The latest restaurant along Fort Worth Avenue can be hard to locate, but it’s worth finding. The official address is 2303 Pittman, but even with Google maps that may not help. Instead, read the more user-friendly directions on Jack’s MySpace site.
Once there, you may think you’ve landed in Austin. Neighborhood resident Kathy Jack has taken a row of old chop shops and converted them into a hip restaurant and bar, with the full name aptly "Jack’s Restaurant and Chill Grill". The grub is served in one building and the bar is housed in another, but the biggest draw is the outdoor tables around a fire pit, where bands like Bona Fide Blues and artists like Patrice Pike perform Thursday through Sunday nights. (Scroll down on the site for the schedule.) Every Sunday afternoon following brunch, the mic is open to any musical performers brave enough to take the stage.
The grill and barbecue menu was created by Jack’s partner, Susie Buck of Susie’s Cuisine (who was featured in our September story on neighborhood chefs). On a recent Friday, I tried a chopped brisket sandwich and fries for lunch. Yummy. The brisket was moist and fatty, and the fries were thick potato wedges right out of the oven that remained hot my entire meal.
A few customers came in and our during lunch, but the place wasn’t that busy. I asked my server how business was faring, and she told me that the restaurant is pretty much packed at night, especially when live musicians are performing. That’s a good sign.
Lunch is served daily from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; light appetizers from 3-5 p.m.; and dinner from 5 p.m.-midnight. Jack’s Backyard is open daily from 11 a.m.-2 a.m., and drinks are served at all hours.