Monday, October 14, 2013

Restaurant Review: Smooth J Cafe

What's a restaurant review doing on a jazz blog?  Well, what's in a name?

The "J" in Smooth J Cafe stands for "Jazz."  The proprietors of the establishment in a Johnson County strip mall recently opened a restaurant that, in their words, "combines their love of cooking with their love of smooth jazz music."

And sure enough, songs dominated by treacly soprano sax and cloying acoustic guitars played softly in the background of the tidy room during my initial visit last week.  The ostensibly soothing sounds may have helped me keep my composure during a needlessly convoluted ordering process.  The embedded photo shows that the menu is posted on a wall several feet to the left of the order counter.  As with a couple subsequent customers, I had to shuffle back and forth to make my decision.

I ended up having a polite employee make my selection for me.  She recommended a "Rhythm Section" sandwich and cheesy corn casserole.  While a tad skimpy for the price ($8.50 including a side order and a cookie), the sandwich was tasty.  The casserole was delicious.

In spite of a full parking lot that happens to be the original site of the Corporate Woods Jazz Festival, only a few customers walked through the door during my 40-minute visit.  The nearby Garozzo's and Chipotle were packed.  That may change Friday, October 18, when Heat Index performs at Smooth J Cafe from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

While I may not make a special trip to Smooth J Cafe for a sandwich, the addition of a consistent live music lineup- along with the cheesy corn casserole- would keep me coming back for more.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

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