I would never have thought to go to James’ on my own. That’s probably because I don’t really know my way around the Wentham/Norwood/Walpole area. Luckily, my friend Joe who lives nearby, suggested that we grab breakfast there to catch up. Not only did I enjoy hanging out with my friend, but I also found a truly excellent place to get breakfast whenever I’m in the area.
James’ Breakfast and More
(formerly James’ Roadside Cafe)
850 Franklin St.
Wrentham, MA 02093
Service and Atmosphere
James’ is a few steps up from a diner, but it still has that casual feel of a family restaurant. The dining room is bright and inviting for breakfast. Right upon entering James’, there is almost always a short wait for a table on the weekend. Part of the reason is that James’ has a loyal following that frequent the restaurant like clockwork. That network of familiar faces seems to have turned James’ into a really friendly place where a lot of the staff know a lot of the patrons. As Joe and I were seated, our server greeted Joe by name and the two cracked jokes before our server left to bring us back some coffee. It’s that kind of place where people are friendly and willing to let you know what’s great on the menu that day.
On my first visit to James’, Joe insisted that I try a dish called, “The Cast Iron Killer.” It’s basically a giant mound of homemade corned beef hash served on a hot cast iron skillet with a side of home fries and two eggs any style on top. Calling this dish a hearty breakfast wouldn’t do it justice. It’s a ton of food, but it’s delicious. The eggs tend to mix with the delicious hash and the larger-cut, spiced home fries are crispy on the outside just like I like them. There is even a little salsa flair on top with some chopped peppers and thinly sliced onion. Just make sure to ask that the corned beef hash is crispy. That way you get that awesome crust on the hash, which goes perfectly with the softer interior.
During that same first visit, our server suggested that we try the baked beans. We ordered a side and dug right in. They were sweet, but well balanced and just like the Cast Iron Killer, they went really well with a dash of hot sauce.
On my second visit to James’, Joe suggested that I try a different dish. This time it was the “Bennies with a Twist,” which is James’ version of Eggs Benedict. The twist is that instead of ham, they replace it with two crab cakes on top of grilled tomatoes. Then all of that is topped off with poached eggs and a dill hollandaise sauce and placed over a bed of English muffins. I was skeptical at first when I read about the crab cakes on the menu because I haven’t had much luck in the past with seafood and eggs for breakfast. A lot of the time, places use less than fresh crab and the fishy flavor ruins the eggs. That was absolutely not the case at James’. The crab cakes were big, flavorful, and tasted really fresh. The grilled tomato added a refreshing dimension to the dish, while the dill in the decadent hollandaise sauce tied the crab cakes together with the egg. I suggest trying parts with a little dash of hot sauce because it works really well and switches up the rich flavors. The entire breakfast is super heavy, but so good that I painfully finished my entire plate and left with my stomach straining to contain all of that deliciousness.
I highly recommend James’ Breakfast and More for breakfast if you are anywhere near Wrentham. They serve everything from the basic to the more creative dishes their chefs cook up. Everything tastes fresh and you won’t leave hungry. I was really impressed with the originality coming out of the kitchen and the creative spins on the usual breakfast fare.
Damn. That crab Benedict!!!