Posted Jan 7, 2020 at 11:00 AM Updated Jan 8, 2020 at 8:46 AM
If you ask me, Jazzy Ladies is one of the best-kept brunch secrets in town. A pocket cafe tucked into the corner of the Tiffany Building, it’s not the spot to roll into with your crew of eight. But if you’re looking to show off some fresh, homestyle fare to a visitor or two — or get a boozy brunch within walking distance of everything — this has to be the place. Here are five reasons to go.
Watch the world go by
The chances of getting a window perch are high in this corner cafe, so whether it’s a sunny summer Saturday or a misty Monday morning, you can count on enjoying the view. Sipping a steaming cup of Global Delights coffee or Oregon Tea Traders tea helps make a moment of it. If the Park Blocks isn’t entertainment enough, there are several fun books along the window counter, including the riveting “100 Things To Do in Eugene Before You Die” by Julie Furst Henning. Finish that cup of coffee and get after it!
Lane County Farmer’s Market vendors who set up seasonal booths right outside the Jazzy Ladies window also populate the cafe’s list of purveyors. How neat would it be to go to the market on a Saturday and visit Horton Road Organics, BNF Kombucha or Tria Prima Tempeh right after being served those fresh products just steps away? Pretty darn neat, if you ask me. “The menu is seasonal, so we try to make the best use of local ingredients that we can,” said owner Michelle Reid, who noted that in the summer at least 70% of her ingredients can be found at the farmer’s market.
It wasn’t always the case, but as of last summer, Jazzy Ladies is a dedicated gluten-free kitchen. Patrons of gluten-free eatery Sundial Cafe, which closed late last summer, will be pleased to see Jazzy Ladies offer some similar menu items. Think enchiladas, chicken and waffles, biscuits and gravy and shakshuka (baked eggs). But if you’re not following a gluten-free diet, don’t worry. Odds are you won’t notice it’s missing. That’s intentional, Reid said. “We want to keep raising the bar for gluten-free foods so people don’t even know that’s what they’re eating,” she explained. Reid has a gluten sensitivity herself and said she had gradually been transitioning the menu — starting with biscuits and gravy — until a kitchen remodel prompted a full conversion in order to keep gluten fully out of menu items it didn’t belong in, she said.
Breakfast all day, but lunch, too
If you go
Where: 45 E. Eighth Ave.
Hours: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., seven days a week
Yep, that’s right. “You snooze, you lose” need not apply here. There’s bennys and bloodies all day, but if it’s lunch time, a new world of possibilities awaits. Between house-baked gluten-free bread, there’s a Thanksgiving situation with turkey and cranberry sauce, pesto tempeh, crispy chicken, and a tuna salad with housemade aioli, featuring local Tangled Orchard eggs. Choose from focaccia, white and seeded breads. Four salads cater to omnivores, vegetarians or vegans. And don’t forget dessert — sundaes and affogato.
Fast service, but relaxed pace
Despite a large and diverse menu, the food comes out fast. It helps that there are only 20 seats in the place, plus outdoor seating in the warmer months. Staff are friendly and attentive, and though there’s a revolving door of people hoping for a table, you’d never know it because your server won’t rush you.
Bottom line: At $8 to $18 for breakfast plates and with sandwiches in the $10 to $14 range, prices aren’t exactly cheap, but they’re not outrageous. Considering that you’re supporting some local growers and makers, it’s well worth it.