Holy Monster Trucks, we’re hungry this morning.
We visited J. Christopher’s at 14366 N Dale Mabry Hwy on 13 September 2009. This Tampa Bay Breakfast was a recommendation from our TBB Fan Joe. We didn’t realize J. Christopher’s was a chain until we walked in the door. Lucky for us, it seems to be a relatively small chain. They have a web site here: http://www.jchristophers.com/
Right away we noticed that J. Christopher’s had a polish to it that cried out that it was a chain. Not that there’s anything wrong with polish, but Mom-n-Pops tend to feel slightly less orchestrated. We were greeted at the door by a very nice hostess girl who didn’t really seem to be sure what to make of us. I think Marek was making Gucci Eyes at her behind my back. The interior was nice and open, and there was an interesting and low lunch counter. If it was in front of the kitchen we’d have sat at it, but since it was just against the wall it felt more like an affectation than a real diner counter.
The menu is truly expansive. Being that we started out hungry enough to eat a Monster Truck, this is a Good Thing.
Did we have coffee? Yoooobecha we did, and it was good. The coffee met all the cumulative coffee core criteria. Crikey!
Get a load of the suspension on this Monster Truck.
Marek put in his order. “Oh father, would you be evah so kind as to procure for me this fine day a pancake fine enough to perchance ease the echoing sensation I feel within my vacant belly?”
And that’s what we did.
And more. The bacon was tasty, but quite missed the mark on Steve’s scale. The eggs were superb and the home fries were nicely done. And they had blueberry pancakes. Now our faithful readers will remember that blueberry pancakes are my favorite. And these had a special twist, “granola crumbles.” They were huge, and simply delicious. A nice twist on an old favorite. (They could have used more actual blueberries, but now I’m just being picky!)
The syrup was warmed up. But more interestingly, they had a local hot sauce. I love hot sauce, and I love it more when it has an 813 area code on the label. It was tasteeee on the eggs!
When we were done, Marek washed it all down with another dose of high-test go-juice.
Marek tried to pay, but he was a little distracted by his trucks. Truuuuuucks! Plus, he’s a little jetlagged from our trip last week, so we’ll cut him the slack for today.
When it’s all said and done, we’ll have to say that this was a superb breakfast. Tasty, immense, and timely. The staff were all exceptionally friendly and professional and didn’t leave us to languish while still appearing to leave us alone to enjoy. There are two marks against this Tampa Bay Breakfast: It’s a chain, which we didn’t realize, and it was off the charts for cost. While we did have a huge serving of a great breakfast, for the two of us plus a tip we needed to call in close air support from Colonel Jackson and his twenny dollar express. That’s a lot of cash for a breakfast. We’ll forgive the expense because it was so good, but we’re still going to dock a half a pancake point for being a chain (yes, we’re biased for the mom-n-pops of Tampa Bay!). If it weren’t a chain we’d have to lay down a 4.5, but we’ll settle for a 4.
We give this Tampa Bay Breakfast a rating of Four Pancakes.
From Bill, owner of J. Christopher’s:
“We have the same name as the restaurants in Atlanta, but, we are not affiliated. Nor do we have the same menu. This is my restaurant independent of the chain. Long live the independents……”
Long, indeed! Thanks, Bill, for all you and your crew do to maintain Tampa Bay’s high breakfast standards! You’ll be seeing us again soon (we’re holding on to that half a pancake point purely as an excuse to try those awesome pancakes again!).