The natural stone retail center which was previous Ly home to "Sam's Boat", "BLVD" and "Dug Out Sports" a Sports Memorabilia store and then sat vacant for several months is experiencing what could be described as 'a second chance' at life. Jack's Place moved into the building after some minor remodeling and as new eateries sometimes do, is enjoying the honeymoon phase when the curious come by to check out the interior, the service, and of course the food. The Grand Opening event was in mid July and we were there the following weekend, on a Friday night from around 7pm till just after 8pm. We noticed that 'Jack's Place' was actually a bit quiet for a Friday night but they were staffed to the point where the easily could have handled a much larger attendance. The servers were constantly on the move though some of them seemed to be merely 'making the loop' while food from the kitchen, and drinks from the bar were flowing out at what seemed to be a consistent rate.
Happy hour isn't what it used to be at Jack's as our waiter told us; it was from 4pm to close but had just been changed from 4pm - 7pm and then again from 10pm to close. So we started with a round of drinks and "Jack'o' s Liders". The still warm mini-burgers were served on a sweet tasting white bread similar to a Hawaiian bun. The condiments were fresh and crisp yet also warm ( as compared to what we normally get at 5 Guys with tomato s Lices that are still cold if you eat right away). We really like the condiments to be cold while the meat and cheese are hot - it really makes for a flavorful burger. The beef on the s Liders was thin and the overall flavor was about average. The french fries were light and crispy with a great blend of (what seemed to be) salt and pepper and a little garlic salt. As this did seem to give the potatos some flavor, they became a bit dull after I had eaten less than half of the serving.
The Chicken Fajitas at Jack's Place - in a word, "Boring". Served with black beans, rice, sour cream, and a blend of finely grated yellow and white cheese, the chicken s Lices were thick, moist, and plentiful, they just didn't have any flavor... The black beans were definitely 'black', probably the blackest I have seen in some time & were sitting in black water (presumably with which they had been prepared). The seasoned rice.. well, let's just say it looked like seasoned rice and leave it that. The menu refers to the chicken fajitas as being rubbed with an exclusive seasoning rub (wonder if it's the same thing on the tables?) and then s Low grilled - well, it did take a while to get the plate served but it likely wasn't because of the time it would take to 'rub them with the seasoning' as the chicken was quite bland. Overall, the presentation was nice and the server was prompt, enthusiastic and friendly but as we have all heard, 'looks aren't everything'. Jacks Place could really be a great local hot spot if the food had more / better flavor. The outside patio is very nice and having direct bar service on the patio is a great idea. When it comes to drinks at Jacks, we can't really say one way or the other as we don't drink when doing food reviews but the atmosphere and decor is excellent. With an improved menu, we think that Jack's Place could have a very good chance at survival in The Woodlands.
Jack's Place Bar & Grill - 26710 I-45 North Oak Ridge North, TX 77386 (Across from The Woodlands, Texas) Should we return in the future, we may add a little of "Jack's Super Secret Seasoning" to our food and see if it livens things up a bit. Trust us when we say that the food isn't worth dying for... ;) Granted, Jack's Place is not advertised as a Mexican Cantina but the food we had was very good 'bar food' and not quite restaurant quality. Everyone can have a bad day now and then and maybe Jack was having a hard time this particular day so give them a shot and see what you think. Just prior to closing, they offered a $20 Groupon voucher for only $10 - Glad we didn't buy into this one! :)
This physical location has seen a few different attempts at becoming a dining destination, including Sam's Boat, Rebel's Honky Tonk, Jack's Place and Mama J's BBQ and currently (April 2015) is being renovated for something new. Feel free to comment here on our blog; we welcome your comments and feedback.
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November 17, 2011 update - Jack's opened in August of 2011. Jack's Place in The Woodlands is officially closed. The business changed hands to Mama J's Barbecue and after having closed shortly thereafter, the space was renovated into a mattress store. Check our article on Restaurants in The Woodlands that have closed.