With all — yes all — of the meat served at Jack of the Wood coming from local sources, we agree with your assessment, Xpress readers. This pub has good grub, indeed. When it comes to your bar snacks, frozen jalapeño poppers and wings from hormone-pumped mutant chickens simply won't fly.
When it comes to the food served at JOW, as it is with the house Green Man brews, quality ingredients are of great importance. As many vegetables as possible are grown at Laughing Seed Farm, for example, and all breads come from City Bakery. The Alaskan cod in the fish and chips is wild and line-caught.
Enough about where it comes from, right? How's the food? New chef Jason Brian came on board two years ago, says pub manager Mike Boutin, and he's set about making everything, the dressings, the slow-cooked natural corned beef for the Ruebens — everything — from scratch.
"It's terrific," says Boutin of the Best Pub Grub win. "It's all Jason's baby, and he's ecstatic about it. He wanted to up the par on the food, and everything's just gotten a lot better as a result. The kitchen takes a lot of pride in what they do. We're really going for the locally grown and locally bought food items."
It's not all fancy here, though. The nachos are standard stuff, topped with cheese, peppers, onions and tomatoes (though the guac is house-made), and we say that's just fine. Sometimes when you're tipsy on Green Man ESB, you just want a plate of no-frills nachos — not that we know anything about that.
However, if you want some fancy little toast points with capers and house-smoked salmon, you can have that, too. And the pub burger with stout-marinated local Everett Farms beef? Jack of the Wood didn't place for Best Burger this year, but might soon if the secret gets out.
— Mackensy Lunsford