Rock ‘n’ cinnamon roll

Jedidiah’s Neighborhood Grill delivers on its promise

WHERE’S THE BAND? Jedidiah’s Neighborhood Grill fills the old Humboldt Studios building on Humboldt Avenue. John and Karen Meyer have run the restaurant since October 2004.

WHERE’S THE BAND? Jedidiah’s Neighborhood Grill fills the old Humboldt Studios building on Humboldt Avenue. John and Karen Meyer have run the restaurant since October 2004.

Photo By Tom Angel

Jed’s place: Jedidiah’s is located at 265 Humboldt Ave. Phone: 899-1105; hours: Tues.-Fri. 6 a.m.-2 p.m. and Sat. 7 a.m.-2 p.m.

Jon and Karen Meyer say their restaurant, Jedidiah’s Neighborhood Grill, is “slightly off the beaten path but well worth the journey.”

The slogan fits well. Jedidiah’s, which means “loved by God,” is hidden away on Humboldt Avenue in a strip lined with a skate park, a couple of auto shops and martial-arts dojo on one side and a modest residential neighborhood on the other. As evidenced by the steady flow of Saturday-afternoon patrons, they’ve made the breakfast and lunch spot work in a town loaded with similar establishments.

The Meyers opened the restaurant eight months ago, taking up residence in the old Humboldt Studios building. A piece of the defunct studio lives on, with the façade still bearing the colorful, Minoan-style mural and familiar Humboldt Studios logo painted by artist Roberta Cory in 1998.

But looking inside the softly lit eatery, it’s hard to imagine that the tastefully decorated room where a couple tenderly sips orange juice and dips forks into stacks of blueberry pancakes is where pimply faced kids once thrashed around in the dark while hardcore bands wreaked havoc on a tiny stage.

I arrived at high noon and was greeted by Karen Meyer. The room was buzzing with a noticeably older clientele.

“You look really familiar,” she said. “Have you been in here before?”

“No,” I fibbed, trying to maintain my anonymity for the review.

I actually paid a visit when the restaurant opened in October, while I was writing the business column for the CN&R.

Karen smiled, shot an extended glance my way and handed me a menu to look at while I waited. Within 10 minutes, CN&R photographer Tom Angel had arrived and we were seated.

The Saturday breakfast menu is relatively simple—11 items with a handful of sides and children’s plates. No need to confuse a man before he’s had his first cup of joe.

But within its limited menu, Jedidiah’s offers a decent variety of dishes, including a vegetarian omelet, huevos rancheros and homemade biscuits and gravy. There’s also an even more concise lunch menu with a monster burger, a barbecue tri-tip sandwich and a Chinese chicken salad that, based on its description, sounds beautiful. Everything is affordably priced, too—between five and eight bucks.

Our waitress Sue appeared to have had her morning coffee and was extremely nice. Tom and I both had been eyeballing the stuffed French toast. But that quick little devil beat me to it, so I ordered the eggs Benedict instead.

In the meantime, I sipped a robust cup of coffee and Tom sipped a glass of hobo lemonade, water with an extra squeeze of lemon.

As we observed the bustle of the full room, our food arrived. Appearance-wise everything looked great.

The first thing I noticed was that the Canadian bacon on my eggs Benedict wasn’t the flat, fruit-rollup-style, processed meat that typically sits on an English muffin. These were thick slabs of pork. And the hollandaise sauce was tangy, which threw my tongue off until it became acclimated with a second and third bite. Very good.

Tom was impressed with the fluffiness of his scrambled eggs—a difficult feat to achieve, we agreed. He enjoyed his French toast, too, and offered me a bite. The thick slices of toast, stuffed with a cream-cheese, orange and almond sauce, were sweet and very rich.

By the time we had finished our breakfast, the jig was up. Karen knew her hunch was correct—table three was conducting a restaurant review. She sat down and chatted for a few minutes.

I was stuffed, but I knew what I had to do. Another splash of coffee and a made-from-scratch cinnamon roll were in order. It was gluttony on my part, but, then again, I wasn’t hungry the rest of the day.