There truly ain’t nothing better than a good, old-fashioned diner with an interesting history and a solid Southern menu. And that’s exactly what Good Ole’ Jessie’s Dixie Diner offers. With a history dating back to the 1920s and a menu filled with Southern classics, you can’t help but feel nostalgic when you’re in this place.
The building certainly has a rich history, especially when it comes to food. Originally built from a Sears Roebuck kit, it has been three different restaurants over the past 52 years: Frank’s Dixie Drive in 1963, Jessie’s Family Restaurant from 1974 to 2002, and now, Good Ole’ Jessie’s Diner, since June 27, 2014.
Purchased by Jean Jessie (aka “Miss Jessie”) and her husband, John, in 1974, the two created a booming diner business with good food and great company. After being sold in 2012, the building had a few ups and downs, before falling into the hands of the nostalgic and creative (new) owner, Tom Whitted.
So far, Whitted has taken the good ole’ history of Miss Jessie, revamped the space and updated the menu, with hopes of even more good company.
OK, enough history. Let’s get to the food part!
We got to Jessie’s with a solid appetite and an open mind. Billed as a “breakfast all day, every day diner that also serves lunch and dinner,” Jessie’s breakfast for dinner offer should be strongly considered. And at first glance of the menu, we knew we would be there for awhile.
First, we started with a few drinks. Unfortunately, Jessie’s didn’t yet have a liquor license, so we kept it PG with a Waverly lemonade.
Next we perused the good ole’ appetizers, because it’s just rude not to have an app, right? Of course, our eyes always go straight to bacon, so an order of Bacon Bombs for $6.99 was immediately placed. The description is what sold us … and of course the bacon: “Jessie’s scratch biscuits filled with melt-in-your-mouth cheddar wrapped in bacon.” Melt-in-your-mouth they were. The biscuits were buttery, the cheese was cheddary, and the bacon was crunchy and savory. Did we mention it was served with a delicious side of ranch? This is one menu item that must be ordered.
Craving some bacon and pancakes, but also have your eye on their burger selection? Don’t worry, you can have both (or all three). We did. These Bacon Dippers ($6.99) are “sweet and savory” bacon cooked in pancake batter with a side of maple syrup. These were the perfect breakfast for dinner-type appetizers that were equally as good as the bacon bombs.
You can never go wrong with omelets, so we had to get one. And the choices at Jessie’s were endless: Western, Meat Lover’s, South-of-The-Border, The Dixie or Omelet-Your-Way. We went with the Omelet-Your-Way, adding bacon, mushrooms and peppers with a side of their skillet potatoes and toast. Perfectly light, fluffy and flavorful.
It was tough to select from the burger items. The waitress was kind enough to let us know that Jessie’s steak was too good to pass up and that we should choose the Sweet Burger, $9.99, a steakburger with soft cream cheese, wasabi sauce, caramelized onions and jalapeños served on a bun. It was delicious! Juicy, spicy, sweet and so flavorful, all at the same time.
Next up was the South-Of-The-Border skillet ($9.29), which tastes as good as it sounds and looks. Skillet potatoes, chorizo, black beans, green and red bell peppers, onion, jalapeños, shredded cheese, topped with pico de gallo and avocado, served in a cast-iron skillet with Jessie’s sweet waffle and two eggs your way, was probably one of our favorite dishes on the menu.
Post appetizers and order placement, we decided to add an order of loaded fries, $9.99, because why not? Good ole’ fashioned fries piled high with melted cheese, bacon, pico de gallo and sour cream, these fries were a great little extra on top of our already crowded table.
There is one thing you can never mess up or deny when placed on a menu: a Monte Cristo, $7.99. Obviously we had to try this Southern treat, and it certainly did not disappoint. This is a meat lover’s dream sandwich with ham and shaved turkey on Texas toast with melted Swiss and cheddar cheese served with warm maple syrup and a side of skillet potatoes. This had to be one of the better Monte Cristos we’ve had. Crunchy, flavorful, salty and sweet, all at once.
Needless to say, after all this delicious food, we were stuffed, but very satisfied. Our waitress brought our checks in mystery novels, which was an added touch (I read Nancy Drew in my middle school days) to an already nostalgic evening.
Good Ole’ Jessie’s had quite a selection of homemade pies, but unfortunately, we had to pass. They looked delicious, though.
Good Ole’ Jessie’s Diner truly has nothing but good ole’ Southern cuisine. It is quite a drive, but it was well worth it for both the food and the nostalgia.
Good Ole’ Jessie’s Diner is located at 9609 Dixie Hwy. in Louisville. With a website forthcoming, you can learn more (for now) at their Facebook page.