This might cost me some points with some of you readers, but I consider myself a “sometimes” breakfast person—meaning I only like real breakfasts some of the time. I have to be in the mood for it. And I’m not talking brunch, because please, brunch is always wonderful. I’m talking true breakfast before 10 a.m. that’s not accompanied by a sparkling Mimosa or spicy Bloody Mary. So when I say that Jubala’s breakfast is banging, you know I mean it.
Jubala and I go way back (three years, which is a decade in social media time) and both of their locations, north Raleigh and near NC State, have carried me through some tough times with carefully crafted espresso drinks and slightly sweetened biscuits. Back in my TV reporting days I would hit up Jubala during rare breaks on the morning shift. Their almond latte with a zip of caffeine and sweet natural flavoring is what got me through the 3 a.m. to 1 p.m. schedule without looking like a zombie during newscasts. Their location in north Raleigh’s Lafayette Village is also a go-to for my husband, who frequents the place so much that he thinks that I think he has a problem. This review focuses on that location and spans three different visits.
Jubala fits right in with all the other trendy, airy, hyper-local cafes popping up in the Triangle. But for me they are one of the few tried and tested coffee shops that get it right every time, or fix it fast if they don’t. On my first visit I tried their featured latte of the day, the almond latte, which is now a regular menu item. As I mentioned earlier, I’m a big fan, but if you don’t like almond then maybe try another menu item because the flavoring is strong with this one—strong, but also delightfully bright and nutty. My hubs prefers their cappuccino, which you also can’t go wrong with. Every espresso/milk beverage is made with a beautiful design, because don’t we all want to sip on something pretty? Their regular coffee and tea selection is impressive as well, so there’s something for everyone.
When it comes to food, I’ve done my duty of taste testing and can report that it’s all good. The breakfast menu is pretty much what you want to make of it. They offer slightly sweetened biscuits and liege waffles (a heartier version of your average waffle) as a baseline. What you put on or in those is your choice. I tried a cinnamon apple waffle with a side of peanut butter. After I got past the, “wait, there’s no syrup?” phase, I enjoyed the flavors and textures in this doughy yet crunchy take on the traditional waffle. It’s also very filling, so don’t be deceived by the small portion. Their biscuits are fluffy but stand up to the amount of toppings I like to order on mine. I’ve had their sausage, bacon and country ham (last two pictured here) topped with an egg, which is fried to order. I’ve also sampled their apple butter—which is perfect on a biscuit by itself—and their housemade granola with greek yogurt. These guys also serve a few delicious lunch items from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you end up rolling out of bed later than expected you can get a “Grown up Grilled Cheese” to go with your cortado.
The last thing I want to mention about Jubala is their effort to serve and feature local products. The peanut butter on their menu is Big Spoon in Durham and their coffee beans are roasted by Counter Culture, also in Durham. They also have a very admirable relationship with the farmers from which they source their coffee beans. The owner is a Raleigh native (hard to find these days) and has his community in mind throughout all of his business endeavors. Go support an awesome local coffee shop with a heart, and heart-shaped latte art.