Neighborhood Jam offers ultimate morning spread
Back from eight days in Texas with plenty of news to report starting with the opening of Neighborhood Jam, 15124 Lleyton's Ct., the newest offering from Hal Smith Restaurant Group.
Located on a covey of Smith properties at the corner of NW 154 Street and Pennsylvania Avenue including Ted’s Café Escondido and Hollie’s Flat-Iron Grill, Neighborhood Jam is the group’s first breakfast concept.
For at least 18 months, proprietor Michael Kraft and Smith Group corporate chef Brad Johnson have been sampling coffees and recipes for jellies, jams and biscuits.
With concepts like Café Kacao, Jimmy’s Egg and Hatch Early Mood Food drawing consistent crowds, breakfast has become the new black in dining couture. So, it’s no surprise the city’s most successful restaurant group jumped into the fray.
Chef Johnson said he tested numerous biscuit recipes, researching opinions on the proper flour, ratios for baking powder and so on. In the end, he arrived at a winner. The massive biscuits would make a fine meal by themselves. Crust is buttery, the center soft and Johnson’s selection of jellies (grape, strawberry and apple butter) were spot-on. The restaurant will offer a rotation of jellies with the season, strawberries are currently in the spotlight.
The menu includes a selection of classics like omelets, pancakes, tacos, toasts and cereals. Specialties include a churched-up chicken biscuit, Shrimp & Grits, Huevos Rancheros, and bagels and lox.
An impressive array of herbs, vegetables, cheese, meats and sauces are available for customizing omelets: arugula, , basil, cilantro, jalapeño, pico de gallo, poblano peppers, wild mushrooms, red pepper, roasted garlic, spinach, tomato, avocado, chives, and onion comes in red or white and fresh or caramelized
Center-stage are variations on classic Eggs Benedict called Bennies.
Chef John Bennett and I dropped by Monday for a late breakfast. We tried the Border Benny, which is served in a small cast-iron skillet and consists of corn tortillas layered with barbacoa topped by two poached eggs, green chile hollaindaise, pico de gallo and cotija cheese.
Johnson said his kitchen crew is poaching eggs to order, using the classic technique of twirling boiling water then dropping a raw egg into the vortex to spin together in four minutes and change.
The barbacoa was rich and tasty, the hollandaise bold. Cotija and pico added a burst of fresh balance. Thanks to a basket of biscuits and sampling of the Monkey Bread, I couldn’t finish. We also tried the Corned Beef Hash, which comes with three eggs and toast. Those looking for a hearty classic won’t be disappointed.
Coffee service is founded on Topeca Coffee, a seed-to-cup operation out of Tulsa. I enjoyed two cups of this outstanding brew. Espresso, French Press, Nitro Cold Brew and all the expected iterations of java are present.
Cocktails are also available along with wine and beer. And that’s because Neighborhood Jam is more than breakfast.
Johnson has also worked up an impressive selection of sandwiches, including a Reuben. Now I’m interested to set up a bout between Johnson’s house-made corned beef and the pastrami at Scottie’s Deli developed by son and fellow chef T.J.( If I can get it set up, I’ll need at least two more judges. Call me.)
Beverages also include fresh juice, a half dozen milk options and a half dozen kinds of tea curated by Kristy Jennings’s Urban Teahouse.
Prices top out at $14 with most falling below $10. Portions we had were large. This looks like another runaway success for the group. Don’t be surprised to see them popping up quickly.
Neighborhood Jam is open 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For more information call 242-4161 or check the full menu here.
Speaking of breakfast, you’d think the success of the aforementioned Hatch Early Mood Food and the pressure of opening a second one would slow down Jeff Dixon and Aaron Soward of Provisions Concepts, but it obviously hasn’t.
Monday they announced, via Facebook, the acquisition of West in Nichols Hills. Founded by Rick and David Haynes, West opened in 2010 after nearly two years renovating the space previously home to the original Iguana Lounge. West opened a second location in Bricktown in 2015 but closed it in January.
Look for an updated and refreshed menu to debut in a couple of weeks.
Provision Concepts also includes Broadway 10 Chophouse and The Sidecar Barley & Wine Bar. …
McClintock Saloon and Chop House, 2227 Exchange Ave., swung open its doors on Tuesday. The new concept from Michel Buthion of La Baguette with partners Lindsay Ocker and Alan Greene adds another steak option besides Cattlemen’s to Stockyards City.
Located in the old McClintock boot store, the menu is an impressive collection of decadent comfort foods, chops and an oyster bar plus plenty of libations.
The restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday with brunch starting at 10 a.m. Sunday. The bar will offer a late-night menu 10 p.m. to midnight. See the full menu here. ...
Hopscotch, 10909 N. May Ave., also opened its lunch and dinner service on Monday. The bar opened a couple weeks ago, but now the new concept long in development is fully operational in the former Dugout space. The menu consists of gourmet burgers, grilled cheese sandwiches and a broad selection of beer.
With a strong bar presence, it’s no surprise Hopscotch also offers a strong lineup of appetizers.
To see the full menu and wide selection of beers, click here.