now Regions) Plaza building. Primarily, I went for the rolls, and ordered either the veal or the enchiladas. The food was usually C to C+, but the rolls were always an A. The downside was that the seating host and the waitresses were always rush, rush, rush, reaching over you, brushing by you, etc. As soon as you took your last bite off of your plate, or it appeared you were finished eating, the waitress would "quickly" scoop up your plate up from the table, and started straightening up your table to get ready for the next customer "while you were still seated there". Every few minutes thereafter, the waitress would ask if there was anything else you needed, obviously hurrying you to pay and make room for the next customer. You could NOT sit there and enjoy a little conversation or sip on your tea after you finished your meal because they were trying to turn the table as quickly as possible. It was the same rushed feeling every time I ate there. That was really my only gripe about the restaurant.

Anonymous said...

Pitt, I used to eat there with my black colleague all the time and the staff couldn't have been more friendly - go peddle your bullshit to the JFP.

Anonymous said...

I remember when I started working downtown in 1997 there would be a line out the door at noon waiting for Mr. Pete to seat you. Now, I can walk in and sit anywhere I want. Obviously, businesses moving out of downtown has hurt them. But as others have pointed out, the Mayflower is pretty much packed every day. They have let the quality slip, and frankly, the food is overpriced. The Mayflower plate lunch is $9.50 plus tax and that includes tea. My favorite item at the Elite is the ground beef steak smothered with onions. But it's around $12.50. You throw in a tea and tip, and I'm up to a $17+ dollar lunch. Not worth it. But as everyone has pointed out they do have the best rolls you'll ever put in your mouth. I hate to see it go.

Anonymous said...

Back in the 80's, I would go there before hitting up Metrocenter for Haagen Dazs, usually followed by a quick stop at Waldenbooks as well. They had the greatest customer service manager. Joey was his name. They never minded me talking on my Nokia cellular phone device or receiving pages on my beeper. I loved the Tom Clancy new releases.

One time, I forgot my Walkman at the Elite and Wayne, I believe was the valet driver's name, returned it in the mail with a nice note and I received it a few weeks before the Bush 41 tax cuts went into effect. I later returned the favor by sending them a gift certificate to Gadzooks, where I learned he bought a cool set of threads.

Anonymous said...

@2:31, I preferred Orange Julius at Metrocenter

Anonymous said...

The food really became average on a good day. Plus the service sucked and if you complained they could give a rip.

Anonymous said...

What Would Gordon Ramsey Do?

Anonymous said...

I didn't love the place in the 80s and 90s. There's just too many authentic places to get an enchilada these days.

Anonymous said...

They used to have ZERO turnover at the Elite....those waitresses must by 120 years old by now.

Anonymous said...

The tone of that tome tells me they really don't get it. So many businesses, this one included, are of the mind set that we owe them, that we should be loyal, and when they fail, it is our fault, i.e., the customer.

Nope.

Anonymous said...

Hey Elite,

Look at Martins if you want to learn how to transition from a 1950's joint to a 2019 joint that upped their game and has good food for a good price.

I can go to Iron Horse, or Hal and Mals, or Mayflower, or the Westin or George Street and get an authentic downtown experience with good food.

You got lazy.

Anonymous said...

By the time a business owner posts something like that, its over. A Facebook post isn't going to fix a mediocre experience. People are done with it.

Now, let somebody named Primos come in and gut the place (or at least scrape the grime off the walls), and it might get new life.

The location is NOT this issue.

Anonymous said...

Gordon would set it on fire and collect insurance money....and move

Anonymous said...

Have eaten there many times and always had good service and good food. That said, it is not a 5 star restaurant and never pretended to be. It's more of what I would call a cafe. Of course that's a word seldom heard anymore.

And to those of you who say you have lived in Central MS and Jackson for a long time and never heard of the Elite, try going somewhere that doesn't specialize in chicken nuggets for a change. In other words, get a life.

Anonymous said...

Rolls and salad dressing is good. Last time I ate there was a baby roach crawing on my table.

Anonymous said...

If I am going down there I am eating at the Mayflower.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear this about the Elite. Not a good sign.

But, the Mayflower? Are you deranged?

Good God, the worst meal I've ever had in Jackson. Period. Awful. Decor from the 1950s. And grease and nastiness. Only folks I've seen go in there are drunks and smokers, so you can fart all you want and it'd smell better. Mr. Mike was an OSS hero, and I supported him, but that place sucks and when he passed, it's just not worth it. Gross place.

But, it must be like Waffle House for Oxford. When you're plastered, crappy food tastes great.

And, it doesn't help a business when your local homeless mental patient breaks out the front glass every week, which seems to happen to the Elite.

But my favorite story was when Mr. Pete started to go downhill a bit, and he wouldn't let you take "extra" rolls. The kids would ask for them. They were ticked. And he argued about it.

Classic "Greek diner" style and it's a shame to see it go. Like NYC where all the snotnoses and high rents have driven out the local places. But, that shore ain't happening in Jacktown. Wow. The opposite.

What will it be? Another dive bar or yet another ambulance chaser's office?

Anonymous said...

Don't expect an episode of Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives to be filmed at The Elite.

Kingfish said...

I don't mind the decor. I think it gives it an old time charm. The breakfast is pretty good. It has parking.

However, the food is mediocre. I asked a friend today if she had been lately. She said she went two months ago. She said the rolls were good but the food itself was not good. Read the comments. Too many people have had poor culinary experiences there. The menu never changes as well.

Go watch some Kitchen Nightmares, the BBC version. It's a safe bet the restaurant is making many of the same mistakes one sees on that show.

The owner can gripe about Capitol Street all he wants but there are two successful restaurants next door that charge higher prices. The problem isn't the location. The problem is the food. Improve the food, give people a better experience.

As for the Mayflower, I've eaten there probably four times this year for dinner. Food was very good. The bisque was excellent. The flounder and red snapper were good. Never had a bad meal or experience at the Mayflower and yes, I know what good seafood is. The Mayflower manages to pack them in with the same location, old decor, and yet higher prices.

Anonymous said...

To survive try getting a wait staff and kitchen crew that cares about the customer’s order. Was a regular for breakfast for a long, long time. ‘Two eggs over medium, bacon, wheat toast, black coffee.’ Same waitress every morning. She never knew my name, although I knew hers and greeted her every morning. And to be fair, they got the order right about 50% of the time. But they also GOT IT WRONG ABOUT 50% OF THE TIME. And asking for the error to be corrected was tantamount to asking for someone to donate a kidney. Finally stopped going. A drive-through sausage and biscuit beat the hell out the unconcerned atmosphere that permeated the entire experience day after day.

And, as a post script, to those who may ask why did you keep going back? Well, it's because I like the nostalgia of a downtown cafe; the smell of coffee brewing in the big percolators; and fried eggs over medium -- try ordering those at McDonalds. But, try ordering them at the Elite if you want something other than the bacon to raise your blood pressure!

Kingfish said...

Hope the owner is reading this.

Anonymous said...

That would be a great location for a good restaurant.

Anonymous said...

I hate to hear this, but I'm not surprised.

One of the last Jackson restaurant institutions is on life support.

To be honest, I'm somewhat amused they've remained open for so many years after Mr. Pete's death.

I will forever have memories of the Elite during the 60's & early 70's.

Fried veal cutlets with white gravy.

Enchiladas.

Home made pies for desert.

Waitresses that seemed like family . . . and of course those rolls !

Damn, I even remember the fire back around 1975.

I honestly thought that was the end.

But the brothers form Greece bounced back.

I still miss that late 1960's Aegean Sea 'Greek Harbor' wallpaper.

Yeah KF . . .

I hope the current owners are reading these comments myself !






Anonymous said...

Did the Elite finally hire the same marketing firm employed by Jerry Lake and Carter Jewelers?

Anonymous said...

Man cannot live on rolls alone.

Anonymous said...

Food is garbage but I like the decor. A restaurant SHOULD be frozen in time, back when things were simpler. I much prefer it to some purple-haired, women's abortion-empowerment major from Milsaps sauntering up and babbling with a fake, northeast coffee shop accent about their limited time only imported organic water flight for $29.95.

Anonymous said...

Some of you folks think just because you can eat....
that you can run a restaurant.

Anonymous said...

The enchilada remains on point. I drive down there a couple times a year for old times sake. I’ll support them as I hate to see it close. Used to work at 111 East Capital next door and walk over. Remember the little old fellow, Pete I assume, would wave you back to a table. It was always crowded back then, early 2000’s.

Anonymous said...

Stick a fork in the Elite; it's done. I'll take Dave's Triple B or George St. Grocery (Ole Tavern?) any day over anything downtown on Capitol Street.

Anonymous said...

My office is nearby. The food is bad. I thought the restaurant had an odor. Capitol Street is vibrant at lunch. Owner is at fault here. I’d rather eat at Trustmark’s cafeteria.

Anonymous said...

Right! The rolls are the best, so pay $15 for lunch with tip and get a roll that pleases you. Think about your lungs when you sit in this place for 55 minutes. Close down for two days and pressure wash the damned place! Call in a business coach who can attempt to convince you that the public is the customer and you are NOT. Hire people who smile and are prompt.

Finally, yes, turn it into Primos and let the management split the tips with the wait staff. That worked well in Madison.

The Elite is no longer an experience. It's a memory. Just like the branch they opened (and closed) in Madison six years ago.

Anonymous said...

Management taking 1/2 of the tips from the wait staff is a wage-hour violation.

Plus - I love the rolls and enchiladas!

Anonymous said...

The lack of good or courteous service at the Elite is the easiest cure of all. Premier service has always been a hallmark of restaurants owned by Bill Latham, one of the best in the business locally. The Elite could retain Latham as a consultant, and let him train and set the standards for its servers.

Anonymous said...

The owners husband chuck is a total douche nozel

Sits around there like he actually does something

Arrogant sack of shit for no reason

Family should have sold it before it got so nasty

Now it’ll just close and remain vacant until Derek decides he wants another challenge

Anonymous said...

If you go to the Elite and have to go to the bathroom, you only have to walk a few steps. If you go to the Mayflower and have to go to the bathroom, you have to go outside and walk down the sidewalk and take a flight of stairs to the second floor. Why has the Health Department and the Federal ADA regulations not enforce the law?????

Anonymous said...

There is an old business adage that it takes three good experiences to create a loyal customer and one bad to lose them. I've never eaten there, but if the above posts are anywhere near accurate, The Elite has lost a lot more customers over the last ten years than they have gained. It seems that the Elite's day has past with little reason for its return.

All things end.

Anonymous said...

The Lamar closed because it was plain filthy..The food was not good..The cook was also the waiter,,, the cashier..and bus boy

Anonymous said...

"(downtown Jackson is perfectly safe!)"

Nope, that's a lie. Nowhere is perfectly safe.

Kingfish said...

Went there last night. They had a decent night. Friend got the enchiladas. He said they were fine but not as good as they used to be as they were drowning in meat sauce. I got the breaded veal cutlets on the advice of the readers. They were good for what they were. Nothing special that stands out to me like the bisque at Mayflower but it was good. I'm not a fan of breaded meats (such as country fried steak) but it was good. Thick on the sauce but that was easily remedied.

The green beans were a little salty but that's ok, at least they had a decent flavor, unlike Primos. At Primos, half the sides taste as if they just dumped them out of a can, heated on the stove, and served. Note to Primos: Go to Fortification McDades and take lessons on how to serve sides. They use such innovations such as cooking with bacon, for example.

Fries were good. Rolls were as good as they were in the old days - but they were better than they were over the last few years. It wouldn't surprise me if they were fresh last night and what I've gotten in the past that was underwhelming was well, you figure it out.

Service was fine but I have my doubts the same staff could handle a full house.

Now, let's go back in a few and see if they can replicate the same experience.

Oh yes, note to staff, some one blabbing away on a cellphone while wearing a headset, you might want to ask the person to knock it off. VERY annoying. Yes, you might make that one customer mad BUT you will have a dozen or so customers who are no longer mad.

Anonymous said...

Elite could be a good candidate for a makeover on Restaurant Impossible with Robert Irvine’s brash recommendations.

Anonymous said...

My willingness to support local businesses ends when my health is jeopardized - I've eaten at the Elite twice (only because I was meeting others for lunch) and got violently ill after each trip, the first time after eating the "awesome" enchiladas, and the second time after eating the "best veal in Mississippi." My advice is to hire a consultant to right the ship and create a high-quality nostalgic experience, or sell or license the recipe and/or rights to the yeast rolls and call it a day.

Sorry Elite, you won't get a third try...

Anonymous said...

My wife and I have gone once. We had the enchiladas and veal cutlet. It was good but not exceptional, and, as others have stated, the servers don't make it a good experience. How about the owners post pictures of specials on social media, etc to drum up business which will lead to more pictures posted on review sites such as yelp? I know what the dishes look like at Mayflower and therefore go a couple of times per month. Red snapper or steaks suppose to be good - well show it to me on your Facebook page. BTW, if you don't think the food at the Mayflower is good, you are ordering the wrong dish.

Anonymous said...

As a chef that has moved to other markets, I sense the owner knows they have lost that love of the restaurant life, knows it, and is looking to pass the restaurant on to a more motivated owner. The comments here and my dining experiences at the Elite scream laziness from the top down. The enchiladas alone expose lack of detail and corner cutting. Sauces must be mounted with precision. Spices need to be blossomed correctly. This means that from the selection and prep of ingredients through plating each step has to be executed perfectly.
The Elite clearly does not do this anymore. Whether building a soup or mounting a sauce, just knowing the precise time to sweat or caramelize your base vegetables before adding the next ingredients is essential. I can assure you that they buy bulk and low quality chili powder and store it in hot and humid kitchen. My guess is a line cook throws all the ingredients in a large stock pot at once and stirs occasionally. It falls flat and sits heavy on the plate. This attitude likely shows up in all areas - cleanliness, attitude, and customer service.
A relatively young but experienced chef and restaurant group could turn this around quickly. Just purchasing better produce and ingredients alone would change things dramatically. I guarantee if you looked in their walk ins, saw their dish pit and dumpsters, looked under and behind their cook tops and prep benches you would find signs of laziness. The business should be bought, closed and cleaned for 2-3 days, and reopened as a fresh plate money maker.

Anonymous said...

9:08am, Chuck won’t listen to anyone about what’s wrong with the restaurant. Blames everything except the food and service. He and Robert Irvine would get in a fight. It would be a interesting episode. My money would be on Irvine.

Anonymous said...

@9:57 - Exactly, Mayflower can handcut french fries. Why is the Elite serving frozen ones?

T Webb said...

I think the key to the Elite, much like the Mayflower is to know what to order. The enchiladas and veal cutlets have always been great but reading some of these comments maybe not as much anymore? I am going next weekend to give it a shot. I will say this, the atmosphere is like going back in time and I love it.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sick of those who never go downtown saying crime makes it risky.

I eat downtown frequently at night at Stella's, Parlor Market and The Mayflower. I've never had a problem nor felt uncomfortable.

I also go to events at Thalia Mara and The Mississippi Museum of Art.

My husband works downtown and has often worked late for decades. Never once has he had a problem.

If you hang out any place after midnight, you assume a risk, but good grief, if are afraid to go eat downtown, especially when you could eat dinner while it's still light outside, you are a wimp!


Anonymous said...

I work downtown but I have also worked downtown in different cities across the county. The people here amaze me with the thought that the homeless issue is a "Jackson" problem. You people need to get out more.

Anonymous said...

Gawd, this is about the downfall of a once great restaurant in a once great city.
( Well good diner is a better description. ) No one has ever said the Elite was "fine dining".

But still.

Hundreds of threads about Jackson crime, the homeless, and so forth . . . are all over Jackson Jambalaya.

But those issues have nothing to do about why the Elite is now on life support.

I appreciate the comments from the chef and others.

And I agree 100% !

Sell it to someone who cares.

Nostalgia, great service, a clean facility and good food are no brainers.






Anonymous said...

Given the number of Mexican restaurants employing illegals, there are at least 30 places you can get a better enchilada than the Elite. Or at least more authentic.

Anonymous said...

So, Kingfish strolls in, orders green beans and french fries and suddenly turns into Epicurious. The Sysco truck brought the beans in a five gallon can and the same truck wheeled in the frozen fries.

Matthew Kadjan weighed in as 'someone who left for another market' and lobs an insult.

The Elite is nothing more than a Greek-remnant copy of Mel's Diner. Not fine dining but great if you're looking for a warm roll or passable enchilada. And the plates are still heavy and glass and make that old fashioned clanking sound as they're loaded back into the kitchen. It's not often that you have to bend your fork back in shape here, so that's a plus too.

Anonymous said...

Just had lunch there, and there was a nice lively crowd. All the booths were filled, as well as some of the tables in the back. The service was prompt and friendly, and the food was good. The owners were on scene, too. Seemed like old times.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 2:17. People who think Jackson has a bad problem with homelessness haven’t been to California or the Pacific Northwest,

Suscribe to latest on JJ.

Recent Comments

Search Jackson Jambalaya

Subscribe to JJ's Youtube channel

Archives

Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).


Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.


In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.


Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS
.