Monday, 15 July 2013

Brunch with Jack & Lois

Yesterday we got together with some friends for brunch at "Jack & Lois" at 301 James Street North, just north of Barton. Open for a little over a year, this place is a popular addition to the James Street North neighbourhood with their funky style and tasty food. It's kind of like old fashioned diner food, but much better.

 There's a wide selection of gourmet burgers that come alone ($7 - $11) or as a platter with slaw and soup ($10 - $14), parmesan sandwiches available in veal, chicken or vegetarian ($12 - $13) and the all day gourmet breakfast ($7 - $12).

Two of my friends opted for the "Hummingbird" breakfast which is "2 eggs your way, hash browns,  grilled American cheese fingers, 2 choices of meat OR (veg option) 2 stuffed angels & fresh fruit". That was some mighty fine looking bacon.

 The peameal bacon were big slices and too much for one person to eat all on their own. Luckily another diner at our table was able to assist. All breakfasts came with sliced fresh fruit and big chunks of hash browns. We were amused to learn that the "grilled American cheese fingers" were grilled cheese sandwiches that came with the meals. That was a lot of food. The breakfast items were declared to be delicious.

 The "Lighter Side" breakfast featured "Balkan yogurt w/ a side of organic granola, two egg omelette & fresh fruit".

 As we were nearing the lunch hour I chose a sandwich from the Parm options. "The Chancellor" features "breaded free range, grain fed chicken breast cutlets, Chef’s red sauce, asiago, basil, butter fried mushrooms, caramelized onion on an ‘Ace’ bakery baguette". Wow!!! This was one of the best sandwiches I have ever had. It had everything I like in it and the flavours blended together beautifully. It comes with a side Asian slaw and Spicy Thai soup. This was wonderful and filled me up for the rest of the day.

The "Soprano" is "8oz of fresh hand pressed, seasoned beef, fresh basil, tomato, asiago cheese, balsamic caramelized onions on a garlic toasted ‘Cake & Loaf’ bun".  This photo is actually from my lunch there two weeks ago. This was a truly great burger. Beautifully seasoned meat that was full of flavour.

 The "Mona Lisa" grilled cheese is a "variation on the classic grilled cheese crafted with bocconcini, asiago, caramelized onions, fresh basil & tomatoes, balsamic vinegar".  Yum!

 The interior of the restaurant is an eclectic design style with a chandelier on the ceiling and 3D pictures of kittens, vintage record albums and funky wallpaper. If you look closely, you 'll notice that there is an autographed photo of Canadian actor William Shatner over the bar. Owner Eric Bowden works in the film industry in Toronto and got a chance to meet Shatner so this photo is a personal momento. Another nod to Bowden's interest in the film industry is the placement of movie scripts at the tables next to the menus. I could imagine us sitting there reading out scenes from the "Inglorious Basterds" script we found at our table. Platters are served in empty film cannisters adding to the theme.

 There are specials made fresh daily and the menu claims that they have "a King’s ransom of the finest Hot Sauces hand selected by the Chief of Fire from the molten underbelly of a flavour volcano located on the Equator". That's pretty impressive!!

Hours are Sundays 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM, closed Mondays, Tuesdays 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM and Wednesday & Thursday from 11:00AM - 9:00PM, Fridays 11:00AM - 9:00PM and Saturdays 9:00AM - 11:00PM. We didn't get a chance to check out the patio that is now open but we'll be back for that for sure. Yet another tasty reason to visit James Street North.  For more info, visit

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