The Jacobson, the Crossroad’s newest hip restaurant, shares space with Lulu’s Noodle shop. Both occupy the old A.D. Jacobson Heating and Plumbing Company building. It’s a very cool space with glazed cement block walls, a mix of high and low tables, secluded boothes and plenty of bar counter seating. Some of the cocktails come in flasks to the table, sitting in an ice bucket so diners can pour their own or share.
The menu is large, and diners can choose to go light with flatbreads and salads, or heavier with entrees, both day and night.
On my first visit I indulged in a rich and decadent Banh Mi with sliced pork belly, cilantro and carrots, and a spicy mayo. I loved every bite, but it’s definitely not an every day kind of sandwich. If it were sliced pork loin or pulled pork shoulder I could pretend it wasn’t too bad for me, but pork belly is by definition fatty.
The Ahi tuna salad may be a standard on many a menu these days, but this is a good one, with good quality rare tuna and a very pleasant miso vinaigrette dressing up the greens.
On another go around we started with a wild mushroom and ricotta flatbread. The flatbread was crisp, with plentiful toppings, but the dough could have benefited from perhaps a bit more salt (which I hardly ever recommend!).
I really enjoyed the unusual Crossroads salad. The crisp romaine is tossed with bacon, corn, tomatoes, avocado and a creamy oregano dressing, and a soft poached egg sits on top. Eggs on salads are big right now, with good reason. The oozing yolk mixes with the dressing to add complexity to the salad.
The J has Happy Hour every day. It would be fun to hit the patio on a beautiful autumn day and throw back a few. There’s a full bar with beer on tap outside, and a water and fire element on the patio. It can be noisy with all of the construction going down in the Crossroads, but that’s the price of progress, and that stops in the early evening.
Desserts are definitely worth ordering. If you’re into Dutch Babies (looks like a cross between a huge pancake and Yorkshire pudding), I saw a few of them pass by and they looked like the real deal. Servers seem to be partial to the Fig Newton, an unusual twist on my childhood fig newton sandwich: squares of bread pudding serve as the sandwich to the fig perserve filling and are drizzled with chocolate sauce. In a cute riff on cookies and milk, the dessert comes with a shot of Shatto banana milk. Adorable lookng, but since I’m not a bread pudding lover, I don’t think I’d get it again. The Brown Sugar cake on the other hand, with peanut butter ice cream and caramel sauce was a winner.
Chef John Smith has some impressive credentials, having worked with some of the great chefs in Chicago, New York and Paris. Based on his resume, I’m looking forward to trying out the dinner menu, which is more extensive and emphasizes fish, chicken and meat entrees.
It’s fun to go to the Crossroads these days. The ability to experience high quality fare from independent restaurateurs seems to be increasing at an exciting pace.