H.R.H. Dumplin’s of Jackson adapts, flourishes as new owners celebrate first year’s success

H.R.H. Dumplin’s  is known for three things: Southern charm, great rolls and the romantic sweet-spot when it comes to wooing a woman. Only two of those I can attest to, but I will say that when it comes to local eateries, Dumplin’s is one of the best — and only — options in town.

Stepping inside the bright and cheery café, a customer is greeted with a  smile, a slow drawl and a hot plate of soft rolls and sweet butter. One of the best parts of a meal spent at Dumplin’s is how the warm rolls melt in your mouth after a thick slathering with one of the restaurant’s specialty butters, either honey or strawberry-infused.

After downing my bread, I ordered the Florentine Flatbread Pizza — a thin-crust delight smothered in Parmesan sauce and mozzarella cheese and sprinkled with spinach, tomatoes and mushrooms. The meal came with a side salad that was fine, but nothing out of the ordinary.

For dessert, I chose a piece from their latest cake, chocolate-covered strawberry. Drizzled in fudge, this pink cake was eye-candy, to be sure. When it came to flavor, however, I was disappointed from barely being able to stick a fork in it. The frozen consistency of the cake made it hard  to taste the flavors;  once it had thawed, I could tell the chocolate was top-notch. The rest of it remained chilled even as I downed a cup of coffee, so I left the café with half a slice still on the table.

A better dessert option may have been the “Dumplin’s Apple Dumplin!,” which I ordered next. This time, the dessert, a caramel-bathed apple dumpling that tasted like something between a cinnamon roll and a soup, did not disappoint. It was as tasty as it looked, with apple slices stacked artistically inside the cinnamon-stuffed dumpling.

The service was average-paced, but helpful. When the waitress accidentally took my plate and tossed it before I had finished my meal, she could not be persuaded against having a whole new pizza prepared and promptly placed one in a box for me to take home.

Prices are more than a lower-level establishment could afford, but not too hefty that the average Union student could not afford a visit to the café. The pizza was $7.99, plates of the day range from $7.50 to $7.99, and wraps and sandwiches cost about the same. Added with some tipping, the average price came into the $8 range. In the end, the cost of a meal would not be much steeper than the ever-crowded Cheddar’s, which students flock to for a bargain. In the case of Dumplin’s, supporting the small, local business, as opposed to a chain restaurant, helps the community while giving the visitor a unique experience.

Overall, I would give the restaurant three out of four stars.

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The Cardinal & Cream is a student publication of Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. Our staff ranges from freshmen to seniors and includes a variety of majors — including journalism, public relations, advertising, marketing, digital media studies, graphic design and art majors.