We'd been hearing a lot about Jake's in Northampton, Massachusetts (NoHo). It's a popular spot for lunch and brunch. We weren't even able to get a table the first couple times we tried. Fortunately, Thursday morning isn't too crowded.
Jake's serves what I would describe as fancy diner food: all of the expected egg dishes and smoked meats, a daily hash special, etc. It's "fancy" because it caters more to the hip, youngish NoHo crowd with prices to match. The cappuccino - not usually on offer at a "real" diner - is properly foamy. My eyes were drawn to the buttermilk pancakes...
I should know better. When I see buttermilk pancakes on a menu, my mind drifts to the soft, fluffy, spongy ones my father used to make. Restaurant pancakes nearly always disappoint me. I know this. Long ago, I discovered French toast is the safer order. Nonetheless, every once in a while, I get hoodwinked and go for the pancakes anyway. Jake's weren't great - too crispy on the outside and doughy on the inside. If we go again, I'll order the French toast. My wife wasn't too thrilled by her eggs either.
Our child, on the other hand, ordered much better. They got the Guac & Lox and wasn't able to finish. Father's privilege is still valid for the college years! To clarify, father's privilege, at our house, means I get whatever food is left once they're full. The G&L was lovely, even though the kid had pulled out all the pickled red onions. (Who raised this child?)
Overall, I'd say Jake's didn't live up to the hype. Service was friendly but the food wasn't all that. Maybe a better order on my part would have helped. In my experience with diner food, though, there's no substitute for the real thing.
Fortunately, there are other options in Northampton.