Honestly, I don’t think my hopes of seeing Michael Phelps at Kickback Jack’s (formerly BC Café) on Sunday morning were too unrealistic —this is probably one of the few restaurants in America where he could easily consume his daily 12,000 calories in one sitting. It’s hard to believe I spent the past three years of college passing this restaurant, located at 701 S. Indian Hill Blvd. just before the entrance to I-10, countless times without being aware that I was so close to dishes that could easily set world records. But after recently dining there, it’s become my top pick for a lazy weekend brunch, with friendly, fast service that will have you well fed long before you could have gotten made-to-order pancakes on campus.
When I finally tried Kickback Jack’s last weekend, my friend and I were promptly seated at the bar despite arriving during rush hour. The interior had a typical diner atmosphere—no frills, casual but welcoming, with the enticing aromas of bacon, sausage, and other greasy delights in the air as soon as you step inside. Sitting at the bar turned out to be a wise decision, as we were able to marvel at the gargantuan creations being dished out behind the counter.
The menu runs the gamut with everything from Belgian waffles, gourmet burgers, sandwiches, omelettes, French toast, and frittatas, to signature dishes such as farm skillets (various meats, sautéed vegetables, and cheeses served over home fries with eggs) and “flap-jacks,” pancakes that look like they’ve been pumped up with steroids and then injected with hearty helpings of either sweet (boysenberry or peach) or savory (meats and cheese). While neither my friend nor I had the courage to tackle such a challenge, I’ll definitely order a flap-jack the next time I need to feed a small country on a $6.99 budget. We spent a good half hour “oooh”-ing and “ahh”-ing at all the dishes that we saw being served over the counter—this spectacle was like a cheap but equally impressive version of Cirque du Soleil, and watching the other customers consume several pounds of food and then actually managing to walk out of the restaurant was perhaps even more breathtaking.
On this particular occasion, I decided to play it safe and go with a diner classic––the Strawberry Super Waffle, reasonably priced at $6.99. When my plate arrived, I told my friend to have her cell phone handy in case I went into a diabetic coma from consuming the mountain of sugary perfection in front of me––streams of maple syrup cascaded down mountains of whipped cream, which was situated on top of mounds of chilled strawberries and the waffle beneath. The waffle was cooked perfectly and soaked up the syrupy strawberries without becoming too soggy, and before I knew it, my plate was empty. For a brief moment, I felt ashamed that I was probably the only customer who didn’t need a to-go box, but then justified my gluttony by saying that syrupy waffles wouldn’t reheat well anyways. My friend ordered the San Francisco All Club, aptly named because after eating it, one could easily drive, bike, or jog to San Francisco without needing to eat again. Thick layers of ham, turkey, and roast beef comprised what was essentially five regular sandwiches stacked on top of each other.
In conclusion, I wouldn’t recommend this restaurant to anybody who’s wearing tight-fitting jeans or is having their cholesterol tested within the next six months (2 “super jack” chocolate chip pancakes with an egg and sausage is listed as a “lite special”). However, if you’re craving some hearty off-campus fare or want to practice for a competitive eating competition, grab your sweatpants and a few friends to help you, and head down to Kickback Jack’s. Kickback Jack’s is open from 6 a.m. – 3 p.m. daily, and they accept debit/check cards.