Jack & Lois 301 James Street North

Happy fall! For this month’s first official outing, I was joined by my friend Krystal for lunch at a place I’ve been dying to hit – Jack & Lois.

I’ve heard so many great things about the new diner on James North and had peeked in the window before during my travels in the neighbourhood. I first met Chef Shane when he cooked up a BBQ outside I Heart Hamilton’s first fundraiser event back in July. Judging by the reaction they’ve been getting on Twitter and Facebook, they’ve quickly become a local favourite for many.

The look and feel of a restaurant can be just as important as the food, and I took to the decor of Jack & Lois right away. I absolutely love the black and white damask wallpaper (so much so, I had to Instagram it and make the image my phone’s new wallpaper. Bam.) and the colour scheme of aqua, white, and bright orange, which give Jack & Lois a retro feel. The place is small, so the mirrors on the walls and large open window out front make the space bright and airy, fresh and inviting. And as an unexpected touch – an autographed portrait of William Shatner, pictured below.

As always, I had perused their menu online (more times than I care to mention!) in anticipation of what I would order. Gourmet sandwiches are their specialty, and there is so much to choose from. Their black bean burger, The Jester, caught my eye, so I went with that, while Krystal chose The Mona Lisa, one of their grilled cheese sandwiches.

You can order your sandwich on its own or the platter, which comes with their original slaw and your choice of soup. We just went with the burger and sandwich, which were filling enough for us – and so delicious! But first, we were treated to some complimentary kettle chips, seasoned with a tasty peppery flavour.

The Jester

After learning that Jack & Lois was my site of exploration for the day, we were joined for lunch by The New Spirit of Radio himself, Jamie (Gunner) Smith, who was in the area and is a frequenter of the diner. Thanks to Gunner I got to sample some of that slaw and soup. Maybe I’ll opt for a platter next time if I have an extra big appetite.

Another big draw that will bring me back to Jack & Lois – they serve an all-day breakfast! No doubt, my next visit will be all about the breakfast menu. Oh! And the poutine. I need to try that too. The restaurant is newly licensed, and one of their specials, depending on the day, is poutine and pint of PBR. Sold!

– Kristin

William Shatner!

Jack & Lois on Urbanspoon

Kristin Archer is the creator of I Heart Hamilton (www.ihearthamilton.ca), where she has blogged about experiences around her hometown since 2011, growing a social media presence along the way. Encouraging locals to “be a tourist in your own city,” she promotes arts and culture across her various social media platforms, blog, and weekly radio show on 93.3 CFMU.

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