Today I took myself to lunch.
It was brilliant.
My girlfriend Felisha has been bangin' on about Papa Jack's for awhile now, and I felt shamed at my lack of investigation thus far!
Advertised as a sort of bar-come-creole-style food place, in the swanky new M&A complex in the Valley, I was pretty stoked to try it. Owner's Marco and Emily are responsible for Canvas (now under new ownership) in the Gabba and I'd always been a fan of their work.
I'm excited about the whole 'American' food movement in Brisbane over the last year. It's a style I'm not overly familiar with, but I love smokey, spicy, sweet flavours and so I'm sure I'll be a ribs convert before long. In saying this, Papa Jack's is no Southside Diner, it's New Orleans style, which is evidently different from your standard shakes, burger and ribs joints.
Anyhow, I wandered over to Papa Jack's today (Sunday) at around noon. Got a park right outside on McLaughlin St and dropped a coin in the meter. I'd noticed the Veuve Clicquot umbrellas on the sidewalk whilst driving and was excited. Any place with Veuve umbrellas has me at hello/ So I stolled in and grabbed a table. The atmosphere didn't immediately grab me, but I appreciated little things over the hour I was there. Mint green tin chairs, piano in the corner, very well-stocked bar, including at least 3 types of bitters (?!?).
I ordered a soy cap straight up, as I saw they were serving up Fonzie Abbott espresso of Racecourse Road fame. I think caps and lattes make for the sexiest looking coffees, but nearly always find them too heavy when I get around to drinking them. Should stick with my long blacks! Still, lovely coffee. Cute blue cups with paper doily under the cup; love it.
Side note: cute French waiter kept me watered and also gave me a mini tumbler of ice tea on arrival. Well played, Papa Jack's, well played.
I was disappointed to have missed breakfast (7-11am), but settled on a caprese salad as I simply cannot pass that up, no matter where I am!
Papa Jack's version was fairly perfect. Perfectly seasoned, gorgeous sweet tomatoes, basil leaves, spanish onion which wasn't overpowering...a few little slices of sourdough and FANTASTIC fior di latte. Most capreses I've had are done with buffalo mozzarella (burrata), but I thought I remembered having fior di latte in Italy and that they were quite similar. Check out descriptions here. For $14, this salad was a steal and I couldn't have asked for more.
But I did, obviously.
Knowing Marco to be of Canvas fame, with an affinity for liquor and cocktails, I asked for the drinks menu. Impressive. I wasn't in the mood for a cocktail, but I did see quite an impressive Champagne-by-the-glass menu. Veuve Clicquot, NV, $19 a glass, why not!? Indulgent and just perfect. The flute was lovely and fine, too. Tall and narrow, perfect for keeping those tight little bubbles dancing. I have rarely been more stoked than I was today with that glass of bubbles and that sexy, sexy salad.
The staff were attentive and pleasant. I can't wait to come back for breakfast, and then again for cocktails and dinner. I know the D-man loves all things American and so I'm sure he'll be obliging in visiting with me next time for a full investigation of this cute place.
For more sexy pics of my visit to Papa Jack's, go to my photos page.
Sidenote: I took a bit of a wander around and glanced at Gordita (spanish), Mighty Mighty (American) , Locanda (Italian), and a few more. These three took my eye especially and I'm coming back to explore over the coming months!