We all know Southerners are known for frying everything, and one of those delights is fried green tomatoes. I would never have dared dream of eating green tomatoes, (heck, I don't even like red ones), but as the saying goes, "when in Rome ..."
It was a last-minute decision to turn at the light to go to Jump N' Java Cafe, located on S.C. 160 in Fort Mill just off Interstate 77 in a small shopping plaza. It was hoppin' with lunch-hour business on this weekday. Both sides of the seating areas were filling up. The wonderful aromas bombarded our senses as we stood in line checking out the menu, and admiring the desserts. I felt overloaded by the many choices, which are also unique. Thankfully, the staff was friendly and helpful, and patient, as were fellow customers.
There are about 10 salads on the menu ($4.95 to $8.25). There are soups, sides such as potato and pasta salads, vinaigrette carrots, fruit and more. There are wraps ($7.95 to $8.25), including Thai, turkey and fruit salsa, veggie, Italian and spinach feta turkey. There are sandwiches (again $7.95 to $8.25) including Greek pita, turkey and French brie and wild chicken on a croissant. Bread choices are white, sourdough, wheat, rye, multi-grain, herb roll or croissant (for $1 extra).
There's also "From the Grille," where the first item listed is the Fried Green Tomato BLT for $7.95. Yep, I had to try it. If this place serves Reubens, Monte Cristo, paninis with meat or veggies, turkey and apple cheddar, as well as the "One Sixty Cheesesteak" of roast beef, onions, green and red peppers, you can't tell me they don't know how to make this Southern staple.
We took our drinks and number card to a table. It didn't take long before our food came out, but in the meantime, there was plenty to look at, including the coffee bar and artwork, and it wasn't too loud for conversation.
My friend's Oriental Chicken Salad with rice noodles, sesame sticks, fried green peas, cashews, chicken, carrots, red onion, tomatoes and mandarin oranges was pretty and large enough to share. I took a bite and absolutely loved the zingy flavor and absolutely juicy chicken.
As for my sandwich, well, let's just say it was juicy, too. It definitely won't be my last fried green tomatoes. In fact, I'm craving it now. They're actually kinda sweet. This sandwich couldn't have been made more perfect; bacon makes everything taste good, too. My side of potato salad with light dill taste was good, too. Although our meals were satisfying enough, again here we are in a coffee house, so "when in Rome ..."
We ended the meal with two slices of strawberry and coconut cakes (as recommended by our server Erica), and coffees. Again, I'm overwhelmed by the options at coffee houses, so today I just went with a cup of the day. Coffees run $1.25 to $3.75. Other beverages include smoothies, iced coffees, tea, lemonade, juice and soda, and wine by the glass and beer.
Although both cakes ($3.95) were rich and moist, the strawberry won my favor hands down (and that's coming from a chocoholic). It'll slap you silly, it's so good.
In fact, I like everything about Jump N' Java Cafe. Oh, and the breakfast menu of croissant sandwiches, bagels, European bread sandwiches French toast with a crunchy coating and breakfast burrito sound scrumptious, too. I say, jump to it!
Catherine Muccigrosso, Lake Wylie Pilot editor
Hours: 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday
Phone: (803) 547-1122
Ambiance: Coffee house bistro