Short Orders: J's Breakfast & Burgers

J's Breakfast & Burgers
14925 Midway, Addison

Call J's a monument to the open-all-night greasy spoons of two-lane highway fame. It's one of the few such places remaining in built up Dallas, where most people shun walls pocked by age, ceilings painted by gristle, grills blackened from years of abuse and yellowing Formica.

Go for breakfast on a weekend and you find tidy suburban families mixing with the unwashed--literally unwashed, as in 'no time to shower, let's just throw on a baseball hat and grab something to eat.' And if forced into a middle table, you just about rub smudged elbows with neighboring guests. Time stands still here: no wi-fi, just a pile of newspapers to read. Wizened waitresses. A guy draped over one of the bar stools lighting up a cigarette...It's like a scene from Mel's Diner.

But there's a sense of authenticity about the place. Unlike Kel's, (that other recently revisited diner), J's refuses to stray into eggs Benedict territory. The menu is ruthlessly rudimentary: eggs, bacon, pancakes, hash browns and the like.

Oh, they attempt Belgian waffles, too. But this isn't the type of place where you risk fresh fruit or whipped cream. Besides, J's turns out somewhat rubbery pancakes, so waffles might just be a disappointment. Still the pancakes show a pleasantly malty side. Scrambled eggs appear fluffier than one expects from such a rustic kitchen. They also have a rich, natural flavor underscored by buttery residue. Not bad for a stripped down breakfast staple.

Of course, it requires minimal skill to prepare much of their breakfast menu. Line cooks, therefore, perform well enough to meet demand. The atmosphere draws people back to J's, time and again, more than food service standards.

Worn down, grease-streaked, come as you are and comforting...guess there's something we like about that. 

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