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Review: Welcome to The Neighborhood JA.M.

The Neighborhood JAM, newly opened on Yale and 61st, takes trendy brunch to the next level. With rich flavor palates, local produce and accommodations for all types of dietary plans, Neighborhood JAM has something for everyone. When you walk in, you are greeted by warm industrial lighting partnered with vibrant jewel-tone upholstery. The name of the store is boldly displayed in subway tiles. 

The Neighborhood JAM serves everything from “pancakes to eggs Benedict,” said the store manager. They are open from 6:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily, serving all-things brunch. Their menu screams of Tom Haverford with sections titled “Sammies” and “Bennies,” or sandwiches and eggs Benedict. Their “Sweet and Yummy” column hosts all kinds of—well—sweet and yummy pancakes and French toast.

Although they opened up this location on April 30, they are already popular. One can expect to wait 20 to 25 minutes during the week and up to two hours on the weekend. The best times to go are 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Yet, I went on a Monday at 10:30 a.m. and was seated right away, so it really depends on the day. The service is quick and friendly, regardless. 

I tried a delicious strawberry banana smoothie and two of the most popular entrées: the Hot Jam Biscuit and The Heap. The Hot Jam Biscuit was incredible—peppery yet sweet, crispy fried chicken, bacon and a fried egg, sandwiched between two halves of a homemade biscuit with jalapeño peach jam smeared on each half. This was by far my favorite dish. The side of hash browns was well seasoned. The Neighborhood JAM does not skimp on their portions, let me assure you.

Another dish I tried was The Heap. Just like it sounds, this Mexican-influenced take on hash browns was both unique and flavorful. This plateful of cheesy hash browns mixed with chorizo, two fried eggs and pico de gallo, topped with avocado and some picante cheese, is a staple for the college student’s budget and appetite. 

Next, I tasted handcrafted lattes from their espresso bar. The Neighborhood JAM uses a signature roast from Topeka Coffee. I will definitely order one again. They are strong supporters of local businesses; all of their products come from local farms or businesses. Furthermore, they have a full gluten-free menu, as well as dairy-free and meat-free options.  

“We are committed to ‘Keeping It Local’ and being a true neighbor within our community,” their website touts. 

If you’re looking for a job, this is the place to work. They offer competitive salaries, and as an Oklahoma-based chain with Hal Smith Restaurants, one can expect the same standards as restaurants like Mahogany, Redrock Canyon Grill and Upper Crust Wood Fired Pizza. The Neighborhood JAM staff boasts of a fun culture and a fast-paced workplace. 

The Neighborhood JAM is the perfect spot for your next early morning date or brunch with friends. Be a good neighbor and welcome them to the neighborhood!

Photos by Jennifer Lupinacci/Oracle