Most folks in Jackson have met up for a beer or an adult beverage at Fenian’s Pub. That’s been a thing for almost 20 years. I’m not saying the food was terrible for 20 years, but it recently got WAY better. To an exceptional level. To the point where I’d meet up with someone for lunch, without dreaming of needing a beer or another drink. Yep, there’s a new sheriff in town, and his name is Ryan Cassell.
The food has always been pub food fare, somewhat comforting and expected, but with its Irish heritage intact. It was always tolerable, but not exceptional.
Lately, there’s been a noted shift. What used to be a fulfilled need to avoid an empty stomach has transitioned into awe inspiring flavor combinations. The heart of Fenian’s hasn’t changed, but its culinary output is now “a thing.”
We were determined to find out the source of these mind-boggling authentic Irish flavors, so we met up with Chef Ryan Cassell.
Cassell personally sources only the best ingredients, visiting local farms and getting to know growers and makers in the area. His commitment to local sourcing also inspires his flavor combinations to let the ingredients shine and work together.
The Fenian’s menu is still a solid fusion of Irish and Southern, but he’s brought a freshness and seasonality to the table at Fenian’s that leaves us craving it in between visits.
Most recently, our entire food team along with our summer intern class visited Fenian’s for lunch and some food photography practice. The results? Smiles and full bellies all around. Plus a handful of photos to share with you. Here’s what we ate.
>> The Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad is Chef Ryan’s answer to the question “What’s the sexiest thing on the menu?” It’s a beautiful flavor bomb that’s good for you, too.
>> The Burger is a hunk of meat on a plate. Everything a burger should be.
>> Shepards Pie is Mrs. Eat’s go to dish. She swears she can’t resist taking just one more bite of its peppery goodness. It’s a brilliant update on an Irish classic that may just be the anchor of the entire menu. Don’t skip the housemade soda bread for the win.