Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
cjsadler

Jack's Bistro, Canton

Recommended Posts

cjsadler   

Pretty cool little corner place amid a neighborhood of Formstone in Canton. Definitely has a quirky Baltimore vibe. We happened to be there on 'pretzel night'. The four different pretzels were more like a pizza made of pretzel dough, topped with various things. We had the Mexican one with chorizo, cheese, salsa and sour cream. As my dining companion said "This is like something I would eat drunk at 2am". I had a really nice crabcake (no filler), and alot of the other food coming out of the kitchen looked tasty.

They've got a good bar too, which I hung out at while waiting for my friend to show up. Somehow they are charging $8 for Dale's Pale Ale, though. I don't think I've ever paid anywhere close to that for a beer in Baltimore before.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DonRocks   

The first thing to do at Jack's is order a pint of Dale's Pale Ale. It's cringingly expensive at $8, but it's one of the greatest American beers I've ever tasted.

Jack's menu is filled with detailed descriptions about the dishes, and whoever wrote it sounds like a cross between an overeager CIA graduate - desperate to throw as many ingredients into a dish as possible - and someone who knows how to make such disparate ingredients sound appealing.

I wasn't sure what to expect with the Grilled Corn Cobs ($4.75), intriguingly described as being 'garnished with Parmesan cheese, red pepper, Fleur de Sel, European butter, and a splash of citrus.' It was three halved pieces of corn, beautifully grilled, and served atop red microgreens. Any red pepper or citrus was completely lost, because when you picked up the corn (and I'm assuming you're not going to de-kernel it with a knife and fork), all you got was an overwhelming smell of melted Parmesan. It was an ugly scent, and detracted from what could have otherwise been a good plate.

Argentinian Sugar Cane Skewered Beef ($19.50) is eight large cubes of marinated, charred beef, skewered four-each with two strips of sugar cane (I assume the sugar cane is Argentinian; not necessarily the beef). Sitting atop a little pile of charred jalapeno and cumin-scented smashed potatoes, the dish is harsh, perhaps even abrasive, but also very good and worth ordering. Little drizzles of red and green chimichurri sauces integrate well, but a cubing of red and golden beets is just too mild to have any impact at all.

While not a culinary temple, Jack's Bistro is a comfortable, quirky, and cool place, and one which I'd frequent often if I lived in the neighborhood - although I'm not sure I could ever cozy up to the Macaroni and Cheese and Chocolate.

Cheers,

Rocks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried this place a couple of months ago with the Queen (My Fiance). I liked it as did the Queen. Bill was something like $75 but we ate well and I remember the service being particularly good. It's a cute place and it was actually pretty easy to find parking. The food was pretty good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DonRocks   

The first thing to do at Jack's is order a pint of Dale's Pale Ale. It's cringingly expensive at $8, but it's one of the greatest American beers I've ever tasted.

Anyone been recently?

I haven't been in two years, but my love affair with Dale's Pale Ale isn't what it used to be. :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Toogs   

I haven't been in two years, but my love affair with Dale's Pale Ale isn't what it used to be. :rolleyes:

8 bucks seems steep but I have never had it on tap. Love the cans though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Toogs   

Sadly (or not) the Dale's was not on the beer list.

Enjoyed a great meal at Jack's last night. Poutine with foie gravy and steak tartare were my favorites of the night. The tartare was certainly tops. It had a silky pate type of consistency but without the mushy almost foaminess tartare can have. It was topped with a sun dried tomato dressing and served with little croutons. I could have eaten 3 orders of it (it's an app, and split two ways it's 3 or 4 bites each) and gone home happy.

Entrees sampled were the guiness braised filet and the hamachi collar with sous vide scallops. Both were flavorful and interesting (and recommended by the waitress, who was super friendly and informed and patient with our ordering). I would order something else if I went back, neither was "to die for" but both were very good and indicated an inspired kitchen whose products I would like to sample more widely. Then again, the waitress claimed she had never seen anyone clean their hamachi bones so thoroughly, so I must have liked it more than I thought.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Surprise, Dave and I went to Jack's together. So I'll just add that the vichysoisse that I had as my appetizer was really excellent as well. I could have eaten a whole plate of the fried leeks that came on top of it by themselves. And the dessert was good too, but we were stuffed by that point and it was so rich - a frozen sabayon w/basil syrup and an almond tuille. I really like this place. It wasn't just Baltimore good, it was good, and it's reasonably priced to boot. I will definitely be back, hopefully soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

went to Jack's last night for restaurant week and had a nice meal- bonus was 1/2 price wine from 5-6 pm- my friend and I shared a nice beaujolais with our meal.

for starters we got their foie gras poutine- made with skinny fries, cheese curds and a foie gras gravy- very delicious. we also got the mac + cheese + chocolate, shells and cheese topped with a milk chocolate powder- a surprisingly good combination of sweet and savory.

for the main dish, i had the sous vide steak frites (yes more fries), and my friend got sous vide duck on top of a cassoulet of tomato based white beans. both were very well made. the texture of meat sous vide is still a new experience for me.

dessert was great- we had the fried smores- a fried marshmallow topped with chocolate sauce and graham cracker ice cream. we also got the red velvet sundae which consisted of red velvet ice cream topped with sponge cake.

all in all- a nice food experience.- great price -they only charged $30 for the prix fixe (vs this year's $35 increase)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another great meal at Jack's on Saturday night. I went with a different friend so we ended up getting the apps I had gotten last time, the steak tartare (as delicious as it was last time) and the poutine. My friend lived in Canada quite some time so of course we couldn't skip the latter - he was enthused to see it on a menu here. I love that foie gras gravy! For dinner, I had the duck special, which was a sous vide duck breast served with a cream sauce that had some sort of bean (lima or fava, not sure, but they were cooked perfectly so they sort of "popped" in your mouth), peas, and ramps. The sauce was rich and decadent and oh so garlicky - honestly I'd have to describe it as hedonistic (if you're a garlic lover). I've never had sous vide meat before so it was interesting to me. I enjoyed it, but wouldn't want my meat that way every day. My friend got the sous vide steak frites - I prefered the sous vide technique with my duck, I like my steak to have some texture, but his was still cooked perfectly, had a good meaty flavor and the fries, which apparently have a hint of truffle oil and rosemary were delicious despite us being full of poutine. We each had a cocktail to start and a glass of wine with our entree (shiraz for him, Stags Leap claret for me. which were both at the more expensive end of the range) and our bill with tax and tip was only $65 each. We left STUFFED (I couldn't even finish my sauce/veg although I forced the last bites of duck down). I was sad to miss dessert b/c they all sounded delicious, but there was just no room.

I highly recommend this place. It's a nice space too, very Baltimore feel, with a little open kitchen at the back and great service across the board.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

went to Jack's last night for restaurant week and had a nice meal- bonus was 1/2 price wine from 5-6 pm- my friend and I shared a nice beaujolais with our meal.

for starters we got their foie gras poutine- made with skinny fries, cheese curds and a foie gras gravy- very delicious. we also got the mac + cheese + chocolate, shells and cheese topped with a milk chocolate powder- a surprisingly good combination of sweet and savory.

for the main dish, i had the sous vide steak frites (yes more fries), and my friend got sous vide duck on top of a cassoulet of tomato based white beans. both were very well made. the texture of meat sous vide is still a new experience for me.

dessert was great- we had the fried smores- a fried marshmallow topped with chocolate sauce and graham cracker ice cream. we also got the red velvet sundae which consisted of red velvet ice cream topped with sponge cake.

all in all- a nice food experience.- great price -they only charged $30 for the prix fixe (vs this year's $35 increase)

I popped in yesterday but have been busy and didn't even realize that it was restaurant week. We were waiting for a seat at the bar but a reservation was canceled so we ended up bypassing the two-hour wait (this was between 6:15 and 6:30) and ended up at a table. The price this year was $32.

I also got the poutine (unfortunately I didn't have the balls to pull the trigger on the mac and cheese this time) and sous vide steak frites and don't have much to add, they were both very good and I really enjoyed both. However I did not eat too many of the fries with the entree, just too much. I ended with the strawberry rum cake because I knew I wouldn't be able to handle the chocolate, and it was a good decision because that was very good as well. I don't even remember what it really tasted like in detail because I was getting pretty bogged down but they did a nice job with the bread pudding underneath.

The crab cake was also very good, very little filler and I think the other appetizer ordered was the Guinness Meat + Grits, both were hits. Ended up being a very enjoyable meal for all and I'm going to need to go back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

went to jack's bistro this past saturday night and had a pretty good meal. the bone marrow and guinness braised meat with grits (for appetizers) were good and pretty filling (bone marrow was better than what i previously had in philly at barbuzzo).

main courses were sous vide duck salad and flat iron 138F, which were both excellent. the flat iron had this smoked plum tomato that brought the entire dish together (which was also served with grits).

too full for dessert, but for drinks they had the bakon vodka i've been looking for (around philly) which was mixed in what they called "hawaiian martini": bakon vodka, pineapple juice, tomato juice, jalapeno.

i've been experimenting with sous vide at home, so i asked how long they sous vide the duck and flat iron steak, but i was told it was a "trade secret". blah. i wasn't really wanting exact details, but i was curious to know if the beef was cooked for more than 48 hours. oh well.

if i'm ever back in baltimore, i suspect i'll head back to jack's bistro.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i've been experimenting with sous vide at home, so i asked how long they sous vide the duck and flat iron steak, but i was told it was a "trade secret". blah. i wasn't really wanting exact details, but i was curious to know if the beef was cooked for more than 48 hours. oh well.

That's so strange. When I was there, I asked about how they braised the meat I had and got specific step by step instructions. I did go up to the open window though and ask the chef, not our server.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Little did I know that on Thursday nights they had both 1/2 price wine from 5-6 PM and a $20 beer dinner- two courses, one beer. I opted for the beer dinner and while I was skeptical about cream of tomato, shrimp pasta with a cream sauce and Stone Cali-Belgique IPA all working together, it was a great deal for $20 and it ended up being fantastic.

i've been experimenting with sous vide at home, so i asked how long they sous vide the duck and flat iron steak, but i was told it was a "trade secret". blah. i wasn't really wanting exact details, but i was curious to know if the beef was cooked for more than 48 hours. oh well.

Don't take this as gospel but I *think* its for 72 hours then finished on the grill. I'm not positive though. For some reason I think it might've been mentioned somewhere on the menu- again, I could be wrong. If I make it back and remember I'll report back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dracisk   
On 1/17/2012 at 0:07 PM, DonRocks said:

You've got to respect a place that comes right out and says it (although I suspect that, as the Baltimore dining scene continues to "mature," this will not be trumpeted so prominently on the website a couple years from now). ^_^

Ha, reading through this thread for the first time all I could think was holy sous vide!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×