Jumpin’ Jack’s flash
Jack’s Café2200 Victorian Ave.
Reno, NV 89431
I needed to redeem myself with my father. He is not overly fond of new things, of adventure, of anything, really, that has not been tried and found true. Sometimes I have taken him with me on restaurant reviews that did not, in his view, warrant such a lengthy departure from his couch. So last Saturday I took him and my mom to breakfast at Jack’s Café and regained his trust.
While Jack’s is not big on decorative frills—the walls are bare and the tables plain—the action provides enough stimulus for anyone. It was packed. Everything was full—the parking lot, the tables and the waiting area. Still, miraculously it seemed, we were seated and being waited on within two minutes of walking in. The service is incredibly fast and professional for such a hopping place. Even amidst the hubbub, our coffee was continually topped off, and we were asked whether everything was to our liking. We nodded each time since trying to talk over the din of clanking silverware and laughing families was impractical.
Jack’s menu is typical for a breakfast-and-lunch-only restaurant. Breakfast options include various types of pancakes ($6.99 for full stack), French toast ($6.15), omelets of all kinds ($7 to $9) and even a seniors citizens’ menu, which offers smaller portions for smaller prices. I ordered, and was quite pleased by, the veggie omelet (zucchini, mushroom and spinach, $8.29). Cheese was extra, but I was never charged for it. My mom had her usual huevos rancheros ($8.69). This is a woman who has ordered this meal her entire life across the entire country, so her evaluation that it was “great” carries real weight. Her only complaint was that the tortillas came on the side instead of underneath, soaking up the juices. That aside, she was happy with her meal. My dad, also not one to mess with tradition, had Jack’s Classic (sausage patty and eggs, $7.25), which ushered in my redemption. The sausages were juicy and the eggs just the way he ordered them. All of our breakfasts came with a choice of muffin, toast or biscuit, the latter being flaky, warm and just plain yummy.
The lunch menu is also conventional. There are burgers and salads and specialty sandwiches. And then there is the Hungry Man meal: a half-pound of ground chuck on a French roll with lettuce, onions, tomatoes, pickles and fries ($7.99). The kids’ menu includes a bit of everything, again for less, such as French toast ($4.65) and cheeseburgers ($4.87). Basically, Jack’s is the place to go when you are feeling unadventurous and just want a good old-fashioned brunch.
The pace never let up the entire time we were there. Tables were shuffled and reshuffled to make room for large parties. Our service, however, also never let up. Our server was friendly and swift and yet did not make us feel rushed or unwanted. We ate in leisure, talking and enjoying our coffee refills. We made a morning out of it, and no one seemed to mind. When we finally left, the waiting area was still packed, and I opened the door for another family of six. We walked into the sunshine content with both our meals and the price. Jack’s has been around for a long time, and no doubt will be here for many years to come. I, for one, hope so since I plan to spend a few more sunny, Saturday mornings enjoying what it has to offer.