Updated
Mar 1st, 2019
First Posted
Jul 7th, 2018

Java & Jam

301 E Las Olas Blvd
Fort Lauderdale FL, 33301
954 353-3250
Overall Rating
2.0
Food
Service
Ambiance
Value
Last Review
03/01/2019

Details

Hours: 7a - 4p
Parking: Free Valet, Street Metered, Garage
CC: Yes
Alcohol: Full Bar
HasWifi: Yes
Wifi password: None
Outdoor: Yes

Pros

Handsome Space
Convenient Location

Cons

Small Breakfast Menu
Lousy Food
Amateur Service

Insider Tips

Bring Starbucks

Critic's Review

Tired of reading reviews from the culinary midgets that swarm Fort Lauderdale; time for a real review.

On a beautiful 78 degree day, I thought I might eat outside, but there were too many people so I figured I'd eat inside and escape the gas fumes.

There's no clear entrance to the place; I couldn't find the hostess stand. It's not where you'd expect it to be; I had to ask where she was. I asked for a booth and got one by the coffee bar.

Scoping out the counter; I wondered why anyone would want to sit there (and apparently nobody did)? Stools are not comfortable and the green tiles (which reminded me of the Big City remodel) are downright ugly. Maybe it's just for drinking bloody marys? They have the lamps like the ones everyone hated at the Royal Pig.

It's kind of a strange layout; they have a big community table in the middle of the room with office chairs reminiscent of the Floridian; I'm surprised anyone thinks that's a good idea?

My server offered me a beverage and I ordered coffee; she asked if I wanted cream and I said "Yes"; with a fancy coffee bar and for $3.50 a cup I expected some good coffee. I asked if it was bottomless and she said it was. I ordered the "classic" Eggs Benedict, because I wasn't going to pay $11 for 2 eggs with sausage. Plus I wanted to check out Boulukos's hollandaise sauce.

The coffee came out in a diner cup with a cute little creamer; no sugar was offered.

It wasn't cream, and the coffee was diner swill. Starbucks has nothing to worry about with this stuff. I'd need sugar in this; I noticed there was no sugar on the table at this point.

The flower reminded me of OB/House. Are you seeing a trend here? 3 minutes later someone at the coffee bar put a sugar dispenser on my table. I'd think you should be offered the sugar with the coffee. No choice of sweeteners here; at least not without asking.

Still Lester's quality coffee. The eggs came out literally 4 minutes after I ordered them. Clearly nothing is cooked to order here.

A very smallish looking plate; not the load of hash browns you get at IHOP or Waffle House. The hash browns are very edgy looking; not sure what the green stuff was, but I didn't like the unevenness of the crust. The hollandaise looked too white to be real hollandaise. Tiny eggs. Why can't restaurants charging $13 lay out the extra 5 cents for extra large eggs?

The first test for Eggs Benedict are the yolks; 80% of the time in this town the eggs are cooked hard, but here both yolks were done right. I'm betting they have a Vollrath poaching tray because the kiddie chefs can't poach an egg.

The hash browns were awful; totally flavorless, dried out and actually hard to eat. You shouldn't have to worry about breaking a tooth on hash browns.

The hollandaise was also tasteless; hollandaise has 6 ingredients: Water, Lemon Juice, Egg Yolk, Butter, Salt and White Pepper; when you leave 4 of them out you have crap. No lemon taste at all, no seasoning and who knows if this was made with butter and eggs? It tasted like milk and flour with some egg beaters for color. How could the Yelp reviewers not call out this fraudulent stuff?

I was having trouble cutting the muffin with the butter knife, so I asked for a sharper knife. But they don't have sharper knives. Only butter knives at Java & Jam.

Having fun sawing away at my eggs Benedict. I got a top-off on my coffee about halfway through. My server asked if it was good, and I said it was "OK", which seemed to set her off a bit.

Music is predictably YOLO, with "Ball and Bisquit" and Lightnin' Hopkins detected. As I was finishing up I realized I hadn't seen my server again, and I surmised that they only really want to give you a cup and a half of the tiny cup of coffee for $3.50.

When I was clearly done eating. my server asked if I was done and I said I was; she grabbed the plate and scampered away, leaving me with an empty coffee cup while I waited for her to fetch my check.

This ain't no diner. In a diner you might get 4 top offs while you eat and then they pour you another when you're done eating. Never an empty cup.

$18.00 for 2 eggs and potatoes. What a deal. I've blurred out the details because Petrillo once told me that he might fire someone if they're mentioned in a negative review.

Food Grades

Coffee: C-
Poached Eggs: A
Hollandaise Sauce: F
Hash Browns: F

Conclusion

When they announced this place I probably snickered to myself, because what do the Restaurant People know about breakfast? Houston's doesn't serve breakfast, and the brunch at YOLO is a joke. So I didn't have high expectations.

Something quite interesting is that there is NO JAM at Java & Jam. You'd think a place named Java and Jam would have good coffee and jam on the tables; this place has neither. Maybe they'll have live music at some point?

They've squeezed a lot of stuff into the old Vibe space; I like the stone but I hate the bar, so we'll call it a draw. It seems like a mish-mosh of design ideas that aren't really necessary for breakfast.

What I got today was really about $1 worth of food for $13. TRP is trying to cash in on the brunch craze with 7 day a week breakfast at brunch prices but they've missed the point of brunch; that it's supposed to be better than breakfast. Most places charge an extra $5 for Eggs Benedict (real hollandaise has a 1/2 stick of butter in it), so you're used to paying for that, but $9 for an Egg Sandwich or $11 for bacon and eggs with my $3.50 cup of bad coffee?

I really wouldn't mind the prices if the food was good, but I have zero incentive to try anything else here. I'd have to bring my own coffee to have breakfast here again. This place is the same price as LaBoulangerie except there they have very good coffee and they give you orange juice and no potatoes. I'm not going there again either.

I've been baffled by TRP from day 1; haven't they ever eaten in a good restaurant before? How could no-one in the group know how hollandaise is supposed to taste? Surely they know that this coffee isn't anything worth drinking. And how can you open a restaurant with hash browns that make Denny's look like high end dining? Even the worst diners can make edible potatoes.

I didn't realize it until I couldn't get a real knife, but this is a soft foods restaurant. No steak and eggs, no diner staples like london broil or ham and eggs, no steak on the lunch menu.

Another nice spot with bad food from The Restaurant People.

Pre-Opening Musings

Vibe closed down shortly after Rooftop opened, and now the "Restaurant People" are going into something else they know nothing about; breakfast.

The name of this place implies coffee and music to me; not breakfast, so we'll see if they wise up and change the name. Or maybe Petrillo is going to try the Music Venue thing again; maybe a guitarist while you dine on bacon and eggs?

You never know with The Restaurant People.

Comment Policy Add Comment
Ed
Reply
If that were real hollandaise they would have a control on the amount they give you. This was just ladled on like gravy.
NYGuy
Reply
Just $12.50 for an egg sandwich and coffee.
Brad
Reply
Spot on. You do never know with TRP.
Administrator
Reply
Imagine a diner where 2 over easy with toast, hash browns and sausage is $12. They have a picture with home fries but I don't see them as an option; I guess they couldn't get the recipe right.

I re-iterate the fact that there's no such thing as cage-free eggs. Eggs are 16 cents if you don't fall for the fake marketing.
Josh
Reply
$14 for corned beef and eggs. Is this Boukalos' attempt to reinvent the wheel? Is is corned beef hash or do they just throw everything in a bowl?
Laura
Reply
This place will just shift customers from Yolo

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