Jack Flaps (Second Visit)
 Cleveland, Ohio        Date of Visit  04/08/17        
http://jack-flaps.com/
 Click Here for Original Visit

We had originally planned to try a trip to the Luncheonette outpost of Jack Flaps, they had some interesting options the first time we considered it, now the menus are the same and this is much closer to Playhouse Square and there ya go. If the King and I was a trip down old school theater lane, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night was unsettling modern, which I’m sure it intended to be. I just don’t think they intended to be so eerily similar to the theater student sketch they run on SNL every now and again.
 



 

 
  Regardless, Jack Flaps continues to impress. The rice pudding with it’s berry compote, granola and sugar roof makes everyone happy. The pork belly is growing on me, I would still love a version with a bit of crispy around the edges but hey, it’s tasty. Tasty all day, actually. The veggie hash is fine with a dose of salt and the shrimp and grits ain’t quite John Besh’s, but the smooth corny porridge really took a step in the right direction with a bright Creole vinaigrette and smoky bacon crème fraiche.

What really took the day were the couple of bites of the “Real F’ing breakfast buritto” stuffed with adobo braised beef, more of the veggie hash, scrambled egg, salty manchego cheese, smoky tomato salsa and stripes of tangy crema, Santo Moises!!! This thing is ridiculous. A full on frontal assault of flavor, but still with a wonderful balance in heat and taste. I don’t rightly know if I would order anything else…at least without a burrito on the side. F’ing Real is right.
 

 
 


The Mildly Sweet Rice Pudding
 


You'll Be Tasting This Later
 

 
 


Root Veggies Could Use A Pop Of Flavor To Keep Up With Rest
 


Grits Saved By Sauces
 

 
 


Unreal...
 


...F'n Real Breakfast Burrito...Where Has This Been!?
 

 
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Jack Flaps (Original Visit)
 Cleveland, Ohio        Date of Visit  02/23/14        
http://jack-flaps.com/   

Fear not, those nutty enough to read this, while we are revisiting some places from long ago, the list of new possibilities never ceases to expand. That’s how we ended up in front of the new place in the now defunct Palookaville Chili. As soon as we saw the pictures on the website we were locked into a trip to Jack Flaps. The menu only buttressed our interest, but the pictures featured the boys from Momocho. Now we get to see what they would do in a breakfast/lunch format. The space is TINY. Very much so, and there were folks waiting for a seat through most of our stay. Makes for entertainment. It’s brighter and a little more minimalist than Momocho but has the same artsy flair and function mixture.
 



 


 
 


Forgive Me Server. I Have Sinned.
 

We were served by a young hipster looking dude. Dude is the appropriate reference. Don’t think Lebowski, but take the ease at which “The Dude” coasts through life and then add purpose and hospitality. That was our guy. They seem to hire exceptionally well, finding people whose considerable skill set seems completely natural and honest.

We ate, boy did we, and there is still a pile in the fridge. Portions are the antithesis of meager. We ordered coffee, coke and hot chocolate…an eggy bread, a pudding and a savory alternative…plus two add on meats. There are people who give me static for eating at places like Jib Jab and others who hassle places like la Atelier. Too fancy, too low class, blah blah. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but as far as its effect on me, they can all bite me because I have yet to truly regret a place we’ve tried for bites. While some have not been to my liking, we’ve had a great and informative adventure so far. This is going to irk some who don’t appreciate different takes on long time classics, don’t go. If you enjoy every bite being a delicious surprise…this is your thing.
 

 
 
Simple Twists On Favorites
 

Yes, It's A Plate Of Meat
 
 

I would try to rank the dishes but there’s just no way to accomplish it, so different, all good for such different reasons, I’ll just run everything down and call it a day. The Mexican coke is what it is, sweeter. The hot chocolate was also Mexican, hence, way less sweet. Add in the bite of cinnamon and other spices and even Steph, who loves it sweet is grinning with every sip.

We ordered a side of bacon and a side of sausage. Sounds pretty typical, but the thick strips of belly are braised in Mexican coke with warm spices like cinnamon and cardamom, and the patties are of a Vietnamese style. The meat/fat mix in the ground patties resides perfectly between dry and sloppy with a nice texture. As far as the spice profile, it is definitely not your standard pig disc. A distinctive sweetness, something pungent like fish sauce, definite garlic, more warm spices. Its something you will be remember a few hours after breakfast…trust me…not necessarily a bad thing. The bacon is sliced somewhere between an eighth and a quarter of an inch. You can definitely taste the braising liquid, its good, but I am a crispy kinda guy when it comes to bacon and this ain’t that. I did eat it.
 


Holy Jump Up And Smack You Flavor
 

Good Enough I Ate It Flabby
 
 

They have a brûléed vanilla bean rice pudding with almond granola and berry compote. If this was brûléed with a torch it must have been under the compote as the edges of the rice didn’t have that brown crisp caramel crust. Maybe it’s more of the custard mixture. I’m also not a rice pudding kind of guy, the only one I really liked was barely sweet and this one wasn’t far from that. The compote was wonderful and allowed you to add as much tart and fruity sweetness as you cared to, very nice together. Add a squall of perfect almond granola which is crisp without being granite and you end up with a bowl which has people waiting for a table stopping by to ask what it is and the folks sitting next to you ordering one to go as they are headed out.
 

 

Perfectly Under-Sweetened Rice Pudding
 

Is Loaded With Sweet Tangy And Crunchy For Your Experimentation
 

The Eggy Bread (actually what it says on the menu) was a French toast. All of the French toast varieties come with cinnamon butter, syrup and XXX (powdered) sugar. I would typically cut a corner off to see how the toast holds up on its own, but the craziness on top was so good it wasn’t worth it. So, atop the bread were caramelized figs, an explosion of shards of Parma ham, and a drizzle (nothing to do with Snoop or Bieber) of balsamic syrup, all topped with a cloud of whipped mascarpone cheese. I saw someone online complaining everything on the menu is dessert sweet. I differ. Much of the menu certainly favors glucosephiles, including this thing but it was much more balanced than expected. The forward saltiness of the ham countered the figgy-fall and we just didn’t use the butter or syrup. Sure, its sweet but not like it sounds. If it’s still too much, just do what I did, order something savory. I think the review might have come from the much touted but underwhelming Grumpy’s or Lucky’s Cafes. They should be nervous.
 


The Wildly Wacky Caramelized Fig Eggy Bread
 


I Feared Sweetness But Found The Ability To Balance As You See Fit
 

Speaking of savory, I ordered the SOS. If you don’t know what the letters stand for ask an old navy vet. Typically it consists of corned beef in a snow-white cream sauce ladled over toast and has a reputation relative to gruel. Jack’s starts with a base of eggy-rich and toasted challah bread topped with a creamed beef brisket of a whole different genus. Rich, meaty, extraordinarily fat laden sauce enrobes big chunks of really nice beef. The sauce blends in with the roasted red pepper vinaigrette adding sweet veggie acid and a redder hue. Add the two eggs and whatever you do, get the “take-home” bottle of their house made hot sauce. Damnit, I wish I knew it was take home before we left. It’s good without it but the hot sauce is stupid thick and loaded with Fresno chilies (probably some others), vinegar, and whatever else. It doesn’t pour, it plops onto the dish and adds so much more punchy flavor than simple heat. Glorious!
 


It Never Would Have Been Named SOS If This Was The Reality
 

Gorgeously Luscious
 

It Looked Dangerous
 

But The Hot Sauce Is Amazing
 
 

Why did we go alone.?! The crab benedict looked and smelled awesome. The red velvet waffles, positively decadent. We took home more than we ate and only wished we had tried more. Now that’s a satisfied customer. One you will certainly see again. Have you guys thought of opening a place in Wadsworth? Don’t really care about the theme. Whatever you want. Just think about it.
 

 
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