Very Berry Stuffed French Toast at the Jagged Fork (David Coates / The Detroit News)
Despite the rather ominous sound of the name, the Jagged Fork, a new breakfast/lunch spot in a free-standing building in Grosse Pointe Farms, is a welcome addition to the early-day dining scene.
Itís a spin-off of the Hudson Cafť in downtown Detroit, with a similar but not identical menu of well-prepared egg dishes, sandwiches and salads, with enough extra little touches to transcend the diner genre. Itís obvious the proprietors take pride in what they do.
In fact, itís pretty impressive what the open kitchen sends to the tables: fresh, made-to-order dishes that reveal the flair with which the proprietors view their mission. Brothers Francesco and Stavros Adamopoulos and their partner, Tom Teknos, now a veteran of nearly three years at the Hudson Cafť, named, of course, for the iconic department store that was once directly across the street, are dedicated to what they do.
Oranges are squeezed for the juice, sauce for the huevos rancheros is made in-house, as are the chicken tamales and the chorizo for the eggs Benedict spin-off called the Voodoo, topped not with Hollandaise but salsa verde. Other benedicts, including the traditional, do include Hollandaise, which I suspect is the main reason why people love the dish. Fresh fruit is an option to hashed browns as an accompaniment to the benedicts as well as many other dishes.
Oatmeal gets a flavor jolt with peanut butter, bananas and blueberries, and one of several French toast variations harkens to the Monte Cristo, with a berry compote along with the ham and Swiss cheese. Salads are equally inventive, typified by the Signature, a mix of grilled chicken, avocado, pecans, cranberries and lettuce in champagne vinaigrette, and as might be expected, one that harkens to the old Hudsonís Maurice salad, with smoked ham and turkey, lettuce, Swiss cheese and a gherkin, in creamy dressing. Just like the old days.
The setting is a sunny room with lots of windows done up in earth colors, with just enough decorative touches to give it warmth. It seats 75. The kitchen is set back from the tables but close enough that the hard-working crew, taking their cues from head chef Francesco Adamopoulos, is visible in their black chefsí gear. There are heat lamps along the counter where the staff picks up the finished plates, but the plates do not languish there. The food is promptly whisked to the tables.
Given the variety and individual touches, the Jagged Fork offers quality at a surprisingly affordable price. And donít miss the tamales, especially the lunch version topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, sour cream, guacamole and ranchero sauce. If it isnít a signature dish, it should be.
The Jagged Fork
18480 Mack, Grosse Pointe Farms
Call: (313) 458-8440
Rating:★★2Ĺ stars (out of 4)
Hours: 8 a.m.-3 p.m. daily
Prices: Breakfast entrees $6-$13, sandwiches $7.50-$11, salads $9, sides $2-$5.
Credit cards: All major
Noise level: Moderate
Parking: Attached lot
Wheelchair access: No barriers