The summer has gotten away from me. Now, the days are getting shorter, football’s in full swing, and normal life as a Northeast Ohioan will soon resume. Now it is time to reflect on some of our fun food adventures of the summer – and there’s one morning meal that has been quietly lurking in the back of my mind for far too long.
Yes, we drove almost an hour to try a new breakfast joint. We couldn’t help ourselves. Jack Flaps hit Ohio City back in December, billed as an “urban breakfast shoppe.” A joint venture between Chef Eric Williams of Momocho and Randy Carter, also of Momocho, Jack Flaps offers a fun and creative menu of breakfast + lunch. Side bar, Jack Flaps was on my radar solely because of Twitter, then Instagram. Twitter is key because it connects foodies, bloggers, chefs, and people-to-watch in the Northeast Ohio food community. If you’re a restaurant owner and not posting/tweeting food porn of your stunning creations on Social Media on a regular basis, you are missing out on a very relevant totally free marketing opportunity. Seriously, this is how food enthusiasts like me get their info. Okay, rant over.
The interior is small for the crowds they are already gathering, but I dig the tighter quarters – and of course the egg-on-face wall graphics are pretty cool; in fact, the whole interior is effortlessly so. We went on a Sunday around 10:30 and it was packed, but we managed to get a seat at the counter – or coffee bar as it were. Note the Spam behind the bar – and there was faux chocolate drink, Yahoo, which was making it’s way into some coffee concoctions. This turned out to be a fantastic seat – we could watch activity, including a view of the pass for a little glimpse into the kitchen action. Also, it enabled easy eying our neighbors grub, which spurred conversation about what was not to be missed [enter root vegetable hash].
The menu is designed around the classic breakfast dichotomy: Savory vs. Sweet. One side of the menu highlights the savory dishes, and the flip side is for sweets. They’ve even got their own little language for things…”jackflaps” = pancakes and “eggy bread” = french toast. Waffles are just waffles…..but the recipes and ingredients are anything but ordinary.
‘Savory’ won for both DZ and I. In hindsight, our orders should have been reversed…
This was my selection: a cornbread waffle with pork shoulder, house bbq sauce, and bacon creme fraiche. This was so totally a man meal. But one of my favorite parts of this dish (besides the tender pork shoulder and absolutely thrilling combo of meaty bbq and breakfast) was the fact that they serve it with syrup, so in between bites of savory, you can squeeze in a little sweetness. Bravo!
And this beaut is called Deviled Benedict: baguette topped with a fresh arugula salad, gravlax (salmon cured in salt, sugar, and dill), and smoked deviled eggs. Great choice for a guilt-free first meal of the day. The best part of this dish was the fluffy (almost whipped) consistency of the smokey deviled egg. Every mouthful offered a fresh, crunchy, flavorful blend of textures. Very tasty.
I have yet to go back, but when I do, I’ll be anxious to move through the other menu items. Definitely next time will be for Breakfast Banh Mi, a take on a traditional Vietnamese sandwich that has already won them acclaim as one of the Best Sandwiches in America for 2014.