I was nearly 30 minutes late to meet a friend at R.S. Jones. When I finally arrived, she was contentedly sipping tea and reading a copy of Oprah magazine given to her by a sympathetic waitress. This gesture—both warm and smart—perfectly sums up Merrick’s well-loved Southern / Cajun / cowboy-themed eatery.
R.S. Jones, established in 1993, is little more than a box, the front of which houses a bar, the back of which, a dining room. But over the years, the walls and ceiling have seen a steady accretion of photos, license plates, cowboy boots, signs, instruments and other knickknacks so that the place now seems more Southern roadhouse than South Shore restaurant.
We enjoyed the daily specials of a smokey “mumbo gumbo” and barbecued ribs (a little overdone) along with biscuits and cream gravy, red beans and rice, sweet-potato pancakes, addictive “Tidewater slaw” (bell peppers, carrots and cabbage) and finished up with a textbook apple crisp. The country strains of Walt Magill and Jeff Goldstein that reached us from the bar were even the perfect volume. (R.S. Jones has live music Wednesdays through Saturdays. The R.S. Jones week starts with “Psychic Mondays,” the next of which, Oct. 25, will feature psychic medium Teresa and a buffet dinner. Details here.
R.S. Jones is at 153 Merrick Ave., Merrick, 516-378-7177.