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Saltine Oyster Bar

Oyster bar located in Fondren.

The Stories

Jesse isn't afraid to experiment with his dishes: is always creating something new along with the old standards. He is also engaged with the other local businesses and highlights local breweries. His themed parties add an extra flair to Fondren.

Mississippi chefs Jesse Houston of Jackson and Vishwesh Bhatt of Oxford are among 20 semi-finalists for a James Beard Award for Best Chef: South, the James Beard Foundation announced today. The awards are commonly called the Oscars of the food world.

Saltine chef/owner Houston, a first-timer on the list, said "I'm kind of speechless. I really didn't see this coming. ... I'm very flattered and honored." Saltine, which has made best lists in Bon Appetit and Southern Living, and been featured in Garden & Gun, specializes in seasonal Southern cuisine and highlights Gulf Coast seafood...

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Credit to: Saltine Restaurant!Two-Mississippi-chefs-James-Beard-Award-semifinalists/c1rml/56c4f57b0cf247432446f0d5

Credit to: Find It In Fondren

Raw, wood-fired, fried: You can have your oysters pretty much any way imaginable at this seafood heaven. Chef Jesse Houston’s nautical takeover (complete with a mural of an octopus) of a former elementary school has become a hangout for Fondren District locals, who sit at the long bar, slurping down $1 oysters on the half shell during happy hour and sipping one of the 30 beers on tap. Soon families arrive, and the place starts to feel like the coolest after-school program in town...

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Credit to: Bon Appetit

Jesse Houston noticed Jackson’s desire and need for fresh seafood in the city. While working at Parlor Market, he worked a small oyster bar, and people’s reactions showed him that an oyster bar could be successful here. Located in Fondren, Saltine Oyster Bar has been named one of the best restaurants in the area multiple times, and Jesse has been recognized as a unique, talented chef.

“I wanted it in Fondren so I could be close to other great artists. I wanted to keep the price point low so that starving artists could come eat here and my friends could eat here. You know, I didn’t want to have a restaurant that was $30-50 a plate, which I’ve done before. It’s fun--you get use a lot of cool, fancy ingredients, but I wanted to do things that were more accessible, but still playful, still fun and artistic and creative.”-Jesse

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