Mon Cheri eyed this little family diner ever since we moved to the neighborhood. We thought it might be a good introduction to the East part of town for us.
Situated on a corner of a small plaza, Jim's had a local feel to it. I would have definitely passed it by, if it was not for Cheri's sharp eye. Their narrow horizontal sign really made this place seem like a variety store. "Jim's Restaurant" written in a simple sans serif followed by the tag line "the Best Westerns". With two Coke logos on either side, we knew what we were in for. Some metal chairs lined the front, for those who wanted to observe local folks passing by. In a case of chilly weather, like that day, there was another line of chairs (high chairs, to be exact) right by the window. Overall, not very easily approachable setup, I would say
We were faced with an open concept once inside with some seating by the bar and plenty of light from the large front windows. The shades of brown inside make the place cozy and out-dated at the same time. Plenty of laminate everywhere added to the diner feel.
Despite our initial reactions, we were really charmed with our elderly yet swift waitress - Debbie. She asked for tea of coffee straight away. I decided to try their beer, which our waitress couldn't comment on as she confessed she is not a beer drinker. In reality it was a light and plain ale - food friendly and good for the price.
We submerged in the atmosphere as we waited for our order. The demographic was mixed - family with kids, older couples, college students, middle-aged men... There was no music, but plenty of chatter and kitchen sounds. It seemed that the owner was the chef as well. He was not shy to remind the two waitresses when a new customer had entered. There was a large TV in the corner with CP24 on (definitely a powerful distractions). Overall it is a pretty tiny place with tables nice and close - keeping the community bonding.
My home-made burger arrived open and loaded with thick slides of pickles (a must), lettuce, tomato, onions, relish - note that I opted in for all the toppings. It was a great burger and with a side of fries, which I luckily upgraded for Greek fries. This means that the potatoes were served with grated cheese and a light vinegar, oil and pepper dressing. Took me back to fries back home at the Balkans, where feta is an essential addition to almost everything.
Cheri had to order their famous Western. He was smart to ask for a side of salad instead of home-fries. We managed to see the pile of them ready in the open cook top - definitely a heavy dish, probably ideal for a hung-over morning. Their house salad had a Greek theme with plenty of feta, olive oil and olives. I was not impressed with the Western though. It was light on veggies and overall salty, heavy and a bit over-done. The portion was generous though.
We should note that as our sweet Debbie was writing down our order on carbon copy paper, she did warn us that changing sides meant a change in price. She inquired to check with the owner for us but we decided that it can't be that bad. Also, note that they only accept cash (with an ATM in-house).
Despite all the not-so-perfect details, we really enjoyed this place. Felt very true and warm.