Friday, August 24, 2012
Back Row! Who's Next? (Jumpin' Jack's, Scotia)
You know why locally oriented blogs are important? Because posts like Daniel B.'s concerning the Jackburger (on All Over Albany) make people like me think, "gee, I haven't been to Jumpin' Jack's in quite a while. Maybe I should take the family." Hence, local businesses are frequented and get dollars in their coffers.
Anyhow, the other day I packed up Mrs. Dave, Giblet, and Mr. Dave Jr. into the Toyota and set out for Scotia. If you don't know, Jumpin' Jack's is a drive-in type eatery located adjacent the mighty Mohawk River in Scotia (just outside Schenectady). If you will remember, last summer Jack's was tragically placed under water by Hurricane Irene.
In any event, Jumpin' Jack's is back on its feet and humming along as always. During the height of the summer this establishment tends to get a bit busy. To deal with the crowds Jumpin' Jack's has evolved a system to take orders that sort of reminded me of Pat's or Geno's out in Philly in its brutal efficiency. If there is a line up in the little corral the employees pretty much just yell, "back row, who's next?" You are expected to be prepared to give your order quickly and concisely as not to hold up the flow of the line. The brusque Jumpin' Jack's employee will then translate your request into code ("Twisted Indian," stuff like that).
Afterwards you wait a bit and then shuffle up to the window to retrieve your order. Notice the mechanism in the below picture. That is a bun steamer. I love me some steamed buns. Perhaps Jumpin' Jack's prepares Steamed Hams thusly after hours...
The "Jackburger" is the specialty of the house but I have never been much of a fan. The Jackburger is a double cheeseburger sort of thing topped with coleslaw. I hate coleslaw and I don't think it has any business in a cheeseburger. There, I said it.
The family and I went with a thoroughly standard and unoriginal order. I had a plain cheeseburger (recovering from a minor surgery and my gullet was off), the wife had a shrimp fry, and the wee 'uns split a hot dog and some fries. The burgers at Jumpin' Jack's are only enjoyable in light of the surroundings, being with your family, and a certain nostalgia attached to that sort of burger. That is to say that I would thoroughly expect to not have your socks knocked off. But hey, loosen up. Your kids are having fun and it is a nice day. Stop quibbling over details.
After munching for a bit my wife poked me in the arm and queried, "what did you do with the onion rings?" Failing in my duties as a husband and a father I had completely forgotten to get an order. Mrs. Dave immediately rifled through my pockets for cash and strode right back up to the window and remedied my grievous mistake.
These onion rings are pretty good, not my favorite (I have been ruined by certain onion rings peddled by a walk up stand in Hyannis Port that are absolutely perfect), but pretty good. The wife absolutely loved them.
I closed out the meal with a chocolate malted fromt he adjacent ice cream stand. This was your standard affair of milk, chocolate soft serve, and Carnation malt powder. I am a chocolate malted fiend, so any manner of getting a malted fix pretty much pleases me...
When you have finished slopping yourself and your family do take a walk down to the banks of the mighty Mohawk River. Ignore the weird advertisements on the adjacent bank and gaze at the water. Imagine the tall ships and the river traffic that was the life's blood of our region in the past... It must have been something to see.
Anyhow, go to Jumpin' Jacks with your family/sweetheart/Ma' and Pa'. The food is not the main event but I guarantee that you are going to have a good time.