The general ambiance inside and outside of the restaurant is that of nostalgic fun. There's even an area in the front with candy from both the olden days gone by (I love those wax bottles with syrupy goodness inside them) and today's favorites. Sweet tarts, pop rocks, rock candy, etc. you name it and they probably have it.
The decor reminds of of TGIFridays before they turned more modern, back when they were fun and the servers wore nifty hats, buttons, and the like. The place definitely has personality! The random humorous signs everywhere, antique objects, nearly wall to wall license plates, etc. There's never a dearth of interesting objects to pique your interests while you wait for your food.
One of my favorite things is the huge popcorn popper they have in their dining room. I <3 popcorn, it's my favorite snack food ever! I've made jokes on several occasions that I just want to dive into the popcorn popper ala Scrooge McDuck in Duck Tales (even if it's not THAT big). Free popcorn which takes the place of a bread service = amazing, in my opinion! I'm totally biased though on this point. =D
My friends ordered the artillery dog to share. The 1lb. artillery dog ($15.25) is described on the menu as "one full pound of the same New York style goodness that made out Mile-Long Dog famous, served in a masterpiece of a toasted bun." It's massive to say the least. I mean, it's utterly huge. I had my friends pose in front of it to give you an idea of scale.
Sadly I can't comment on how the hot dog tastes, since I've never tasted theirs before. But I've always been of the opinion, the best compliment you can give to a chef is to clear your plate, which they did. ^__^
I ordered the Sea Dog ($12.95) which is described in the menu as a "delicious cod fillet beer battered, fried, and served on our famous mile long bun with tartar sauce, coleslaw, and fries." In all honesty I thought I was getting a sandwich with a fish patty. Much to my surprise, the picture below is what I received when the server brought my food.
It's totally a fish fillet cut, battered, and fried in the shape of a hot dog. I got a laugh out of it. ^_^ I thought it was cute, creative, and honestly it worked really well! The fish was moist and it wasn't overly greasy (it's fried fish, there's going to be some grease, tis the nature of fried foods). The coleslaw and fries were ok, nothing too exciting though.
The best part of coming to Jaxson's isn't their food, it's their dessert which sets them a class above the other eateries in the area. They make their ice cream on site and fresh every day. You can really taste the difference in the quality of the icecream and they have a ton of flavors to choose from. The icecream is always creamy and has a light texture. Now depending on what flavor you choose, it can be a bit heavy handed on the sugar, but for the most part I like most of their flavors that I have tried. In terms of flavors, there are the staples which they always make and then there's also a chalkboard which has the rotating flavors.
The only downside of eating your dessert inside the establishment is the "sharing" surcharge, which is $1 per person. I know it's not a lot of money, but it still manages to irk me every time. The desserts are really big and I honestly don't think the proportions given for most of their desserts are made for just one person to eat. The only exception is probably the sundae special which you can buy with the purchase of any regular menu item. The sundae special is basically the equivalent of 2 scoops of ice cream topped with whipped cream. I feel with the portions being so large, people should be allowed to share their desserts and not feel penalized for not being able to finish it on their own.
My friend ordered the Black and White goblet which was a mix of chocolate and vanilla with whipped cream, chocolate chips, and a side car of hot fudge. I don't really have a size comparison for you guys on this one, but it's big (just trust me). Again I can't comment on the Black and White since I didn't eat it, but it looked pretty! I'm not really a chocolate fan either, so I probably wouldn't have ordered it.
I can, however, comment of their waffles! Their waffles are made fresh to order and topped with two types of ice cream of your choice and then finished with whipped cream. We just had crunchy peanut butter ice cream on this occasion. The ice cream was great, it tasted of freshly ground peanut butter instead of the mainstream peanut butter you could purchase from a super-market. My favorite part of the dessert was the waffle as it was really fun to eat! The waffle is in the shape of a flower (well, it looks flower-like to me) and you can tear off the "petals," add a dollop of ice cream, and nom away to your heart's content. ^____^ Om nom nom nom!
I've had a few of their other flavors before, some of which I've enjoyed and others not so much. Their coconut, butter pecan, and praline pecan are outstanding while their strawberry cheesecake is pretty heavy on the sugar. I could only eat a few bites of the strawberry cheesecake ice cream without feeling like I should be in a sugar induced coma.
<3 for Jackson's, it's always a great place to go have something sweet. Just find a flavor that you love and have it any way that you please whether it's in a parfait, sundae, milk shake, etc. Make sure you come early though because it can get pretty crowded late at night and there can be quite a wait to get in!
Jaxson's Ice Cream
128 S Federal Highway