I would like to report that I am always in the pink of health, however that report recently would be erroneous. In fact, last week I was in hospital following surgery. During those long hours and through my convalescence that continues to this day, my lovely wife the Rock Star behaved like ten rocks of strength rolled into one, and talked me thru the crisis with her straightforwardness and her humor. Now she needed a break, or at least a special something from a special someone (me). After racking my brains, I decided that lunch at a posh yet comfortable spot was just what the doctor ordered, and we duly set off late one rainy morning to take our noontide meal at Jaspers Restaurant, in the Shops at Legacy, Plano, TX, USA.
Decidedly masculine without being stuffy, Jaspers Asianesque interior literally features forests of wood---both in the paneling lining the walls and in the numerous bamboo plants featured throughout. (No, that's correct, bamboo is not a tree; I believe it is technically classified as a woody grass.) Low lighting with black mesh over the windows. Mucho macho, warm and inviting. Our amaiable hostess escorted us to a choice spot by the window where we awaited our waiter. I can make one suggestion at this point: plan on a leisurely-paced lunch. Our repast took ninety minutes start-to-finish, and we made the most of this opportunity to stretch not only our legs but our souls as well. Soon enough, Alex discovered us and presented us with menus and suggestions. My wife quickly ordered an Arnold Palmer (which is to say, a Shirley Temple with a four handicap) while I took his ready suggestion and ordered a bottle of Republic of Tea Pomegranite Green from the proferred Tea Menu. (Yes, there is a Tea Menu and, yes, you should make use of it.) The pomegranite added a welcome tartness and gusto to what is usually a rather sedate blend of tea.
Billed by those Flay-slaying Rathbun brothers as "gourmet backyard cuisine" (I'm sure that highly-regarded Corporate Chef Aaron Staudenmeier had something to do with it as well), Jaspers food is as familiar as Spam is to a Hawaiian, only slightly more upscale. We started with the Maytag Blue Cheese Potato Chips, sinfully rich although slightly overpriced at ten bucks, and decidedly fresh. Then we attacked Jasper's Greens, one of their salads which we found rather disappointing, particularly my lovely bride, who thought that there was too much cheese and not enough candied pecans for her taste. Much more to her liking, however, was the Smoked Ham & Gouda Grilled Cheese, perfectly grilled on panini bread and accompanied by superlative matchstick potatoes. For myself, I once again agreed to Alex's ready suggestion for the superb meat lasagna, which was the Daily Business Lunch. How often can you describe a lasagna as buttery and creamy? Javiers features a touch of mascarpone as well as usual suspects mozzarella and parmesan, giving the dish that fresh-churned flavor. Immensly delicious and a relative bargain at $15. After such a repast, we could not even think of dessert, but you can be assured the leftovers were properly boxed (by Alex) and accompanied us home.
SERVICE & WEBSITE
Except for the 10-15 minute wait from the time we were first shown to our table to Alex's first appearance, he was totally on point and his suggestions rocked our world. Website is www.jaspers-restaurant.com, and with a just a few clicks of your mouse, it is quite easy to explore other offerings from the brothers Rathbun, from Abacus to private dinners.
Dine regularly on Jasper's upscale laid-back food, and you too will discover why they defeated the immortal Bobby Flay on the season opener of this years Iron Chef America. Discover why soon, and you know me:
LIFE IS TOO SHORT FOR MEDIOCRE FOOD!!!