Jim’s quick-lunch

While the Frisco Shop is in transit between its former location and its location-to-be, what’s a Frisco fan to do? We thought of Jim’s and headed for Oak Hill. We’re so glad we did. In keeping with old Austin customs, the noon rush-hour seems to begin at about 11 o’clock. Counter, tables, and booths but for one were still occupied by the first luncheoneers when we arrived, but by 1 o’clock, more seats were available.

The milk-shake critic deems the offering at Jim’s to be just as fine as the one at Katz’s, although a bit smaller. Today’s special was smothered chopped steak, meaning topped with mushrooms and homemade brown gravy. It pleased the one who ordered it, and that person had fully intended to order a ‘burger with Jim’s Frontier chili atop it before being sidetracked by the special. Beyond the customary potato trio of French-fried, hash-brown, and mashed, the vegetables of the day were black-eyed peas, fried okra, and cabbage. For some reason, all at our table made a beeline for the cabbage, so that’s all I can report on. We enjoyed it in its downhome glory, complete with plenty of something pork, smoked and salty.

Dough products were a light dinner roll and fine light biscuits, individually shaped by a circular cutter. Butter doesn’t arrive at the table unrequested, but it is available, so one needn’t stick with the margarine that comes unbidden. I myself very much enjoyed my grilled chopped steak, obviously a custom grind of Jim’s, with not a hint of bone or cartilege, and of course no filler. I’m always meaning to try that pot roast of beef, the Wednesday special, but that Wednesday has yet to arrive. It must be that I’m set free only on other days of the week.

I very much like the tortilla soup. Since even a cup of it is a satisfying quantity, I suppose that a bowl might keep a person happy for a week. There are often extra tortilla strips on the side for those who’s like even more solids to join the chicken and other ingredients in the tomato-ey broth. Many were those who really tried to set aside room for pie or cake, but who failed.

Jim’s is open 24 hours a day, every day but Christmas. I think that breakfast is served all 24 hours, although baked potatoes are available only from 5 to 10 pm. Those who remember the Magic Time Machine may not remember that it was a corner of the Jim’s universe. Jim’s still uses chairs on wheels at the tables, as Luby’s used to. I love the physical menu itself, plastic coated and richly illustrated with photographs of food in the full splendor of saturated color, which stays at the table so that you can plan what you’ll order the next time you dine at Jim’s.

1 Comment so far

  1. lauratex on July 28th, 2008 @ 10:05 am

    I’m not sure why but I’ve not been "into" going to Jim’s since maybe high school. In addition to the artery-clogging fare, I’d also heard whispers about their treatment of people of color… but maybe that was just the rumor-mill generated by the bad PR at Denny’s. This is Texas, though.

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