Cheap Bastard

Jen's Place Bakery & Cafe

I walked into Jen's Place, saw that the daily special was brisket and noted three things:

1) This is a cafeteria, not a BBQ joint.

2) Nobody named Jen makes a good brisket. To make a good brisket, you need a name like Rusty or Dusty or at least a name that people have to use air quotes to say properly and then they go, "You know how he got his name, right?" and then they tell you the story of "Dusty Big Nips."

3) All the pros in line in front of me seemed to be ordering sandwiches.

So, what up, sandwich menuuuuuu! Among the many delicious-looking and cafeteria-appropriate-seeming options, the Greek chicken sandwich caught my eyeballs. Do Greek chickens haze each other all the time? Are they involved in community service? I ordered a half Greek chicken sandwich (hot chicken breast, feta, creamy cucumber sauce, lettuce, tomato and onion on multi-grain bread) plus a cup of "Jen's Famous Chili" and a Diet Coke.

So, here's the band-aid ripping off: The food stank. It upsets me to say it, but I really did not enjoy this meal. The sandwich was super-bland. The chicken breast was a giant hunk of meat in the middle of a sea of bread and poseur-tzatziki. I had several no-chicken-involved sandwich bites (I think I must've gotten one of the fat Greek chickens—it probably just legacy-ed into the chicken sorority or was real smart and was allowed in just so the hot chicks could ace their French tests). Luckily, I had the famous chili there to save the day! Only, it didn't. Somehow it was underseasoned. The only spiciness I got from the chili came from the jalapeños I added to it myself. My fault, though—I assumed "Jen's Famous Chili" was famous for being good, and it must be that it's famous for being a fart bomb. In fact, I would like to take this moment to apologize to all those people in my yoga class who had to downward dog directly into my SBD clouds. Namastank, y'all.

It's a shame my meal here wasn't good. I really liked the atmosphere, and they had the best soda fountain in Dallas: two different flavors of root beer plus the tiny Sonic ice and bendy straws and everything. Maybe next time I should order the brisket.

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Alice Laussade writes about food, kids, music, and anything else she finds to be completely ridiculous. She created and hosts the Dallas event, Meat Fight, which is a barbecue competition and fundraiser that benefits the National MS Society. Last year, the event raised $100,000 for people living with MS, and 750 people could be seen shoving sausage links into their faces. And one time, she won a James Beard Award for Humor in Writing. That was pretty cool.
Contact: Alice Laussade