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Breakfast on the common

By Meriha Beaton, Staff Contributor


It’s a beautiful day in the neighbourhood, and Jane Wright, owner of the popular restaurant jane’s on the common, thinks the best way to start off the day is with a hearty breakfast.

“Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day, I also think it’s the most important meal of the day,” says Wright.

Lucky for us, she has started serving breakfast from Tuesdays through Fridays starting at 7:30 a.m.

The restaurant served breakfast for three months in 2003, when it first opened.  Unfortunately, due to lack of space in the kitchen the budding restaurant had to limit the menu to brunch, lunch and dinner. Eight years and a kitchen expansion later, jane’s has finally opened up for breakfast.

“Over the years as we’ve expanded a bit, we now have a great big walk in fridge and it just makes sense,” says Wright. “jane’s was always supposed to be a neighbourhood restaurant and I think that means having breakfast as an option.”

For years jane’s has been known for its brunch menu, being dubbed Best Brunch by The Coast for three consecutive years.  After numerous requests from customers craving the Ricotta pancakes on weekdays, Jane started thinking about bringing breakfast back. After entertaining the idea all fall, she began making drafts of the menu and doing taste tests of different dishes.

Developing the menu didn’t take long, as many of the breakfast items have been borrowed from the brunch menu. Favourites such as Sweet Will’s Breakfast, the ricotta pancakes and the Caribbean French toast remain on the breakfast menu, while dishes like the eggs benedict and the grilled cheese are naturally reserved for weekend brunch.

“We still have one of the tiniest kitchens in town so we have to be really creative with the number of ingredients that we use, because we don’t have unlimited storage,” says Wright.

But having limited storage seems to be a blessing in disguise. Jane’s menu is small but delicious, with every dish being unique in its own way. Even the most traditional of dishes, like Sweet Will’s Breakfast, is one of a kind, made with fresh, local ingredients.

The classic Sweet Will’s Breakfast consists of one Sweet William’s Country sausage, two eggs, sassy baked beans, sour dough toast, roasted potatoes and greens.  And although most of the items on the menu have stayed the same, Wright has added a few new treats.  The Breakfast Sandwich includes a fried egg, roasted tomato, spinach, provolone cheese and basil pine nut pesto on a buttermilk biscuit. Old-fashioned oatmeal porridge and the Maritime Breakfast are two of the other new arrivals on the menu.

“We have always had a really collaborative approach to the menu, we have an executive chef who I work really close with but we also have at least five other trained chefs who work here,” says Wright. “So, the ideas kind of bubble up.”

Almost all the ingredients used at jane’s are purchased locally and the best quality of the products are assured. Wright purchases her sausages from Sweet Williams at the Halifax Farmer’s Market and only uses free-range eggs.

“We try to use the best quality ingredients that we can find,” says Wright. ‘But also keep it at a price point, as jane’s was never meant to be fine dining, it was meant to be a neighbourhood restaurant.”

Jane’s is trying to appeal to all its customers. Without claiming to be a gluten-free, vegan restaurant, jane’s tries to give everyone an option to choose from on the menu. Almost every dish on the breakfast menu has a gluten free or vegan option.

“We try to have something for everyone, so that a young vegan student can bring her grandmother in here and hopefully everybody can find something that they can enjoy.”


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