At 622 Duling Avenue here in Jackson, Mississippi, there is the popular restaurant called Saltine. The Fondren hot spot has special nights every week; Thursday night is Bubbly Night and Sunday is Wine Night. Notably, especially for college students, Saltine has Ramen Night on Mondays.
Each week, there is only one ramen flavor available. What is lost in the lack of selection is made up by the fact that a new flavor is introduced each week. Additionally, commenting with friends or family about the flavor of the dish is a fun conversation topic at the candlelit table.
Saltine gives a preview on Facebook about what the week’s Ramen looks like and contains.
Outside of the sitting area, there is also a sign with the month’s ramen flavors. This is anything from steak fajita ramen, “TikTok” ramen, a variety of seafood ramen types, and even some as interesting as PB&J ramen.
Ramen Night at Saltine runs from 6pm until closing at 9pm on Mondays. In my experience, there has not been much of a wait time due to their extremely accommodating staff; when my friend asked how long the wait would be for 5 people, they told us around 30-40 minutes yet sat us right away after making room for us in the sitting area.
The waiting staff is usually very kind, though their job can get quite hectic, especially on Ramen Nights. This may cause errors or lack of communication, yet they are quick to correct any problems or annoyances. Still, the popularity of the night means that one should expect slightly slower service.
The atmosphere of Ramen Night at Saltine is special. The tables have candles on them and the typical oceanic feel of the restaurant remains constant. Yet, people chat with other tables and groups of friends share drinks. There is a friendly feeling that causes the restaurant to radiate a sense of comfort.
From my own personal experience of Ramen Night, I’ve been delighted both times I’ve gone. The first time, we had a cheery, kind waitress who was incredibly accommodating. That night, they served steak fajita ramen. It had steak, peppers, potatoes, mushrooms, and onions with the noodles. It had a rich broth that complimented the flavor of the contents. This was a very rich ramen, yet felt hearty and fulfilling.
The second time I attended Ramen Night, they served a “TikTok” ramen. This one had sausage next to a sunny side up egg, with mushrooms and green onion on top. The broth was much lighter yet the protein from the rest of the bowl left me feeling full in a way that was not heavy.
The first night, I was presented the picturesque bowl of ramen with a renge spoon and chopsticks. However, the second night I was only given a fork. Surprisingly, this did little to hinder the experience, and eating the ramen was still very enjoyable.
The price of the ramen was close to $15 dollars, though when paired with oysters or other food, this can quickly total upwards of $30 with tip.
Saltine also has a daily happy hour from 4-6pm. During this time, they have $1 oysters, $3 chicken biscuits, and (for those over 21) various half priced alcoholic beverages.
Their raw oysters are divine, and are served beside the traditional saltine crackers, cocktail sauce, horseradish, and lemon. The ease of ordering as many as you want and knowing exactly what you’ll pay ($1 per oyster) means that it’s easy to budget while getting precisely what you want to eat.
From their oysters to their weekly Ramen Nights, Saltine serves as a restaurant suited for a dinner with friends, family, a date, or even yourself. The varying flavors from week to week of their ramen lures customers back to their lively Monday nights.