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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Lunch at Scrumpy Jack's

I'd been meaning to get to Scrumpy Jack's for a long time but it wasn't until New Year's Eve day that Sarah and I made it. I was also interested in the Doughboyz Bistro which is opening (or may be open by now) next door. The sign on the door said it was opening at the end of December so I guess things were a little behind schedule.

It was a Saturday lunch so it wasn't too busy. There were maybe 5 or 6 tables but probably 2/3 of the place was empty. It looked good. They've done a very nice job with the interior. It was hard to believe I was sitting in the Edgewood strip mall. It felt more like I was in an old building downtown. For me that's a good thing. Others who prefer the atmosphere of Noodles and Co. and the like may disagree. There was also some great jazz playing on the big TV behind the bar. I want to say it was a Jean-Luc Ponty live performance, at least from the sound, but I didn't get up to take a close look at the faces.

The menu was a bit limited as most lunch menus outside the area of East Asian cuisine often are. It was mostly sandwiches, salads and soup/sandwich combos. I was a little disappointed because I'd done soup and sandwich the day before at M13 and the special, chicken alfredo pizza, didn't really grab me.

I rolled with it though and ordered the Cajun Chicken salad sandwich with the soup du jour but the server was a bit confused about the soup at first. She said "potato bean" which sounded a little odd but not unheard of. It turned out to be a delicious creamy potato chowder. The Chicken Salad tasted great but the presence of actual chicken in the salad was a bit low. It was also somewhat difficult to eat the sandwich without things falling off everywhere because the bread was cut in a triangle shape with a very acute apex so at least half of the sandwich was very skinny.

Sarah ordered the Scrumpy Sandwich, which, on paper, sounds like a Good Thing™. From the menu: a choice, juicy 6-ounce strip cut of Omaha Steak, grilled to your liking, served open faced on toasted baguette slices and smothered with sauteed mushrooms and onions. Sarah ordered it without mushrooms because she has yet to learn the joys of eating fungus, and the kitchen delivered it that way. It tasted great. The problem was, the bread disintegrated under the weight of the sauce and the grease until it was serving as a thickener for the sauce. I would have liked to see a little less sauce and grease combined with a toastier toast that would stand up better.

Overall, I was a little disappointed with Scrumpy Jack's but I'm willing to give it a another go. Mr. Wilson is a big fan and the dinner menu is a much more diverse. They serve their filets and strips bone-in which is good to see and they have an au Poivre sauce which is always good. Plus, Scrumpy Jack's has the good sense to have a simple website where you can easily find menus and other information without having to sit through some tedious flash movie that has nothing to do with anything.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Mr. Wilson said...

I don't think I'd call me "a big fan". I've got a review coming up this week that'll shed some light on my opinion of Scrumpy Jacks.

8:56 AM  
Blogger Swoof said...

I stand corrected, Mr. Wilson. I just read your review.

5:39 PM  
Blogger Awesome Inc. said...

Went to Scrumpy's for dinner. The appetizer we had, stuffed mushrooms, was great. The Ribeye I had was a bit overcooked for medium rare, and I didn't think it was all that tasty. The chicken roulade looked very good however, and the bite I had of the filet was good. Kind of mad that they played a Neil Diamond concert on all three tv's and wouldn't turn one of them to the Broncos/Patriots game, but I guess that's their MO.

7:03 PM  
Anonymous Mr. Wilson said...

"The Ribeye I had was a bit overcooked for medium rare, and I didn't think it was all that tasty."

That's even more evidence to suggest that Scrumpy Jacks does not excel at beef. It's a common complaint. On the plus side, it sounds like those who avoid the beef tend to enjoy their meals.

8:59 AM  
Anonymous Gary said...

A friend and I ate there Monday for lunch. It was a limited lunch menu but that was OK. We each got the soup and sandwich special. My bruschette sandwich was a panini sandwich on a focaccia break with tomatoes, basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Excellent sandwich. The soup was tomato basil with feta cheese - also excellent. My companion enjoyed his Cajun chicken salad sandwich but found it messy to eat. His soup was vegetable beef dill and it was also very good.

Great atmosphere here! Motown was playing on the stereo and the restaurant improvements were very nice.

The chef himself was incredibly personable and more than willing to come out and speak to customers. He was genuinely interested in his customers' opinions.

I highly recommend this as a lunch place and I look forward to trying it for an evening meal sometime.

10:13 AM  
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7:01 PM  

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