Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Jack's Fresh Salad Bar & Grill Review II

For years (decades?) I stayed away from hot food bars across downtown DC. Now that I'm older and supposedly wiser, I've come to appreciate their value and variety. Variety more so: Value's still up for debate. So don't be surprised to see more photos of styrofoam containers in future posts... I have years decades to make up for.

Today's review is of Jack's Fresh Salad Bar & Grill, a former favorite of mine from years past. They have three locations (one of which I reviewed last year.) Near the corner of 18th & L Streets, NW, this Jack's Fresh operates just as smoothly as the others. All three eateries are clean and tidy.

Sandwiches are still quite affordable; but truth be told, the buffet is a bit pricey (based on weight.) Three chunks of Orange Chicken, two tiny pieces of Fried Chicken and a single Beef Dumpling added up to $6.02 (including tax.) The cashier didn't ask me for the two pennies (I'm amazed so many do.) Nevertheless, I appreciate the gesture. Even at noon, I was able to snag a table by the window; but make no mistake, this place gets (and stays) full fast.

I'm a sucker for Orange Chicken, and Jack's version has a very strong orange flavor with little-to-no grease. Pretty tasty. The Beef Dumpling was a pleasant surprise, in terms of the amount of beef inside (I wasn't expecting much.) Good flavor too, but I forgot to add sauce (which was placed directly next to the dumplings.) Next time, I'll remember; and they'll taste even better.

As for the Fried Chicken, I'm pretty sure they were tiny drumsticks (or odd-shaped wings.) Lots of batter, but the flavor was mild at best. I found no visible spices, which is disappointing. Lots of meat too, but it was bordering on dry (zero juices.) I used some of my surplus orange sauce to dip it in; but on its own, not so hot.

Jack's Fresh highlights American, Chinese, Italian, Japanese and Korean foods; and there truly is something for everyone (including mashed potatoes with gravy.) I'm always cautious/skeptical of paying too much; but every now and then, I'm happy to make an exception. I'm already counting the days until I visit their third location at 1719 M Street, NW. Perhaps I'll try their mashed potatoes...