Hop Jack’s offers fresh take on regional cuisine

August 7, 2012

By David Hayes

A friend who’s originally from Tennessee laments missing one of her favorite staples of Southern cuisine — biscuits and gravy.

Imagine, then, her surprise to discover the answer to her Jonesing for homemade Southern cuisine could be found in a Klahanie neighborhood pub — Hop Jack’s.

With five locations in the Puget Sound region, Hop Jack’s is on the cusp of being a chain, but it still retains that neighborhood feel, catering to the middle-class looking for a place to meet after a hard day’s work.

So how does an eatery with upscale pub grub end up with biscuits and gravy on its menu that are to die for? Breakfast. For now, Hop Jack’s only serves breakfast on the weekends.

If you go

Hop Jack’s

  • 4506 Klahanie Drive S.E.
  • 392-5999
  • 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. daily; happy hour: 2-6 p.m./9 p.m. to closing daily; breakfast: 8-11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday
  • www.hopjacks.net
Restaurant reviews are a regular feature of The Issaquah Press. Reviewers visit restaurants unannounced and pay in full for their meals.

What about the rest of the menu during weekdays? If everything on it is as good as the flat iron steak sandwich I had, then you can do no wrong ordering anything else.

We’ve all had that steak served as tough as shoe leather. Not so at Hop Jack’s. Grilled to order, their flat iron steak sandwich is tender, paired perfectly with grilled onions and slathered with a chipotle mayo that ties it all together. Each bite was a delight, especially on the fresh ciabatta roll.

A cohort ordered the California turkey. The multigrain bread was the introduction to a well-constructed sandwich filled to the absolute brim with roasted turkey and bacon, provolone cheese, avocado, pesto mayo and the other veggie staples of a handcrafted sandwich. Even Dagwood would have had his hands full.

Besides the sandwiches, Hop Jack’s menu features enough to keep you coming back for more — from its appetizers, featuring their signature barbecue chicken quesadilla or tempura veggies, or their entrées, with macaroni and cheese or tacos-your-way that just look too appetizing to pass up.

To cater to a working-class crowd, nothing on the menu is priced above $14.95, with most orders that should fill you up nicely at about $10.

And with happy hour every day, don’t forget to think outside the (ice) box, with one of their signature lemon drops, served in an actual ice mold.

So, whether you’re looking to fill that missing void vacated by leaving behind a favorite regional cuisine, or just in search of some tasty pub grub after a hard day’s work, Hop Jack’s has something for most tastes.

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