Athens Eats: The Local Jam

A name is sort of a big deal. Wouldn’t you say?

It’s what someone/something is destined to be known as for their life’s entirety, so I mean there should probably be some substance to it.

My name translates to dark one in Gaelic. Not sure what that’s supposed to mean… It’s not like I’m exceptionally brooding. Or tan.

But whatever. Given the value a name can hold, I have a dweebish affection for understanding what’s behind a restaurant’s name. Makes the food more meaningful. ish.

With places like The Local Jam, the name is pretty straightforward.

It’s all about local. And it might just become one of my regular lunchy/brunchy jams.

And they also happen to make their own jam in-house on the daily.      Jam of the day… how’s that for a shtick?

Jammin, man.

All those fresh jams need someplace to spread out  and relax on, so uh this seems  a carb-craver’s oasis to me.    Which works out dandy being that the breakfast & lunch cafe’s baker, Alfredo, turns out a variety of fresh bread– from Terrapin Rye to Mexican Sweet– each day as well.           Fresh jam and bread… now we just need some tea coffee. Yes, please.

Oh, and about those breads, you can buy them by the loaf up at the deli counter to take home for your very own.

That loaf of Terrapin Grain Wheat you’re toting down Milledge Avenue in your purse is called Terrapin Grain Wheat cause it was made from Terrapin spent grain, cause the folks at The Local Jam are real into sourcing from local vendors… cause that’s their jam.

Terrapin, Jittery Joe’s Coffee, Red Mule grits, locally grown produce… they’re all over it.

Imagine that.
No lie, for weeks, I was slightly  put off by The Local Jam’s logo of a cartoonish vinyl record impaled by a fork. Don’t ask me why. Just not feeling it.

But, once you get past that and walk inside, the eatery’s ambiance is sorta perf. Kinda casual, kinda quirky, really kinda Athens.

The place provides a stellar representation of its own subtitle– E.A.T. = Enjoy Athens Together

Sitting with one of my besties at a window-side table and coloring on the brown paper tablecloth, I felt the resounding sense of community, I felt the love, I felt real hungry.  Most importantly, I felt like  chicken and waffles were destined for sandwichship… so glad The Local Jam feels that way too.

Offered only on the weekday menu, the restaurant’s signature Chicken & Waffle Sammy features a finely battered rosemary chicken filet topped with a goat cheese and hot pepper jam compote and stacked  between two fluffy Belgian-style, buttermilk waffles and topped off with honey… plus a side of maple syrup.

Now, that’s a mouthful. Literally. Don’t order this one on a first date. Unless your date already thinks you’re a barbarian and is cool with it; in which case, go for it.  My only other advice concerning this beauty… get it. Eat it all. No shame.

You could give the grits a go and see how they work out for you. Mine were a smidge dry, bland and lumpy. If I could do it all again, fruit would be my breakfast side of choice… you can’t really mess up fresh fruit and it might have made me feel slightly healthier about consuming fried chicken sandwiched between waffles. Win.

My accomplice went with the Black Friday sandwich– smoked turkey, brie, and a cranberry aioli served
on  sweet Mexican bread.

Bread= toasty and delish. Turkey= totally worth gobbling down. Cranberry aioli= mouth-watering in theory, barely there in reality. Slapping an extra spoonful on ain’t gonna hurt nobody.

Being able to buy the pasta salad, consisting of tomato, sweet peppers, mozzarella and cheddar
cheeses, fresh basil, Bacon and salami, by the pound up in the deli is a dangerous fact of life.    Delicious, but dangerous.

The Local Jam is open from 7 am to 4 pm everyday, located at 1650 South Lumpkin St. Stop by, give it a try, it’s from the same guy that brought you Your Pie, and for gosh sakes, take home a loaf of Terrapin Rye.

Please pardon my attempt at poetry. But really… The Local Jam is a comfy place to chill out and enjoy a bite of the Athens community and many bites of tasty chow. Plus, you can bring your own booze, what really do you have to lose?

Okay, just call me Darcy Dickinson. Then, go get your grub on.


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