IF hunger pangs strike and you’re on Tinian, JC Café in San Jose village is your destination. JC Café is the local equivalent of “everybody’s second kitchen” and that’s where I and my companion headed to last Monday when we had an afternoon off.
We had been driving around the island for an hour or so and were getting hungrier and thirstier by the minute so we decided to head to JC Café for dinner. And that’s where we got lost.
Tinian is such a small island but if one considers my sense of direction below excellent, I’d rate my companion’s sense below sea level. We were driving from the dock and suddenly, I didn’t even have an idea where to turn. We ended up driving any visible road and ending in dead ends, backing out and going in circles until we asked someone the right directions, and got more confused. In a place with no proper street names, it always remains a mystery how one can follow directions like take the right turn three streets down, then left, and right and another right. Yeah, right. We ended up where we started but finally, our patience paid off and we saw JC Café’s brilliant lights from afar.
Hungry beyond belief, I placed an order for sizzling beef, my favorite in their menu, as soon as I sat down. My companion took a longer time browsing through the menu before settling on Kimchi fried rice, whatever that was.
JC Café has not changed a lot since my first visit to the restaurant in 2008. After two decades of being everyone’s second kitchen, or kitchen away from your kitchen, they have maintained being everyone’s favorite and expanded their menu and introduced a lot of new dishes.
Allen’s order was served first—a huge red platter of fried rice mixed with vegetables and kimchi, and topped with a sunny side up. My order followed right after, served the way I remember it each time—sizzling hot beef slices with carrots, corn and green chili. It also came with a serving of steamed rice. For the next few minutes, we dug into our food in total silence until I raised my hand in surrender halfway into my meal. Allen tempted me to try his fried rice, but I resisted. I have never ever finished one serving of food from JC Café ever, no matter how hungry I was.
Another popular favorite at JC Café is the breaded shrimp and
the JC signature buttered chicken—crunchy slices of chicken served with finadene sauce for dipping.
JC Café’s menu includes a wide selection of local and international dishes. Choose from Western, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Chamorro and Filipino cuisine which are all available for dine in or take out.
The best thing with JC Café is you never have to wait for them to open or hurry before they close. They are open everyday so you have the option and the luxury of time for a leisurely breakfast, lunch, brunch, dinner or even a midnight or early morning meal.
If you just want to hang out, JC Café serves coffee or tea, pearl shakes in different flavors, chocomilk, or sodas. They also have beers you can enjoy if you want to hang around and dance to the latest beats at the dance floor.
At JC Café, it’s not just about eating. It’s also about hanging out and catching up with friends and family in a comfortable setting with a blend of modern and traditional decoration. For smokers, a section with tables and benches outside is set out for you.
JC Café accepts credit cards, delivers food orders in the island, or picks up diners. For orders or reservations, call 433-3413.
First published at the Marianas Variety