Jethro’s Fine Grub

Restaurant: Jethro’s Fine Grub
Cuisine: Breakfast/Brunch/Diner/American
Last visited: October 6, 2010
Location: Vancouver, BC (Dunbar)
Address: 3420 Dunbar Street
Price Range: $10 or less

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: 4 (from what I tried)
Service: 4
Ambiance: 2
Overall: 3.5
Additional comments:

  • Locally owned and operated
  • Small and very casual
  • Popular for breakfast/brunch
  • Extensive brunch menu
  • Creative recipes
  • Homestyle food
  • Some Southern/Tex-Mex influence
  • Affordable, big portions
  • Busy/line-ups at peak hours
  • Lunch available
  • Burgers and sandwiches available
  • Homemade breads and biscuits
  • Local favourite
  • Visa/MC/Debit
  • Open daily 8am-4pm

**Recommendations: Omelettes and benedicts are popular. Biscuits and Gravy was good. I haven’t tried enough of anything else to really say. I would order a benny again, but a different kind. Everything everyone else ordered almost looked better than what I ordered.

I’ve heard only rave reviews and comments about Jethro’s Fine Grub located in the Kerrisdale area of Vancouver, BC. I’m rarely in the area so I was so excited to finally try it. I was very surprised at it’s humble location and it’s really a neighbourhood brunch place with locals lining up at the door.

The menu sounded a bit more gourmet, but it’s a very small and casual place serving hearty portions and the food is generally more impressive than it’s location. “Fine Grub” is exactly what it is. Perhaps my expectations were set too high, or maybe I ordered the wrong stuff (although I did order the recommended and popular items) but I just wasn’t as impressed as I thought I would be. I did appreciate the portions, value and home made qualities, but I actually found it quite regular.

The owner must really like Tex-Mex because there’s an influence of all those things. He also must like hot sauce because Tapatio hot sauce is a bit hard to find sometimes in Vancouver. There’s hot sauce on the tables and behind the counter and he has tons of different kinds including Sriracha sauce!

I have to admit, I made the trip to Jethro’s Fine Grub after coming back from San Diego, California. Thus my expectations were high because the States generally does excellent diner style breakfasts and brunches better than we do in Canada, and especially in Vancouver. I can’t say we’re much of a old school diner style city, however I can see it as an upcoming trend within the next couple years. Jethro’s Fine Grub is pretty good for the price and for Vancouver standards, and I would go back to try other items, but it’s not a priority.

On the table:

**Biscuits & Gravy – 4.5/6

  • Two fluffy buttermilk biscuits, open faced smothered with house made country gravy $5
  • This isn’t how it normally looks. The first biscuit was a bit small so I ended up getting a bigger half of another one, which made for an enormous portion.
  • I was on a biscuit hunt after just having excellent ones from Urban Solace and Hash House a Go Go in San Diego. Those are hard to beat, but the ones at Jethro’s didn’t disappoint either.
  • This is a very traditional and country style version of biscuits and gravy. It’s good old Southern home cooking and it tastes as rich and hearty as it looks. It’s very savoury, meaty and creamy.
  • The biscuits are savoury, but not overly salty and they were very soft and fluffy.
  • The gravy was a highlight. It’s almost like country fried steak sauce but they incorporate pieces of sausage links, ham and bacon in it.

Crab Cake Benedict – 3.5/6

  • House made crab cakes with poached eggs and hollandaise. Served with hashbrowns and toast $11
  • So this is the most popular eggs benedict and it came recommended… but I should know by now that if 2 crab cakes are $11 – it’s probably not a good thing.
  • The hashbrowns were more like roasted potatoes and they were very ordinary and weren’t seasoned well. It was a creamy white potato and not a starchy Russet though. They could have used salt and pepper or even some dried herbs and I wish they had crispy skins.

  • For $11 the crab cakes were more or less okay, but for an actual crab cake they had a lot of filler and not much crab at all. It was almost a mealy crab cake and it was very soft and came across as polenta with some chopped of veggies, but at least it wasn’t dry. It was lightly battered and fried, but I wish it had been crispy.
  • The egg was a perfectly poached egg and it was delicious.
  • The hollandaise sauce was thick, creamy and very buttery and it almost seemed cheesy. I prefer a tangier hollandaise sauce and one of my favourite hollandaise sauce is on the breakfast poutine at La Brasserie.

Chocolate-Chip Banana Bread French Toast – 4/6

  • Yes, you read it right. Topped with caramelized bananas and whipped butter $9
  • This is one of the most popular items and it was more like a dessert than a breakfast or brunch.
  • It’s huge and very filling and hearty especially since the chocolate-chip banana bread is a very dense loaf.
  • It’s very rich and it’s topped with a melted butter Maple syrup sauce that tastes mainly like melted butter.

  • I couldn’t taste much banana in the bread, but it was loaded with lots of chocolate chunks, not even chips.
  • It was coated with egg batter and pan-fried but it comes across as a a warm chocolate cake loaf or even pound cake more than it does banana french toast. I would prefer it to be lighter and fluffier.
  • The warm caramelized bananas on top were a great touch and I liked that part. It added a creamy texture to the whole thing, but also made it more like a dessert especially with the amount of chocolate it has.

Hog Tied – n/a

  • Our fluffy buttermilk cakes with a full side of bacon baked in and griddled crisp. Served with warm maple syrup and butter $8
  • I did it again. This was a random customer’s order and I couldn’t help but to ask for a photo of it. Just look how big it is!! It was SO big and it makes me want to order it next time and it looked great too! Maybe it will do the same to you.
  • I think the guy eating it was pretty much done and it looked like he had barely made a dent!

All Hail the Cuban – 2/6

  • Pulled pork, ham, Swiss, kosher dills with Thousand Island grilled on fresh Caioti bread. Served with fries or mixed greens. $10
  • They said “anything with pulled pork is good and popular”.
  • This is a lunch item and I love pulled pork but this one wasn’t that great. I’d stick with ordering breakfast and brunch items based on trying this sandwich alone.
  • First off a Cuban should be grilled and this one was not. It should be a grilled “ham and cheese” sandwich, but I felt like they only warmed up the meat.
  • It was their own version of a Cuban and the change to pulled pork from the traditional roast pork didn’t bother me.
  • I could taste each layer of ingredient, but the pulled pork didn’t shine and the bread was too thick.
  • It was savoury and tangy but I could have used more Swiss and it could have been more melted.

  • The pulled pork wasn’t the traditional pulled pork. It was almost the texture of beef brisket. It was tender but not that juicy. It wasn’t shredded or pulled and almost like slices or chunks of meat.
  • The bread had no flavour and it was much too thick. It tastes like plain white grocery store bread and it wasn’t that soft or moist either so it ruined the sandwich.
  • The Thousand Island sauce was their own twist, but they did also add the mustard which is standard for a traditional Cuban.
  • The fries were made from skins on Russet potatoes and they were crispy and well seasoned. Those were good!

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7 Comments

  • Bow says:

    I normally shy away from sweets…however the banana chocolate chip french toast looks great. The Hog tied just looks too heavy for me. Nice pics.

  • Mijune says:

    @Bow – Thanks Bow! I assume you can cook a great banana chocolate chip yourself? You seem like a guy with a book of recipes! See the pancakes do look intense but I would still order them although I’d have to pack it up… yes, even I have my limits 🙂

  • Kate says:

    Looking up reviews for Jethro’s and I found you =) Yum! Going to check it out this weekend with Mike. I’m drooling looking at that french toast. Call me if you’re ever in the area and we can eat!!!

  • Mijune says:

    @Kate – KATE!!!! Woohoo!! I love that you commented! Thanks for visiting 🙂 Yay! Make a stop by Butter afterward of course! Hahah! The French toast is overwhelming for one person for breakfast though… so consider it more of a shared dessert 🙂 xoxox

  • Dunbar Local Staying Away from Jethro's says:

    I live about 5 blocks from Jethro’s. I have eaten there a few times–the first couple of times on my own accord, and subsequent times at the urging of family members. Today’s foray falls under ‘dragged by daughter into Jethro’s.’ I agree that portions are huge, and that’s good if you like lots of carbs — potatoes, pancakes, toast. I have always found their pancakes soggy and most other items too greasy for my liking, but that’s due to their southern bent. Food comes out of the kitchen quickly–good for them because with so few tables, they have to feed and hussle out customers quickly. Waitresses during other visits OK, but today, the one from the ‘like’ generation worked the joint as if she slept in the sewer last night. To her I say, ‘Lady, it’s bad enough that diners have to rush to let others have their turn, the least you can do is put on a smile.’ If I ever feel like venturing into croc nuggets, I’ll order it as take-out and run across the street to Timmy’s for the rest of a greasy breakfast, or better still, run to Cosy Inn Cafe a few blocks south on Dunbar Street. Nothing pretentious at either place.

  • Mijune says:

    @Dunbar Local Staying Away from Jethro’s – thanks for your comment and it’s unfortunate you had a poor server. Yup I see where you’re going with the lots of carbs thing. I didn’t feel it was as greasy, but I also haven’t tried the pancakes yet.. I just felt overall it was a bit overrated. Thanks for visiting!

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