Certain holidays set the pace for the year – Memorial Day is the beginning of summer, the Fourth of July marks the halfway point and Labor Day means summer is over. Period.
How can summer begin just a few weeks ago, and now it’s half over, but there’s plenty of time to enjoy all those fabulous activities. The best part of summer is being able to take road trips to different places and try new restaurants, and this summer I’m on the road.
I ventured over to Schererville, Ind., to try a café that serves both breakfast and lunch. A few weeks ago, I wrote about Jelly’s in Dyer; this week, Toast & Jam.
The café is warm and welcoming. The waiting area’s wall has retro toasters along with a painting of toast. The other areas are decorated with largely lit letters spelling “Toast” and “Jam.” The staff is friendly, the wait staff amazing, and the food is not only remarkable but affordable.
We had a large party of 11 people celebrating a belated Father’s Day and several birthdays. We were quickly seated, and drink orders were taken. Some indulged with loaded Bloody Mary’s; but then switched to their specialty, Bellini, a drink prepared with Prosecco and white peach puree. The menu is extensive. Before you go, I would take time to look it over on its website.
There are the classics, omelets, skillets, pancakes and of course, toast and jam. One of their specialties is steak and eggs; the signature rib-eye steak, $19.99; 10-oz. skirt steak, $17.99 or 8-oz. steak strip, $13.99. They even offer pork chops and eggs. The classics come with hash brown potatoes or your choice of pancakes or toast.
There is a nice selection of “Benaddicted,” their name for eggs Benedict. This selection includes two unique dishes, the Porky, made with carnitas pork or the Crabby made with fresh crabmeat.
The selection of omelets is huge – crab and asparagus or crab Florentine are the most unique. My grandson, Dylan Whiteley, ordered the Southwest skillet with Chorizo, fire roasted peppers, onions, fresh jalapeños, and pepper jack and severed with pico de gallo and queso fresco, with a side of salsa verde. Pretty spicy for breakfast.
Dave, my husband, with the big appetite, ordered the Hog Heaven omelet loaded with bacon, sausage, ham, onion, and cheddar jack cheese and, wait for it – topped with pot roast.
Desayuno Picante (spicy breakfast) — Tony Collins, Dyer, Ind., loves hot food. I knew he would enjoy this dish – the special poblano breakfast casserole. Any normal person would be sweating after a few bites of this casserole – made with roasted poblano peppers, jalapenos, shredded chicken queso fresco, eggs, and corn tortillas then baked and topped with queso fresco, salsa verde, pico de gallo and crema – but not Tony!
Suzanne Foreman, of Valparaiso, Ind., ordered another special, the banana crumble French toast. Sautéed bananas piled onto banana bread, baked with candied pecans, then drizzled with a creamy caramel sauce. She said it was very sweet and would make a great dessert. Grandson, Tyler Illum, ordered the Big Easy skillet with diced andouille sausage, smoked bacon, sausage links, mixed pepper medley, onions, cheese, and hash browns.
I did order the biscuits and gravy which were good, but now I wished I would have tried their California toast with basted eggs, pico de gallo, avocado and queso fresco on top of an English muffin.
We all enjoyed the food, especially their homemade jams, which were fabulous. I loved the interior of the restaurant. Although it was crowded, there was room to move around, which is a plus. I tried to taste everyone’s food, but my arms were not long enough, and to walk around the table with my fork would have looked awkward.
I’d like to go back for lunch and try some of their specials, including pot roast and macaroni and cheese, their Buffalo chicken sandwich and a new dish – Jack’s pot roast with shredded pot roast beef, carrots, celery and smothered in provolone cheese then stuffed into a warm French roll. And, the chicken and waffles.
Toast & Jam is tucked away in a residential area in Schererville. Since they have banquet facilities, there is plenty of parking. I recommend Toast & Jam, and both Yelp and Trip Advisor give them four out of five stars. Frankly, I would give them five.
Toast & Jam is at 311 Mallard Lane, Schererville, Ind. Hours are 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Friday; 6 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
I’ll be on the road again for my next column.