Jackie’s Restaurant

A splashy, retro-cool spot for updated comfort food.

From ,June 2006 Cheap Eats

Almost two years ago, Jackie Greenbaum tacked a faux-fur curtain across the doorway to an old auto-parts warehouse off Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring. She hung Lucite cutouts from the rafters and a movie screen in front of the dining room, threw around some shaggy throw pillows, pulled in a cook from Cashion's Eat Place, and gave the place her name. A jumping hotspot on a desolate corner, Jackie's seemed impossibly trendy and a little alien, like a teenager showing off her new tattoo to Grandma.

These days it's a hit with both teens and grandmas as well as with Silver Spring's new wave of condo dwellers, who sip foam-topped mango martinis while they wait for a table.

Chef Sam Adkins does comfort food proud. Elvis burgers–mini-patties dolloped with pimiento cheese–are addictive. So are chili-spiked pork riblets and nachos with whipped avocado and pico de gallo. More refined are mussels wrapped in shredded phyllo, fried, and served with pale-yellow aïoli, and a beautifully simple appetizer of seared scallops with buttery portobello mushrooms.

Main courses, such as flatiron steak with celeriac mashed potatoes, are sophisticated but expensive. Bargain-friendly Nostalgia plates, which rotate weekly, are worth seeking out, especially Wednesday's golden fried chicken and potato salad and Saturday's killer meatloaf.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.