May 18, 2012

Jam Cafe, Old Town, Victoria


All day Breakfast joints are as common in Victoria as tourist attractions and hanging baskets.  And like tourist attractions, some of them are simply brilliant, some simple and others a horrible mess designed to seperate you from your money and leave only a queezy feeling inside.

The Jam Cafe takes over a spot on Herald Street that was near and dear to be heart... Solomon's; the short-lived, ill-fated bar with the best drink's menu the city has ever seen and many happy memories from your author. But that's old and history.  They've redone the inside, brightening the place up, shortening the bar and making it look bigger and busier.  Which for a breakfast place makes sense.

The Saturday morning we got their it was already busy, but we grabbed a table for seven, and were quickly served with Earl Grey tea and water while waited for our friends. Tasty pot tea withing 3 minutes of sitting down is a good sign. A better sign would have been it made with loose leaf tea, but that's wishing for Breakfast Nirvana.

The menu took a while to read. Because of the many options.  Standard breakfast, baked pancakes, four or five lunch options, eggs and protein in various combinations, pulled pork pancakes and the crazy Hash Bowl. After much thought and deliberation, I went for the Huevo Rancheros. But hoping it was excellent, so we'd have an excuse to come back and try the Buttermilk Fried Chicken, or the Sweet and Savoury friend sandwich and yams combination.

One of my friends ordered the hash bowl, which arrived in a Superized Pho Bowl, and was filled with buttermilk biscuits, crumbled up, and topped with eggs, green onions, chopped ham, sausage gravy and other good stuff. However, it seemed that it was too much biscuit and not enough gloop to soften it all, and lacking in zing to really make for a great dish.  Tasty, but not great.

The Ranchero were fantastic though. Spicy chorizo sausage, with a nice pile of well fantastically cooked cornbread, a perfectly runny egg on top of a fresh tortilla, piles of salsa and savoury beans. Just thinking about it, and I'm reliving it.  Everything was well cooked, well presented and made fresh (or if it wasn't, I couldn't tell).

Everybody seemed to enjoy their meals. The only bad note in the overall experience (apart from the hash bowl being a bit too much) was that they didn't advertise the baked apple pancakes coming topped with whipped cream.  As some people are allergic to dairy, it's important to list the ingredients so folks can make the right decision.  The general vote was to this would be visited again.  I certainly want to try at least three other things on the menu... if the fried chicken is in the same league as the Huevos, I might need to start running marathons to keep in shape.

Final Bill :
Earl Grey Trea, $2.50
Huevos Rancheros, $12.95
Total - $20 with tip and taxes.

Phone: (778) 440-4489
Location : 542 Herald Street, Victoria, BC, V8W 1S5
Website : http://www.jamcafevictoria.com/
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