Jax Cafe

Jax Café, the Benton Park breakfast and lunch spot that serves “eclectic comfort food with a twist," represents what happens when a big-name chef leaves behind his rock-star status in favor of family and the purity of cooking. Whereas the menu offerings are familiar, chef Brian Hale has amped them up with his special touch, elevating dishes beyond just eggs and sandwiches. Breakfast highlights include decadent hazelnut pancakes, encrusted with brown sugar brulee and drizzled with Meyer lemon crème anglaise, and a smoked-salmon take on the classic eggs benedict with a potato leek cake taking the place of an English muffin. Lunch builds on the eclectic-comfort-food theme with dishes like truffle fries – so generous in size that the portion could easily serve four – drizzled with truffle oil and liberally sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and rosemary sea salt. The Cuban panini is also excellent, featuring sweet ham, smoked pork and whole grain Dijonaise pressed between two slices of fresh crusty bread. Jax also serves a small Sunday brunch buffet where Hale rotates the offerings to showcase some of his specialties such as biscuits and gravy or seafood cocktail; as a bonus, it includes a build your own bloody-mary bar. The prices are reasonable, and the atmosphere is casual. Expect an uncomplicated vibe, casual and friendly service, and creative twists on familiar breakfast and lunch classics.

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