Last weekend my husband had a birthday and he got to pick the restaurant. No surprise, he opted for Jack Allen’s Kitchen in Oak Hill. We both love that place and visit any chance we get. If you’ve never been I highly recommend it. Jack Allen’s has plenty of good things going for it.
First off, the food is delicious and locally sourced. Their tagline “Local in Source. Texan in Spirit” says a lot. Jack Allen’s gets most of its ingredients from farms right here in the state. They work hard to build relationships with and support local purveyors, and their commitment to fresh ingredients makes a difference. The dishes are interesting, delicious and not the same old, same old stuff you find everywhere. Each evening they offer a special in addition to their regular menu. They also have plenty of local wines and spirits, and start each meal with a small, complimentary appetizer of pimiento cheese and flatbread crackers. Tasty stuff.
Another big plus for Jack Allen’s is its amazing Sunday Brunch. Every weekend from 10 to 2 you’ll find an amazing assortment of food. I can’t even begin to describe it, it’s a little bit of everything and absolutely impossible to leave hungry. It’s a buffet, but even if you don’t consider yourself a “buffet-type” give this one a chance. I promise you won’t regret it. I recommend reservations, though — I’ve never been to Jack Allen’s when it wasn’t crowded.
During the week, they also have a great happy hour, offering specials from 3-7 Monday through Friday and 3-5 Saturday and Sunday. There are half-priced appetizers and drink specials.
The atmosphere at Jack Allen’s is a good mix of comfortable and inviting — nice but not stuffy. The twinkling string lights add to the charm. You could arrive in jeans and cowboy boots, a business suit for lunch on a weekday, church clothes on Sunday or dressed up a bit for a Saturday night. Whatever you choose you wouldn’t feel out of place. And I think that’s the idea. It’s sort of like a good friend inviting you in, accepting you as you are, offering you a drink, comfort food and lively conversation (granted you do have to pay for this friendly hospitality — but it’s totally worth it).
I also like that they have art by local artists on the wall, some for sale. I really wanted to bring home the large Willie Nelson piece last weekend — it seemed like a bargain at $500 — but I guess my husband didn’t drink nearly enough Thirsty Goat to agree to it on the spot. Hopefully Willie goes to a good home.