Jackbit and Joltz was kind of a curiosity months before it opened. Washington Park and Center Square dwellers have been wandering past the former Bryn Mawr Book Shop on Lark Street since last spring, wondering about the franchise-style "coming soon" signs. "See you in June", "See You in September" and finally "Hoping for Australia Day." Well, Australia Day (January 26th) finally came, and the Aussie themed sandwich/energy drink bar (yep, really) opened for business. And pretty much every day since we've noticed people coming to AOA in search of information about the place. So we grabbed our dilly bags, hopped in the bog and set out in search of tucker. Here are a few tips we picked up for those venturing "down under"...
1. Get the sauce for the sandwiches on the side. There's a LOT of it!
2. All the sandwiches come with potato chips. Skip the fries. You won't miss them.
3. Napkins. Lots and lots of napkins.
Things we liked:
-You can get Vegemite.
-The energy drinks - kind of like grown up slush puppies with caffeine.
-The fireplace and overstuffed chairs - a cozy place to sip your Red Bull laced slush puppy.
-The big window. It's like a big screen TV where you can watch the whole Lark Street show.
-The whole "Aussie" thing is a little much. (Although the Dingo to English dictionary is fun to play with while you're waiting.)
-The chain restaurant feel. It's pretty obvious they've gone to great lengths to establish a
brand here (it's maybe the most chain-like non-chain restaurant we've ever seen), but a little more focus on the food might have helped. It's not that the food is bad -- it seems to be fresh and made with quality ingredients -- it's just kind of... average.
The Bottom Line
Cozy spot with fun drinks but a very "chain like" feel. The food's OK, but it's not likely to send us on walkabout looking for it.
Jackbit and Joltz
215 Lark Street
Albany , NY 12210
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