2014-02-26 / Restaurant of the Week

JAX INN DINER

Everyone is happy to be at the Jax Inn Diner on Northern Boulevard in Jackson Heights. Whether you come for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or for a cup of robust coffee and a hunk of one of their outrageously delicious cakes, the Jax Inn Diner will please everyone. Indeed, even on a weeknight in the winter, the clean, spacious dining room was nearly full with families, couples and friends dining together on the Jax Inn’s daily specials and classic diner fare, served seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Owner Peter Giannapoulos ensures the highest quality in ingredients and service and the amiable manager Ganesh makes sure that everyone is happy and taken care of.

My companion and I were warmly greeted and promptly served some of their impressive, specialty cocktails. The Jax Inn Punch contains Jack Daniels, peach schnapps and some other elixirs for a drink that packs a punch. The Electric Lemonade comes in a martini glass and glows with a fancy shade of green. The Mud Slide could be a dessert cocktail with its sweet and creamy mixture of Kahlua, Baileys, and chocolate. There are also beers and reasonably priced wines by the glass to complement your meal.

Every night of the week, the team of chefs at the Jax Inn Diner creates a menu of special entrees that will keep you coming in night after night. These special entrées are offered with your choice of soup or salad, potato, vegetable, and a dessert for under $20. This is a deal that can’t be beat. The chicken noodle soup was delicious, made from scratch with lots of chicken and chunky carrots and celery, and not greasy or salty. The split pea soup was equally as delicious and there are different, homemade varieties every day. Next you’ll choose from entrees such as boneless New York strip steak topped with mushrooms, barbecued half chicken with house made barbecue sauce, lobster ravioli with sundried tomatoes and fresh spinach in Alfredo sauce, or sautéed shrimp and sea scallops over linguine. We tried the French cut, stuffed pork chop which was a treat for the eyes. This juicy pork chop was cooked to perfection, stuffed with spinach, chorizo and cheese, served on a bed of wild rice. My whole sea bass Veracruz was broiled and topped with a delicious mix of plum tomatoes, capers, olives and onions. The sesame-crusted salmon makes a light meal over mixed stir fry vegetables. Speaking of vegetables, the accompanying vegetables included fresh spinach and rice or sautéed green beans which were fresh and crisp.

If you want to order a la carte, there are plenty of appetizers to share. Everyone starts with the house made green olive tapenade spread on warm bread. Muchos nachos please the whole table with crunchy chips topped with meaty chili, shredded cheddar, pico de gallo, jalapeños and sour cream ($8.45). Grilled calamari and octopus are both tender and tasty from the charcoal grill, dressed with basil infused olive oil and lemon. The fried calamari rings and mozzarella sticks are popular for their crispy crunch, while the potato skins are made from scratch and stuffed with cheddar cheese, crumbled bacon and scallions ($6.95). Start with one of the Big Salads such as the classic Chef’s salad, Greek salad or Southwestern salad with roasted corn, black beans and avocado. You can add grilled chicken, shrimp or steak to any salad and make it a meal in itself for lunch or dinner.

The Jax Inn has great pasta dishes, such as the rigatoni Bolognese with rich meat sauce, rigatoni Rustica with chorizo, broccoli and sun-dried tomatoes, or linguine fra Diavolo replete with shrimp, scallops, clams and mussels in a lightly spicy plum tomato sauce ($18.95). Try classic shrimp or chicken scampi, poured over rice or pasta, and the chicken Cappricciosa is a tender, breaded cutlet topped with arugula, cherry tomatoes and red onion with zesty balsamic dressing ($15.95). Classic diner plates such as chicken pot pie, fried chicken, meaty meatloaf and baby back ribs round out the options for a great meal.

At lunch or for a lighter dinner, the Jax Inn’s freshly prepared wraps and Panini make a great lunch, to stay or to go. The California wrap is rolled up with grilled chicken breast, crisp Romaine lettuce, sautéed mushrooms, tomatoes, guacamole and aioli mayo. The Ahi tuna wrap is one of my favorites, made with seared rare tuna, avocado, red onion and greens with a delicate lemon dill sauce. The skirt steak Panini is topped with sautéed onions, mushrooms and crumbled bleu cheese. All wraps and Panini are served with your choice of French fries, potato salad or mixed greens, to stay or to go. Don’t forget burgers because the Jax Inn makes some of the best around. Daily lunch specials cost around $10 and include salmon burgers on Monday, homemade quiche on Tuesday, beef goulash on Wednesday, baked lamb youvetsi on Thursday or a French dip roast beef sandwich on Friday.

Stop in for breakfast on your way to work when you’ll get eggs, egg sandwiches and omelets of your choice with delicious home fried potatoes. Orders are swiftly packed up to go if you prefer. Relax more leisurely for a weekend brunch with light, fluffy pancakes and waffles made from homemade batter. French toast topped with fresh berries and a selection of freshly baked muffins, rolls and pastries round out breakfast. The coffee is delicious too.

Try one of their eye popping cakes, all made on the premises, including Red Velvet cake, carrot cake, German chocolate cake with coconut, strawberry shortcake, tiramisu cake, NY style cheesecake straight up or topped with strawberries, or laced with chocolate, or classic seven layer cake. Linzer tarts, pecan brownies, black and white cookies, apple raspberry crumble and more are great for sharing along with coffee or tea, anytime.

For the best breakfast, lunch, dinner, cake and coffee, visit the Jax Inn Diner on Northern Boulevard In Jackson Heights. The food is great, the service is fast and friendly, and the desserts are decadent. Open seven days a week, 24 hours a day, there’s always a good time to stop in for a meal or snack.

72-12 Northern Blvd., Jackson Heights
718.476.1240 or 718.476.1309

www.jaxinndiner.com

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