Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

March 11, 2013

BUSINESS {Family Style}

$1 ribs on Thursday and other reasonably-priced delicious dishes make Sadler's Kitchen a "must" for a unique local restaurant experience

Ben Tinsley
Jacksonville Daily Progress

JACKSONVILLE — It's kind of hard to argue with the supreme logic of $1 ribs.

This Thursday feature at Sadler's Kitchen, 101 S. Bonner Street, is quickly developing a strong – STRONG – following. Patrons with plates stacked with the ribs, drinking cold bottles of beer, can be seen throughout the restaurant on Thursdays.

Many fans of the occasion make their opinions strongly known on Sadler's Facebook page.

"Love me some ribs," exclaimed FB friend Kevin Nate Wright.

On a recent Thursday, popular restauranteur Rob Gowin invited a Jacksonville Daily Progress reporter to sample a plateful of the famous ribs.

After a brief tour of the packed restaurant, Gowin took a steaming plateful of ribs in hand, and carefully glazed them with liberal amounts of barbecue sauce before handing them over to the reporter.

Meanwhile, in an easy chair next to the restaurant's bar, another customer was already face deep in the ribs, eating to his heart's content.

The reporter's personal assessment? Delicious!

This economical dish, of course, goes hand in hand with the catchy Gowin mantra, “Beer and ribs are yummy.”

And “yummy” is a excellent catch-word in this case, because it accurately describes the entirety of Sadler's menu.

Since Jacksonville's array of places to eat consist largely of chains and fast food restaurants, “yummy” places like Sadler's tend to stick out.

It's not just Sadler's food that appeals to the public, though. It's the pageantry, which includes spiffy sound bites such as “Taco Tuesday” combined with the sheer  deliciousness of pulled pork, smoked chicken or lean brisket plus great taco sauce.

Another catchy phrase is “Friday PieDay every Friday” with $1 slices of pie all day long.

And nothing hits the spot better than Sadler's signature chicken fried steaks on a Friday night.

For healthy eaters, the restaurant offers grilled pork and a variety of delicious grilled fish and fresh vegetables.

Sadler's is ranked top of the list of Jacksonville's restaurants, thanks to the efforts of Gowin, a Jacksonville native who is continuing his family's culinary legacy by keeping this restaurant alive.

Sadler’s Restaurant was originally opened in 1943 by Rob Gowin's  grandparents – a legacy he continued when the restaurant reopened in 1995.

Gowin is popular with his customers because he keeps them well fed and genuinely cares for them, his Facebook friends contend.

“My first boss taught me all about hard work and being tough,” said FB friend Chris Richey. “Rob Gowin isn't just a friend – he's family.”

Meanwhile, the restaurant also sports a full bar, with domestic and imported beers, as well as top-shelf and premium brands of liquors.

Specifically, there are new beers on tap – 312 Urban Wheat Ale and Shock Top Honeycrisp Apple.

The menu contains everything from burgers to steaks, seafood, pasta, crab stuffed avocado, chicken enchiladas, and broccoli cheese soup. Desserts include chocolate cream, coconut cream, and delicious strawberry pies. There is also white chocolate bread pudding.

It's the food that attracts customers, but it's Gowin's table-side manner and clever quips that make them want to stay.

“Enjoy a glass of wine at Sadler's Kitchen, save the dance moves 'til later,” Gowin joked on Facebook. “See you soon folks!