By Amanda Rogers
The Food: Jay Jay Café focuses on homestyle cooking, like meatloaf, mashed potatoes and pie. You can also get soups, salads, sandwiches and burgers, plus breakfast served all day. And even if you're not hungry, just go for the pie!
The Story: We went on a busy Friday night, but were seated immediately. Within just a few minutes, our server delivered a basket with corn muffins and yeast rolls. Our drinks arrived soon afterward.
You won’t go hungry at Jay Jay Café. Portion sizes are large, and I think they know it. They have a senior menu and a kid menu for smaller appetites.
My dining partner couldn’t decide between grilled or fried pork chops ($11.49), so our server suggested that he get one of each (the meal comes with two chops and a pair of sides). Good call. Both were nicely seasoned, the fried with a seasoned breading and the grilled with black pepper. Both were also tender and juicy.
Instead of two sides, he chose a baked potato, which turned out to be a little small, but came with shredded cheese and chunks – not bits - of bacon.
I went with the chicken-fried chicken ($9.99), which also came with a couple of sides and cream gravy. I always order the gravy on the side, but when the server brought my meal, the gravy was all over the plate. Before she even set it on the table, she pointed out the mistake and returned it to the kitchen. She offered to get me a house salad – on the house – while I waited.
When my dinner returned, it didn’t have gravy on the chicken. It didn’t have gravy at all. Fortunately, my dinner partner shared his, a creamy white that was a nice complement to the chicken.
The breading on my chicken-fried chicken was the same as on the fried pork chop, but thicker and nicely seasoned. The chicken was a good size, juicy and tender.
For my sides, I chose the mashed potatoes, which were creamy skin-on red potatoes that had been mashed but were still firm and delicious. The fried okra had too much cornmeal for my taste and weren’t as good.
For dessert, we had to try the pie, the reason a lot of people seek out Jay Jay Café. This pie is good! My partner chose a slice of chocolate cream pie ($3.99), a dark chocolate pudding with a thick layer of whipped topping. I went with a slice of key lime pie ($3.99), a light tangy taste with some zip.
The pie showcase is conveniently located next to the front door at Jay Jay, so you will start drooling as soon as you walk in and won’t forget to take a pie home.
The Atmosphere: Jay Jay Café opened its third location in Mansfield just a few months ago – the first two spots are in Arlington. The restaurant is wide open with big tables and booths. Tucked between a hotel and offices on US 287, Jay Jay Café has become really popular in Mansfield, which is apparent by the almost always full parking lot.
The Details: 1500 US 287 North; 682-400-8824; jayjaycafe.com; 7 a.m.-8 p.m. daily.
Mansfield, Texas, is a booming city, nestled between Fort Worth and Dallas, but with a personality all its own. The city’s 76,247 citizens enjoy an award-winning school district, vibrant economy, historic downtown, prize-winning park system and community focus spread across 37 square miles. The Mansfield Record is dedicated to reporting city and school news, community happenings, police and fire news, business, food and restaurants, parks and recreation, library, historical archives and special events. The city’s only online newspaper launched in September 2020 and will offer introductory advertising rates for the first three months at three different rates.