EATING OUT: Brick, AA and Jack’s Revisited

One of the pleasures of having out-of -town guests is that you can get feedback on restaurants from people who haven’t been been there a thousand times.  We visited Brick & Fire on the Fourth of July and discovered you CAN get a seat without a reservation if you’re wiling to come in at an odd time, like 530. I had the Italian Mac’n’cheese, ended up taking most of it home. The chopped Caesar with fried egg couldn’t have been better. My friend had oysters and the duck confit. Another great meal at the Brick.

We also visited the AA Bar & Grill for the second time since they’re changed hands.  We are very protective of the AA and vigilant against any type of change. Last time everything was identical to the time -honored AA dinner. This time there were CHANGES!!  The salad was about half the size it used to be and the “house dressing’, a blend of ranch and blue cheese that tastes a lot better than it sounds, is no more.  Mr  Munson, the owner, has apparently  made these cutbacks- let’s hope he doesn’t have any more in mind.            

Mr Munson, you have a treasure here!  No more changes!!!

Finally , we had lunch at Jack’s Seafood  on July 2.   You recall all the fuss when Jack’s opened last August. If not, read about it HERE.  The space at the Fisherman’s Building had lain fallow for months.  Every local entrepreneur who expressed an interest in doing business in the space was deemed unqualified. Isn’t that interesting?  That left the field open for half -Councilman Chet Albin to plug his crony,  Jack Wu, into the process with lots of goodies from the City to help him get started. 

Anyway, Mr Wu’s subsidy (forgiveness of $4500 monthly rent) ran out recently and we were  curious to see what,  if any,  changes would be evident at Jack’s given the new necessity to pay rent. The only change obvious to the the public was that they took down their website for a few days but and, yes, some of the prices have increased, mostly for the higher ticket items.  The fried ‘shrooms went from $8 to $10.  Linguine with clams went from $18 to $20, saute´ed halibut from $20 to $24 and they’e added crab cakes for $14 as a regular item.  The whole menu is HERE.

Okay, here’s the good news:  The clam chowder has improved!  It’s not great, but it’s acceptable and not the weird thin effort that it was before. I could actually see getting a bowl of it for a relaxing lunch.  Not as good as Gill’s, not as good as the Waterfront’s but acceptable,  and you’ll be distracted by the setting anyway.

The bad news: the crab sandwich was meh.  There was an acceptable amount of crab, good crab,  but served on a roll of what tasted like a sweet form of ciabatta. It would have been SO much better on sourdough.  Jack’s has a problem with bread.  I was curioius to see if they’re still serving their fish sandwiches on toast , the kind of lapse we have come to expect from Jack’s, but they have now discovered grilled sourdough so that’s progress.

I’ll try them again- hate to give up on that location but next time may be the last. Think I’ll try the tacos.

END