Tuesday, October 5, 2010

J Alexander's at the St. John's Town Center

I’ve been to J Alexander’s several times, and this restaurant keeps pulling me back in every time. Between the great wine menu, the appetizers, and some extremely tasty food at a price-point that’s on par with just about anything else at the trendy St. John’s Town Center, J Alexander’s is ‘upscale comfort food’ with some of the best ambiance around.


The first time I was there, I had gone for lunch and wanted something slightly lighter, so I chose the Thai Kai Salad – not realizing the size of the portions. What came was tremendous both in taste and in size, proving to be more than I was able to handle in one sitting. This salad consisted of chicken over mixed greens and peanuts, tossed in a cilantro vinaigrette and topped with a Thai peanut sauce that worked perfectly together. My friend had ordered the Rotisserie Chicken Cobb Salad, which featured chicken, bacon, bleu cheese, tomatoes, egg, avocado, and a bleu cheese dressing. He also had difficulty finishing the enormous salad, but raved about the taste and the combination of flavors. Another friend ordered the Old-Fashioned Cheeseburger, which featured a hand-ground patty, all the fixings, and topped with Tillamook Cheddar cheese. He was astounded by the size of the burger, but also thoroughly enjoyed the great taste – even to the point of talking about it weeks later! His meal also included one of their specialty sides – the homemade mac and cheese. If you’re a lover of mac & cheese, then I HIGHLY recommend giving this a try, you may never order it anywhere it else. And while it’s not on the menu, be sure to ask for the croissants as an appetizer – you won’t be disappointed!


On my most recent trip, I opted for the Grilled Pork Tenderloin that I’d been craving since I had been there the previous time – it sounded fantastic! This was an in-house cured pork tenderloin, covered in a Thai ‘bang-bang’ sauce and what might have been the largest pile of ‘smashed potatoes’ I’ve seen in quite some time. The pork tenderloin itself was seasoned perfectly, with just the right touch of peppery spices, then was draped in a sweet and somewhat-spicy Thai chili sauce that I couldn’t get enough of! Part of me was slightly embarrassed to finish all of the pork tenderloin, but it was done so well that I just couldn’t stop myself – it was THAT good.

J Alexander’s is a place that combines excellent ‘upscale comfort food’ (as I like to call it) with a fantastic fresh fish menu, a great wine list, and ambiance that is absolutely perfect for a nice lunch or a great date. I’m happy to consider this one of my go-to spots at the Town Center – I hope you’ll take the time to check it out and enjoy everything the menu has to offer!

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