Restaurant: Neighborhood JAM
Like many a white girl, brunch has got to be my favorite meal. Gimme some eggs, some toast, some beans and and some salsa, and I'm basically all set.
There are plenty of brunch places from which to choose in the OKC area, and my current favorite really depends upon the mood and the day. Jimmy's Egg will forever be at the top of my list for both value and consistency. Packard's New American Kitchen, as I'll tell anyone, has the best huevos rancheros in town.
But for creativeness and simple satisfaction, I turn to Neighborhood JAM. (Full disclosure: I work in the marketing department at Hal Smith Restaurant Group, which owns Neighborhood JAM. However, I've been a fan of JAM from the very beginning, even before I started working for Hal Smith three months ago.)
JAM's menu is absolutely massive. I love the cozy, neighborhood atmosphere of the space, and the bar service is always top-notch (weekend waits are insane, and the best way to get in is to snag a seat at the bar). Vegetarian options abound, and they're super accommodating of altering dishes to fit the needs of veggies. A new location is opening in Norman in early July, too.
While their regular hours are 6:30am to 2:30pm every day, JAM has started to open its doors in the evening on the first Friday of every month for a Breakfast with Benefits event, with 20% of proceeds going to a local school. I think this is an absolutely brilliant idea, and you can be certain I'll be in attendance every month.
Last night I decided to try out the breakfast tacos: three corn tortillas with scrambled eggs, guacamole, cotija cheese, crème fraîche, green chile hollandaise and pico for $9. Served with a dollop of pickled onions in the middle of the plate, these tacos were flavorful and much more filling than they appear. I added a side of black beans (I don't know what they do to these beans, but they're better than any other black beans) and ranchero sauce, because I famously like to cover everything in sauce. Highly recommend.
Whenever I try a new brunch place for the first time, I always like to order the huevos rancheros because that's my favorite breakfast dish. On the menu, JAM's huevos rancheros features corn tortillas layered with black beans, jack cheese, ranchero sauce, beef barbacoa, two eggs your way, and pico. I did it without the beef barbacoa, obviously, and added avocado, red onion and cilantro. It was absolutely superb.
Another favorite at JAM is the avocado toast: whole wheat toast, sliced avocado, roasted campari tomatoes, two eggs your way, topped with arugula salad and a balsamic glaze. I'm not a tomato fan, so I substitute onions instead (everything's better with onions). I do wish the avocado was smashed rather than sliced, but a little fork action fixes that right up. The toast has seriously great flavor, and I love the tanginess that the balsamic glaze adds. For a vegetarian, this dish hits all the main points: protein from the eggs, fat from the avocado, carbs from the toast. This will keep you going for quite awhile.
When I'm just wanting breakfast comfort food, calories be damned, I go for The Heap: heaping hash browns covered with cheddar, two eggs your way, avocado, pico and toast. This dish does actually come with your choice of meat, but I do black beans instead. And with the toast, you have got to get a side of their jalapeño peach jam. Sweet, spicy and oh so good.
If the menu is a bit overwhelming and you just want something simple, go for the Three Egg Scramble: three eggs, choice of three fillings, breakfast potatoes or hash browns, choice of meat and toast. Last time I did the scramble, I got it with Swiss cheese, spinach, red bell peppers and red onions; English muffin instead of toast, and black beans instead of meat. Paired with a raspberry peach mojito, which includes fresh jam, this dish was simple but oh so yummy. #ThatsMyJam