Thursday, June 19, 2008

Jak's: It's What's for Dinner

while in the u-district/laurelhurst neighborhood to pick up some tennis gear at avanti, m and i decided to sample the nearby jak's grill's lunch menu. though not for the faint of beefy heart, there was one vegetarian-friendly item on the menu.

the decor was pretty standard steakhouse/bar and grill: glossy, wood booths; a classic, dark bar with attached barstools and brass footrest; heavy, well-worn glasses; cloth napkins were a nice touch.

since we're always trying to make some small, more healthy choices, m decided to get the starter salad while i ordered a side of fries. the salad was under-dressed and pretty mediocre. though the greens were a pleasant mix of butter lettuce, frisee, romaine, red endive, and an herby, unidentifiable leaf, the housemade vinaigrette lacked salt and zest. how do you make a vinaigrette lacking vinegar? black magic.

m selected the chophouse dip; a 3/4 pound, grilled loaf of prime rib and new york served on a toasted hoagie with a side of au jus. as you can see, it was perfectly medium rare, tender, flavorful, and all-around amazing. it was, as the menu clearly states, "legendary." so legendary that m mentioned returning to jak's for the chophouse 'wich several times over the next couple weeks.

i ordered the only real vegetarian offering on the menu. the italian portabella sandwich was a grilled, balsamic/olive oil-marinated mushroom cap layered with pesto mayo, roasted red peppers, lettuce, tomato, and red onion bookended by a soft brioche bun. i held the provolone since cheese and i have a love/hate relationship.

the portabella was tasty with a robust, woodsy flavor, but the roasted red peppers were so sweet that they overwhelmed the rest of the sandwich. the sweetness of red pepper combined with the oregano made it taste like a pizza sandwich; something i didn't really expect or enjoy all that much. don't get me wrong, s, i love effing pizza, but this was just not right. also, the ingredients were all fairly wet, making it difficult to eat as all the fillings squished out of the bun with every bite. i hate messy, unorganized foods, and sadly, this was one of them. i think the sandwich would have benefited from a heartier, less soft bun. in fact, it seemed like this dish was conceptualized on (butcher) paper by a carnivore and never actually sampled.

though my criticism sounds pretty harsh, i am a *bit* of a nit-picker. i will say, though, that if you want a beef dish cooked to perfection, jak's is your best bet for a fair price.

ps, fries were bomb. i asked for freshly-cracked black pepper on top which nearly elevated these fries from bomb to norm's-bomb.

jak's has several locations for all your beefy needs:

sandpoint: 3701 NE 45th St, Seattle, WA - (206) 985-8545

west seattle: 4548 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA - (206) 937-7809

issaquah: 14 Front St N, Issaquah, WA - (425) 837-8834

Jak's Grill on Urbanspoon


White Pepper said...

i have no idea where this is...but for some reason that picture of the spot looks familiar. strange.
nice post.

french toast said...

My little sister works there. The steak salad is the bomb. I get it every time.

Suge White said...

that sandwich was great. I dont often say great. It was great. Cooked to perfection, quality ingrediants served simply.

Anonymous said...

sounds sumptuous