Friday, January 4, 2013

Jak's Grill Review

Jason here. This review is a little special for me, and starts off with a bit of a story. It’s long, so If you just want to read the review you can skip down a little ways.

Almost one year ago today, I was in my last year of college still looking for a job. I was lucky enough to land an interview out in Seattle for what is one of the best companies for my field. Unfortunately for me, this was actually just after I started getting sick from eating gluten.  So with my stomach upset, and super nervous I traveled to the other side of the country to interview for my dream job.

The round of interviews went well, but not perfect. There are always the little things that you think back on afterwards wondering where you could have done better. The company had been generous, and given me a food stipend and told to go enjoy the local cuisine. They even recommended a nice steak restaurant downtown.

My flight was late at night the next day, so I had some time to go and explore Seattle. I went down town and walked around Pike Place market, and even went to the aquarium. After walking around for a few hours, I finally got hungry and decide a steak did sound good. I checked my phone and looked up the nearest steak restaurant.

So I walked a few blocks, only to find out my first pick had an extremely long wait.  No problem I thought, so I looked up another steak place started walking there. Now at this point, I am pretty dead set on steak. I have no idea what compelled me to, but I ended up walking well over an hour to get to the next restaurant only to find out it was closed. I have really worked up an appetite now, and it is pretty cold out that day. Keep in mind, I had to check out of my hotel, so I am also lugging around my duffel bag filled with my travel accessories.

I look up one last place on my phone, and find a restaurant called Jak’s Grill. I call a taxi this time, and finally arrive about 3:00PM. I see the sign for Jak’s Grill and am immensely excited. I walk up to the door, and find out that they don’t open until 4:00PM. I’m cold, hungry, and my stomach hurts at this point. At least it’s a nice street with a bunch of shops. I decide I can wait the hour and just go walking around.

4:00PM rolls around, and they open up right on time. I seem to be there first customer. I get seated in a little alcove around the corner, and my waiter introduces himself. It’s a slow day while I’m there so he chats with me some about where I’m from, and travelling. He guessed I was travelling to or from somewhere, since I was carrying around my luggage.

I order the Steak Oscar off their specials menu (as an aside, I couldn’t find their special menu online when I looked, but I may have just missed it). It was delicious. I remember it being one of the best meals I had ever had. I finally get my check and pay.

Then an incredible moment happened. The waiter turned and said, “See you when you get home”. For the last hour or so, I had been sitting there most alone, just contemplating what my life would be like I got the job and moved out to Seattle. With that simple utterance, I realized I could make this place my home, and that it would be everything I ever wanted. And for some reason, I simply stopped worrying about how my interview went. It was a moment of clarity for me that I will never forget. Just a few days later, I got the call that I did get the job, and vowed right then and there that I would one day return to Jak’s Grill.

So on my birthday this year, Kayleigh and decided there wouldn’t be a better time than now for me to go back.


We went back, and sure enough I ordered the exact same thing, the Steak Oscar off their specials menu. All of their entrees come with a salad, seasonal veggies, bread, and some form of potato.

I let me waiter know I was gluten intolerant, and asked if she knew my choice was gluten free. She said she was almost certain it was, but went back checked. Sure enough it was. The service is absolutely great here.

The steak Oscar is a steak with crab on top, topped again with béarnaise sauce. Béarnaise sauce, is a combination of eggs, tarragon shallots, and butter. This is all served on top of some asparagus. For my side, I got the garlic mashed potatoes.

I ordered the steak medium, and it came out as perfect as I remembered it. I had worried that maybe I was just remembering it being so good, because I was so hungry at the time. It is was nice and pink on the inside, and still had some of the absolutely delicious fat left on the sides. The crab and sauce, adds a delicious creamy taste to the whole thing. The salad, and sides were also very good. I cheated a bit, and swapped my asparagus for Kayeigh’s broccoli and carrots. Broccoli is my favorite vegetable, and I just have never personally enjoyed asparagus very much.

The atmosphere is also one I enjoy. It has a sort of old fashioned high class feel to the place. Smooth jazz playing, a little dark, all the booths feel secluded and personal.

Kayleigh here. I would like to counter Jason, and say his asparagus were perfectly cooked, so there. I ordered the salmon for myself, but it was one of the first times where I did not feel restricted when ordering a non-steak option at a steak restaurant. Every one of their seafood entrees are tantalizing, inspired dishes that can hardly be called afterthought options, as is how I usually find it. Settling on the salmon was actually difficult, but the taste of well cooked, seasoned, and buttered fish was well worth it.  However, I will say I’ll definitely be going down the line and trying a different entrée each time I go! Plus, we were told that at least the creme brulee is safe to order, so we will have to try and save some room for dessert next time!

In conclusion, if you ever get a chance to check out this restaurant, I absolutely recommend it. This place will always mean something extra to me, and I hope you take a little something special away from the experience as well.

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