Jethro's Fine Grub has been on my "to eat" hit list but it's Dunbar location (a bit outta the way for me) and the knowledge that timing would be an issue (meaning it's a small place and very popular....and it's been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.....so the morning line ups to get in are even longer than before). Ashley, my Sunday morning breakfast date, and I are both early risers and neither of us was in a big rush so we headed off to Jethro's and arrived just after 9am. There was already a small line-up (approx 7 people) outside when we arrived. We popped in and were given an approx 45 minute waiting time and they put us on the list. There is no inside waiting area so everyone must wait outside. We ended up just waiting outside in the chilly weather but the staff approximate wait time was right on the nose. We were seated exactly 45 minutes later. Unless you get here right when they open at 8am a wait seems inevitable. If you do come here on a weekend, prepare for a wait...maybe come and put your name down and go for a walk around the neighbourhood, maybe run some errands, grab a coffee nearby, whatever. The line-up and wait time definitely kept growing....by the time we were inside and seated, I believe I heard that the wait was 2 hours.
There is seating for about 24-25 inside of the diner and decor is minimal but there is a funky retro feel. Even though we had plenty of time to peruse the order during our wait for a table, I still was torn on what to get. Pretty much everything on this breakfast menu sounds pretty awesome...all the usual suspects are there but some really cool options: Cowboy Breakfast with chorizo smothered in chili, Cobb Omelet (think cobb salad toppings in an omelet), Crab Cake Benedict, Baked Potato Benedict, Gold Rush Pancakes with banana, pecans, caramel and streusel, Chocolate Chip French Toast. Tough Decisions!
I was trying to decide between the Huevos Rancheros and La Nina and my server did a great job of helping me decide. "I love them both. I eat the Huevos all the time but the La Nina is more of a treat. Well, I had driven a distance and waited for almost an hour, so I figured I should go for the treat option.
La Nina: Our grilled corn cake benedict with Tex-Mex chili, two poached eggs and smothered in hollandaise. Served with hashbrowns ($12)
First things first- they definitely dish out big portions at Jethro's so just know that you won't leave hungry! Also, I have high praise for Jethro's in the hot sauce department. They offer bottles of the magnificent Tapatio hot sauce and a fantastic chipotle sauce.
My eggs were perfectly poached and looked beautiful with slivers of fresh green onion. The corn cakes had awesome flavour and were a nice vehicle for the poached egg deliciousness. They were a little bit crumbly so maybe could've been grilled until they were a bit crispier and firmer. I ordered the hollandaise on the side so I could add sparingly.... and they brought a huge side cup full of it. It was nice sauce- thick, creamy, buttery, with a slight cheesy taste.The hashbrowns were more like roasted/smashed potatoes and they were pretty ordinary. They definitely could have used more seasoning of herbs and I was kind of missing any sort of crispiness.
Ashley ordered the basic Two Eggs with Hashbrowns and Toast for $6 (fried eggs and rye toast).
Pretty standard but she really enjoyed it- especially the rye toast. And she taught me a new flavour combo...jam on toast then top with egg for a sweet/savoury combo.
The coffee is strong and topped up regularly. Service is friendly, efficient and down-to-earth.
Part of the fun of Jethro's is looking at everyone else's food as it comes out....every dish that came out looked awesomely delicious and in some cases over-the-top indulgent. I definitely had some order envy looking around at all of beautiful, cartoonishly large, decadent stacks of French toast and Pancakes.
It's easy to see why this place is so popular- a cozy feel, yummy comfort eats, simple offerings but with creative twists, giant portions, reasonable prices (I don't think there was anything over $14). I've gotta go back and get me some pancakes....on their website (I don't remember seeing it on their menu in the diner) they have a Hog Tied Pancake Stack with a side of bacon cooked into the pancakes.......I want that!