The pie at Sadler’s in Jacksonville is said to be so good some don’t wait to have it for dessert but dive right in to one for an appetizer.
On Friday nights in East Texas the rumbling you hear in Jacksonville could be the crowds at the Tomato Bowl where local football teams square off or it could be folks rambling to get to the dining room at Sadler’s Kitchen as the doors open at 5 p.m. Recently, I was a diner in the crowd.
The nostalgia of eating amongst the walls that once housed the post office in Jacksonville hugs you as you are seated in the art deco designed dining room through the maroon theater curtains. The feel of friends and good times unites with home cooking here that makes you hungry immediately.
Sadler’s offers East Texas home cooking, smokehouse specials, and seafood for every taste. The pot roast is delicious, but not that pretty on presentation. Just eat it, you will forget it came in a bowl. I also love their flare for local veggies and sides. The squash casserole is a throwback to a Sunday summer dinner at your grandparents. Fresh veggies can be hard to find in restaurants these days, but Sadler’s prides themselves on offering local produce. You may need to ask, because they are sometimes out of offerings like peas and asparagus. The wait staff is very honest about the limits that may be on local items.
The grill items are very yummy as well. They range from pork chops to red snapper. The crab cakes are good, but have a lot of filler. They are handmade though and that does make a difference.
As a diner I did find one thing at Sadler’s that was amazing beyond explanation — dessert....the pies (lemon icebox, chocolate cream, coconut cream, brownie fudge and strawberry) are all a masterpiece on a plate. The table next to me had pie as an appetizer. I could eat the strawberry pie for each course. It makes your worries go away.
Sadler’s has revitalized a historical landmark and also provided training for Lon Morris students in hospitality and culinary arts. This alone should make you take highway 79 to Jacksonville for great home cooking, a glass of wine, and smiling service. But remember many are students who are learning, be patient and smile. They are nervous, too. Have pie first it will make you happy.