In The Jailhouse Now at Sadler’s Kitchen
By Dana Goolsby
JACKSONVILLE, TX- Since 1943 the Sadler name as been synonymous with great food in Jacksonville. Times have changed, as well as the location, but the great food has stayed the same at Sadler’s Kitchen! Today Sadler’s is located in the old Jacksonville City Jail, (also the old police station and tax office) which was constructed in the 1930s. Owner Rob Gowin saw an opportunity to not only continue his family’s legacy in a historic location, but also assist in efforts to revitalize the City of Jacksonville.The Sadler legacy originally began when Gowin’s grandparents, Monk and Elizabeth Sadler, opened a restaurant in an old drive-in. Since then, the Sadler family has been involved in restaurant development in one way or another. Today, Gowin offers many of the same wonderful, Sadler family recipes, as well as new dishes at his restaurant.
Formerly an old jail, Sadler’s offers a special niche for history lovers and those who enjoy flipping properties. Gowin has certainly turned a place people once hated to go into a place folks are dying to get in to. Be sure to look around every corner in Sadler’s. The bar is located where the fine folks of Jacksonville once paid their taxes, and the female cell is now a romantic nook for two.
I had the opportunity to dine at Sadler’s last Sunday afternoon and had a great experience, along with fabulous food. The menu had a lot to offer but I went with the East Texas classic- chicken fried steak, while my friends ordered a variety of other dishes.
This year I will name the top five places to eat chicken fried steak in East Texas on Texas Chicken Fried Steak Day, on October 26, 2014. As a sixth generation East Texan, I am a harsh critic of battered cow and fixings. I am happy to say, Gowin’s chicken fried steak will be in the running! There is an art to making good chicken fried steak and cream gravy, and the Sadler family has mastered that art.
Another dish that was thoroughly enjoyed at our table was a savory pulled pork sandwich on Texas toast, complete with sole slaw, mango salsa, and just the right amount of BBQ sauce. This will definitely be my choice the next time I dine at Sadler’s.
We saved room for pie, but just barely! Sadler’s is a place you don’t leave without having a slice of pie. I chose the strawberry pie, which was delivered to the table by Gowin’s lovely mother, Jan Gowin. I couldn’t help but feel like her delivery made the pie just a bit sweeter.
Everyone at Sadler’s was kind and attentive. From Gowin and his mother, to his impeccable wait staff, everyone was wearing a smile at Sadler’s, and so were we!
Leave your stress at the door when you visit Sadler’s. They offer a full bar stocked high with all of your favorite domestic and imported beers, as well as top-shelf and premium brands of liquors.
The sign may say “Beer Pies BBQ,” but Sadler’s has something for everyone. Whether you are looking for an East Texas culinary experience, a place to dine and drink with friends, or a place to eat after church on Sunday, Sadler’s is a perfect place for all of the above.
Sadler’s is located at 101 South Bonner Street in Jacksonville, right across from the old train depot. Doors are open Thursday-Saturday from 11a.m.-8p.m., and Sundays from 11a.m.-2p.m. Don’t forget to save room for pie!
Like Sadler’s Kitchen on Facebook to find out what’s cookin’.
Look for Rob Gowin in P&R Productions’ documentary “Tomato Republic!” Haven’t heard of it?! Then hurry over to their Facebook page and see what you’ve been missing!
“Tomato Republic” is the story of three interesting and diverse challengers in what is normally an uncontested mayoralty race in Jacksonville. This story is an up close and personal look at small town politics in East Texas, coupled with lots of laughs.