Johnny T's Bistro & Blues

Modern Cuisine Mixed With America's Music

538 North Farish Street
Jackson, Mississippi 39202

The House Special: Johnny T’s

There are few Jackson Restaurant menus that leave me stumped on exactly what I should try from time to time. If you know me, or if you’ve dined with me before, you know I move methodically through most menu offerings. Some places I have my absolute go-to dishes, and it’s hard to break away. But at Johnny T’s, my choices have never been tougher. I’ve only been to Johnny T’s a handful of times and each time I’m torn between several signature items. I’ve had the wing platter and the shrimp pasta before, so this time I went with my third of their six signature items – the house special.

The House Special comes with pan seared tilapia over rice and sautéed spinach and is topped with jumbo shrimp and Johnny T’s signature crawfish cream sauce, then sprinkled with Parmesan. I ordered at the bar to-go, as it can get pretty groovy on a Friday night from the variety of tunes playing throughout the place. During this particular visit, the patio was where you wanted to be if you wanted to hear the likes of ZZ Hill and Johnny Taylor, where on the other hand the interior of the former Crystal’s Palace played more contemporary R&B tunes.

Although I placed my order to-go, the bartender took care to inform me of the wait time for my order to help with my expectations. So, I settled in and enjoyed the music while I waited on my dinner. Before long, my dinner had arrived, and I learned a new song all in the same visit – without paying a cover charge for the entertainment. Can’t beat that.

Now about the serious business, the food. This dish isn’t the house special without a few points of pride. Firstly, the portion goes a long way. There’s enough food on this plate to last lunch and dinner for most. Secondly, the sauce. Everyone is doing a crawfish cream sauce of some type it seems, but Johnny T’s has it with this one. It’s rich and loaded with crawfish, and I needed more of it. The shrimp were cooked perfectly, and the tilapia was well-seasoned. The spinach could have used a tad more seasoning, standing alone. Blended, it gave a good balance to the richness of the sauce, however. The rice was cooked to the perfect consistency and made for a good second helping the next day for lunch leftovers. Thirdly, the convenience. Although I wanted to check out the scenery this time for my review, I’ve been fortunate to enjoy Johnny T’s during catered events and through home delivery. I’m glad Johnny T’s is also available on the WaitrApp because I’ve now got three more signature items to try from their menu. So far, I’m three for three on signature worthy foodie goodness. Let’s see what the future holds, soon!

Carlyn Hicks, founder of Jackson Foodies, lover of all things culinary, pro-Jackson advocate. All opinions expressed in this post are the opinions of the writer and not necessarily those of Visit Jackson.



  • American
  • Seafood
  • Southern/Soul



  • Alcohol Served
  • Black-owned
  • Meeting/Event Space
  • Outdoor/Patio
  • Takeout
  • Live entertainment/events


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