Cafe Reviewed: Wednesday, April 3, 2003
Shrimp cocktail $5.50
Cheeseburger $6.00
Chicken-fried steak special $6.25
Buffalo wings $5.25
Chicken cordon bleu special $6.25
Miller Time

Don’t stop for food at the Jube — unless you’ve had one too many already.


Jubilation Restaurant and Nightclub

8204 Bedford Euless Rd, North Richland Hills. 817-577-2006. Mon-Sat 11am-2am, Sun Noon-Midnight. AE, D, MC, V.

Jubilation is a bar that wants to be a restaurant. As a bar, it’s decent, what with 19 beers on draught, electronic darts, two well-maintained shuffle alleys, and nice employees. But this page of the Fort Worth Weekly is called “Eats,” not “Beers,” so I have to report that the food at Jubilation Restaurant and Nightclub is mediocre.

What tears out my heart is that the new owners of the Jube are trying so hard to turn the bar into a pub. They’ve introduced four menus in the past two months and, at press time, were considering a fifth. It’s confusing to the staff and the regulars. Actually, on recent visits, my guest and I didn’t see any regulars eating food at lunch or dinner. If you can’t turn your regulars into diners, who will eat at your restaurant?

In a nutshell, the shrimp was limp and dry (and has, since my experience, been taken off the menu); the burger was undistinguished; the chicken-fried steak was tough; the wings were merely deep-fried, with wing sauce on the side; and the chicken cordon bleu (French for “blue ribbon”) is bad enough to warrant a red flag, not a blue ribbon.

Now that I’ve completely dissed the food, I can say that each meal showed a glimmer of hope. The cocktail sauce accompanying the shrimp had an intense kick of horseradish. I wanted to forgo the shrimp and shovel cocktail sauce into my mouth on a cracker.

Although the chicken-fried steak was tough and overdone, the breading must be singled out for praise. It crumbled and crunched with a jolt of black pepper. The steamed carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli that accompanies each special had flavor to loan. The carrots were crisp and the broccoli toothsome.

The cordon bleu, a chicken breast stuffed with ham and Swiss cheese and then fried, was way overdone. The puzzle was the sauce that came with the entrée. I’ve seen chicken cordon bleu served with cheddar cheese sauce, to great effect. It covers up many issues (like overcooking) and adds another jolt of cheese. The Jube served the chicken with a strangely tasteless white sauce that resembled Elmer’s Glue, thick and chunky.

The french fries that came with the burger were also acceptable. The bur-ger, ordered “rare,” arrived just shy of well-done. It was drowning in yellow mustard and was topped with limp, uninspired Swiss cheese. With a good bun and fresh toppings, a burger can absolutely shine. This one merely existed.

On the up side, the bar does have a terrific selection of beers on draught. The menu lists the following premium and super-premium beers: Bass, Boddington, Guinness, Harp, Dos Equis, Killian, Labatt Blue, New Castle, Rolling Rock, Sam Adams, Shiner, and ZiegenBock, as well as the usual Bud, Coors, and Miller selections.

There have been other noticeable changes at the Jube. The owners have spruced up the joint. Ceiling fans make the large space less smoky (although your clothing won’t be able to tell the difference), and window shades allow sunlight to penetrate the dark space. It now feels less like a hardcore drinking bar but not so fancy that it could be mistaken for a place to have high tea.

The wait staff and bartenders are all very nice. I can’t recommend making a special trip to the Jube for dinner, but if you live in North Richland Hills, on the other hand, I’d absolutely recommend stopping in for a drink. If the Jube wants to make its mark as a restaurant, it’ll take more than middling burgers and overdone daily specials to pull it off.

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