Making pancakes from scratch is an important cooking skill that every Dad must have. Especially when you move your family half-way around the world and they want some comforts from home. Of course the best way to make them is with chocolate chips (rare and expensive here in Amman), and they should be called hotcakes or flapjacks and they should be served with 100% pure maple syrup. But have no fear, if you are living in Amman and your flapjack skills are just not what they should be there is a tasty fulfillment for your family’s cravings: The Bake House in Jabal Amman!
The Bake House is like a little island of American breakfast culture in the heart of Jabal Amman. Hot filtered coffee, big pancakes, omelettes, home fries, french toast, scrambles – a welcome break, IMHO, from the usual breakfast fare here in Amman (hummus, foul and day old pita, anyone?) I have eaten at the Bake House a number of times with friends and family and have never been disappointed. It always used to be a little cram. . . er cozy, but over Ramadan they opened and upstairs expansion that doubled their seating capacity!
Restaurant: The Bake House
Location: Jabal Amman, Amman, Jordan
Serving: American style breakfast, including pancakes, eggs, filtered coffee, and also some lunch items.
Rating: Excellent – a must-try, and on my list of regular go-to places.
Street Address: Good question – Near First Circle and Rainbow Street, also just off Mango Street after the Bishop’s school if you’re coming from 2nd circle area. If you’ve lived in Amman you know what I mean by this address (sort of). Here’s a link to a review by “And Far Away” as well as a map.
Phone #: Let me know if you have it
Hours: Sat-Thurs 7:30-19:00, Friday 7:30-18:00 (with 1 hour off for prayers – around midday?)
Price Range: Breakfast 2-7 JD, Lunch 2-3 JD, Kids Meals 2.8 JD
Smoking: C’mon – it’s Amman! (But there is a new “No Smoking” section in 1/2 of the upstairs)
What they say about themselves: The place to relax and enjoy an American style breakfast, a good cup of brewed coffee, delicious sandwiches and your favorite American sweets.
My favorites are the pancakes (2JD for 1 Large, 4 JD for 2 Large, and 1 JD extra for “fruit and cream”) and the Bake House Scramble (4.2 JD – eggs scrambled with mushrooms, onions, peppers and cheese). The “fruit” actually appears to be blueberry pie filling but is quite tasty and, although it comes in a small bowl – it seems to do the job. The Scramble is really delicious – everybody that I know who’s had it swears by it. What I apprciate about it is not only the taste, but the portion size. Just big enough. Which if you are used to American style breakfast places you know that you pay through the nose and end up having way more food than you would want to eat for breakfast. I guess 4.2 JD (includes coffee or tea) might be expensive for breakfast for Amman, but not to Americans.
I also recently had the Breakfast “Slam” which comes with 2 eggs, Home Fries, Toast, Sausage, and Coffee. I wasexpectingAmericanstyle breakfast sausage, so was a bit disappointed with the Arab-spiced summer sausage-type slices I got. Everything else was good though.
My son was disappointed on a recent trip as they had run out of toast for French Toast (4 JD). He substituted pancakes and was happy enough, but I didn’t get toast with my breakfast either. Instead they thought on their feet and gave us hamburger rolls that had been toasted in the waffle maker. They were fun to look at and I give them credit for creativity.
The coffee is excellent, and if you are looking for a nice simple cup of coffee made in by dripping hot water through well roasted coffee and a filter, then this is the place for you. There are free refills, which is even better. Please note that the menu says there is a 2.5 JD minimum charge so you can’t just come in and by a cup o’ joe and nurse it all day for 1 JD. But I’m sure you can find something tasty to go with your coffee in the pastry case (usually some sort of pie, cake, and/or muffins).
Service is always friendly and professional. One of the waiters remembers my name now, which is kind of nice. The speed of service, is, well – on Middle Eastern speed and time. No better orworsethan any other experiences I’ve had in Amman, but perhaps a bit slow and disjointed for someone just off the plane fromthe States. My advice – ask for your coffee to be served as soon as possible, and enjoy the company of your family or friends.
Speaking English is not a problem, but why not try out your Arabic? The patrons run the gamut, from families, to groups of Ammman-hip urban singles, to women in traditional head coverings. Everyone will feel comfortable here.
In summary, if you are a fan of American-style breakfast the Bake House is a gem that cannot be missed in Jabal Amman. When I don’t have the time and inclination to whip up a batch of flapjacks, or if my family needs a little taste of home, you can be sure we will be at the Bake House!
Please leave a comment if you’ve eaten at the Bake House and let us know what you think – even if you disagree with me. Also any other links or info on the Bake House would be great!