Estrella Gallegos and Jonathan Kovens have a special mother-son bond. You could say they share a passion for serving others. Together, mom and son boast more than 30 years in the hospitality industry, and recently they decided to put that experience to use in a place all their own.
"For a long time, it was me and my mother, up until I was six or seven years old," says Kovens. "We see eye to eye on a lot of things and have the same dream."
That dream now has a brick and mortar building and a name: Jed's Grill.
The restaurant opened in early December on Jefferson Avenue, down the street from Texas Theatre and slightly removed from Bishop Arts District in Dallas. Though they had been planning the business for a while, Kovens and Gallegos didn't expect to open for another couple years, Kovens says. But the location sold them on a quicker timeline.
Kovens, a seasoned general manager, and Gallegos, a longtime chain restaurant director, took over the spot formerly Herrera Cafe and a neighboring building, combining them for a total 2,200 square feet of restaurant space. It holds about 70 people.
The menu at Jed's Grill (below) is full of stick-to-your-ribs comfort food with a big breakfast selection, including items such as French toast, chicken and waffles, a breakfast Monte Cristo sandwich. For lunch, the eatery offers burgers, salads, apps like hummus and brisket nachos, and some entrees. There's also an entire section devoted to souped-up grilled cheese sandwiches.
Everything is made in-house, from-scratch Kovens assures.
"If we were going to buy frozen chicken strips, we may as well have opened a restaurant inside of a Wal-Mart," he says.
But Kovens knows that breakfast isn't complete without a beverage to wash it down, which is why Jed's offers 99-cent mimosas (with orange or cranberry juice) all day Saturday and Sunday. The Bloody Mary, which utilizes house-made mix, is also a popular choice, he says.
Other amenities at Jed's Grill include a handful of televisions that play sport games throughout the week and, eventually the owners would like to have small bands perform. (Kovens sister, Isabell, was a finalist on American Idol and is expected to perform Dec. 18 and 19.) For now, though, they're loving doing things their way.
"It's always been a dream to open our own place, and here we are doing it," Kovens says.
Jed's Grill is located at 1001 W. Jefferson Blvd., Dallas. Hours o f operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day of the week. For more information, call the restaurant at 469-291-5001.