Blog entries

Ramblin Jacks

Posted in OlyCOOL—the premier-ish guide to Olympia.

So, here we have a spot that probably won’t blow your socks off with its originality or high-end menu. Yet, I feel Ramblin Jacks has its place.

What it comes down to, at least for us, is the happy hour. This is the type of place that seems to be designed around the concept, and it does it rather well. Here you get bar food that probably can’t be classified as gastro, but it certainly holds a higher standard than most dives. They claim the wood fire oven and the smoker are the basis of their food, and that seems true. Stuff like pulled pork and smoked chicken take up a big chunk of the menu.

The quesadilla, a happy hour staple, is served oven roasted, with house-smoked cheese. I’ll be honest here: I don’t really think the dish is something mind-blowingly out of the ordinary, but then, the fresh corn salsa isn’t shabby. I don’t know… You could probably make something similar at home without too much of a hassle, but if you just feel like hanging out somewhere else after work, it’s hard to beat the $4 price tag.

Better is the pulled pork nachos. The meat is actually quite tasty, with the right bite to it, and nicely seasoned, too. Amazing? No.The nachos is fine for what it is, and is good for sharing. Get them with a side of truffle fries (which are decent enough) and you can at least claim you’re a social being.

I’ll give the tap list a pass, just for the inclusion of Boneyard’s RPM IPA, but that’s about it, too. This isn’t a beer lover’s haven.

I guess this sounds somewhat negative, but really, Ramblin Jacks isn’t that bad. The atmosphere is good, and the food is OK for what it is. If happy hour was designed to pick you up after a day at work, then this is a perfectly good place to check out. It won’t challenge you, and that’s OK. Sometimes you need to go with something a little less highfalutin.