Saturday, 26 October 2013

Jam - they're worth the wait

Jam Cafe in Victoria is a great little breakfast spot on Herald Street.

It's no secret though....

When you arrive, it may look like the picture on the left....or, if it's the weekend and you're arriving at peak brunch time - you may take part in the photo on the right.

All quiet on the Western front (aka 8am)
An eager crowd awaits, 8:05.....kidding (more like 9:05)

Once you're inside - great things await you...

The restaurant has a great vibe: comprised of a funky array of vintage/old things (traffic signal, stuffed armadillo, high school maps) for decor, comfortable seating (including a padded banquet running the length of the room), and great service (knowledgeable, capable and fun).

We've enjoyed many a breakfast at Jam since it opened (okay, not from the very beginning - if truth be told - we were there on day two). The menu has morphed a tiny bit since then - but favourites including Green Eggs & Ham and the Charlie Bowl, were there from the get-go.

The menu is definitely a feature that makes this restaurant stand out in Victoria's breakfast scene. The standards are here (two eggs, bacon, toast & hashbrowns; yogurt parfait; pancakes), but it's the unique creations that give those wanting more; a reason to linger over the menu.

Hankering for something sweet? How about Red Velvet Pancakes or Brioche French Toast with bananas and Nutella. In a savoury mood? Try the Steelhead Salmon Benny, Pulled Pork Pancakes or the previously mentioned Green Eggs & Ham - soft scrambled eggs with spinach, pesto, goat cheese served with ham.

We were all in a savoury mood at our table and ordered up the Huevos Rancheros, Pulled Pork Benny (day's special), and the Gravy Coupe.

First up - the Huevos. Not traditional, but delicious none the less. This is the dish this person orders almost each visit to Jam. She longs to try other items - but like a scene from Godfather III, it pulls her back in. With grilled, smoked chorizo, crisp tortillas holding black beans and basted eggs - plus fresh salsa, guacamole and slices of toasted corn bread.

Next up, a Southern classic - Gravy Coupe - a boneless piece of fried chicken, topped with two eggs (scrambled in this case), sitting on a toasted giant biscuit with sausage gravy and hash-browns. We really love the hash-browns at Jam - each serving is a rectangle slice of shredded potato that's pan fried up, so there's a perfect crisp crust on the top & bottom, but still soft in the middle.

And finally - one of the specials of the day - Pulled Pork Benny. Moist, pulled pork piled on toasted english muffins, topped with soft poached eggs (super runny! three cheers!) and finished with chipotle hollandaise sauce and jalapeno/corn salsa. Served with hashbrowns and a grilled roma tomato half.

Let's just say you won't go home hungry from Jam (and not due to your plate being over loaded with giant deep-fried potato cubes that pass for "hash-browns" in some places).

If you want to toast with your toast - Jam is also licensed. We've sat at the bar on occasion and have seen many a Caesar (garnished with a strip of crispy bacon!) and prosecco-mimosas being mixed. If your breakfast beckons for something simpler - there's beer and cider too.

Jam is a really great all-day breakfast joint in Victoria - if you time it right, you'll be noshing in no time. If you have to loiter a bit - it's worth the wait and you might even get served some coffee while you wait outside. You can also grab a cup to go from their coffee shop, the Union Pacific, just across the street and half a block East.

There's also a lunch menu served all day....but we never get passed the breakfast menu - it's that Godfather (Jamfather?) thing again...

Jam Cafe
542 Herald St
Daily 8am-3pm
Facebook: jamcafevictoria
Twitter: @jamcafevictoria

Jam Cafe on Urbanspoon

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