Sunday, 6 May 2012

Breakfast for Lunch

May 5th the day after the birthday dinner found us trying out another eatery in downtown.  This one is really new and already has a line up with a bit of a wait time to get in.  We thought trying JAM on a Saturday for lunch would mean skipping the breakfast crowd, but we still had a wait of 25 minutes for our party of two.  We willingly sat at the bar in the corner.  I was impressed with John's patience -- possibly it was my puppy dog eyes that made him give in rather than going for Plan B -- QV Bakery.

The interior of JAM is an interesting mix of reclaimed wood from the former Thrifty Foods warehouse, window frames made into shelving, old maps as artwork and a large traffic light hanging in the entrance to the kitchen.  

We were lucky to be waited on by the owner who was filling in for missing staff.  I like when an owner has an invested interest in his business and works to ensure everything flows well.  And from what I saw on Saturday May 5th, JAM is a great addition to the breakfast eateries of Victoria. Especially as JAM offers the all day breakfast.  I've seen a review of JAM that wanted more of a lunch menu, but the reviewer obviously never has had breakfast for lunch or even breakfast for dinner.

We both had the two eggs, sugar bacon (yummy!!) and toast.  John had the sourdough and I had marbled rye with peanut butter and jam on the side.  The hash browns were shredded and not a huge portion, just a nice side which was perfect.  John gave me his grilled tomato -- delicious!!  I have to learn to do tomatoes like that.

Two of the couples sitting next to us had the Three Little Pigs and raved about them and the Charlie Bowl got a thumbs up too.  

Our waitress let us know service was slow due to the crowd, which I don't mind as long as I know.  Even with the crowd our waitress kept on top of checking in with everyone, and had my teapot refilled with hot water the minute it was empty.  Our meal was served by the owner. Good working arrangement between our waitress and the owner to check on the 8 of us sitting at the bar.  Service may have been slow but looking at the decor and talking with John was enjoyable that I didn't mind sitting there drinking my tea.  There are benefits to slowing life down and waiting.

Have seen great reviews online for JAM.  Would like to go back again.  Of course, like all breakfast places, there is a line up so it's up early to beat the crowds or try it later before closing for a late lunch.  

Birthday Dinner

We've been thinking about trying Smoking Bones in the trendy downtown Hudson building for a few months now since they moved from Langford.  Since there was discussion on where to go for my birthday dinner after having a lovely dinner at El Greco's for John's birthday in April, we decided Smokin' Bones would be the place to finally try.

For an appy we had the homemade potato chips and hush puppies shared around the table.  Both were delicious.  I've never had a hush puppy but it was an interesting bite sized appy and tasted fine to me.  

I was impressed that the menu offered a lot of gluten free options.  I see this more and more which is nice for those who wish to avoid gluten or are off wheat.  I did want the Sloppy Joe but alas as with so many restaurants dairy allergies are not accommodated as well as gluten.  The Sloppy Joe was prepared with cheese and I had to scan the menu for something else.  It teaches me to again ensure I have two or more options so that I am not disappointed.  I went with the burger, yup a plain burger, yes it was beef which I don't eat but I wasn't keen on pork and I eat chicken at home all the time.  All meals come with a wide selection of sides, one with the meal and more for $2.50 each.  I had the baked beans and shared some of Paula's coleslaw.  The beans were nice, not over done with sauce and the coleslaw wasn't smothered in mayo.  The beef had no filler which I could taste -- real beef and the smoked tomato relish with the bayou swamp sauce added a nice touch. Not too much of either to cover the taste of the burger and the bun was ok too.  

John enjoyed the Sloppy Joe, Paula had a burger with smoked cheddar cheese which she said was really good,  Karl had a bucket of chicken wings along with a Caesar salad, Stephanie seemed to enjoy her ribs which she had with seasonal vegetables of Chinese greens and a second side of candied carrots and Bernie had a pulled pork sandwich that was piled high.  I think all of us were very satisfied with our meals and were just stuffed enough to decline dessert.

Good prices too for the food we had.  A very nice waitress who was helpful, answered my query on bacon lardons as well pointing out those items with dairy in them and kept our water glasses filled.