Two weeks ago my husband and I participated in a panel discussion at a conference for food and travel editors, held at the Cleveland Convention Center (which would benefit from better signage inside and out). This event is significant only because it began and ended early, while the day was still in its morning phase. After it was over I felt the need for both sustenance and more caffeine, and this prompted the decision to go for brunch. Since we were already downtown it was the perfect opportunity to head west and make a first foray to Jack Flaps, something I've been meaning to do since it opened in December.
The 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. spot on Lorain Road in Ohio City is a collaboration between Eric Williams and former Momocho chef Randy Carter. In an email to me, Williams described the concept as a small, fun, quirky breakfast and pancake shop with cool, unique scratch-based recipes, large portions, a casual urban vibe and good coffee. By the time I'd scraped the last bite of grits out of my bowl, it was clear to me this was an excellent idea that was the right thing in the right place.
Luckily, we'd slipped in and nabbed the last two seats at the counter just 10 minutes before a line started to form and snake out the door. The 40 seats were in high demand. Ordering was tough. There were too many appealing options including: cornbread waffles with pork shoulder; creamed beef brisket; eggy bread (French toast); and vanilla bean rice pudding. Ultimately, we created a feast of eggs sunny side up, Vietnamese-style sausage patties, a bánh mì sandwich, aforementioned grits and some really tasty root vegetable hash.
The coffee, made with City Roast beans, is excellent but I thought it odd that this liquid gold was served in a paper cup. The explanation came as we were getting ready to roll out. Our server offered us refills to go, on the house. Nice touch.
Also worth a mention, scrapple lovers take note: Chef Brian Doyle is serving the hard to find stuff at Beachland Ballroom Sunday brunches, and starting May 31, Toast Wine Bar will be serving Saturday brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.