Every second Friday of the month most of the art galleries on James Street North have their art show opening. On this particular Friday White Elephant was also having their "To the Nines: Vintage Dress Sale". So, a night of art, vintage dresses and a chance to finally check out Jack & Lois? .. Don't mind if I do!
James Street has definitely gone through some changes throughout the years and has recently become the home of some of my favourite local spots, such as Mixed Media, Mulberry Street Coffeehouse, Green Smoothie Bar, and HumblePie - who had this adorable basket of free apples out for their guest.
My main reason for wanting to head down to James St. was to check out some sandwiches from Jack & Lois. I've heard great reviews and was itching to have an excuse to head downtown.
The place is absolutely tiny but has a great mom & pop kind of feel to it. We ordered the 8oz classic cheese burger ($11) with american cheese on a garlic toasted bun as well as the The McCartney ($13) with breaded grade A New York strip loin with chef's red sauce, asiago, basil, butter fried mushrooms, caramelized onion on a garlic toasted bun. Both sandwiches came with slaw and a side soup. All prices displayed on the menu already include taxes.
Both sandwiches were a lot bigger than both of us expected. The burger was mouth watering tender and juicy. The patty was cooked to absolute perfection and didn't need any addition condiments...outside of a few lashings of ketchup of course! The McCartney was exceptionally large and jam packed with breaded strip loin. This was definitely a two hander sandwich! I'm a big meat-atarian so I was pretty happy with the portions, but some might have enjoyed more mushrooms and onions. It was pretty meat heavy.
Although I loved the soup and slaw combination, I was really craving something crispy and fried. After finally managing to wave down our server, I asked for an order of kettle chips on the side (which I'd seen on a few of the other tables), she was surprised about the request because apparently they're complimentary and should have been dropped at the table at the beginning of the meal. By the time they finally arrived, we already finished our sandwiches. It would have been lovely to have them during our meal instead of as an afterthought.
Speaking of the service, it was a little rough around the edges, I couldn't figure out if she was just a little scatter brained that day or was just simply lacking social skills.
For example, the first thing our server did was ask us if we wanted a drink from the bar (but there was no drink menu offered) and even suggested a shot of baileys in our coffee (which is normal), but then she went on to ask us if we wanted any liquor again, and again. A total of three times before she took our meal order, then finally mentioned they just received their liquor license and was told to say so. She also mumbled something about the menu being inaccurate and out of date. Finally, our water glass then came with someone else's lipstick stain, which was pretty unappetizing.
She also failed to mention the specials for the evening and we failed to notice the chalkboard with tiny, tiny writing on it outlining the nights specials on the other side of the room. I wish we had noticed sooner because there were a few things I would have loved to order. I would suggest a larger chalkboard, and/or larger print or training the servers to mention what the kitchens offering that night.
Jack & Lois
301 James St. North