Jim ‘N Nick’s

Lately I’ve thought — and written — a lot about service. We have experienced the superb and the surreal recently. It’s interesting, then, that it was a less than flawless day at Jim ‘N Nick’s that inspired me to finally review them.

So on our less than flawless day, we ordered an appetizer and two entrees. The entrees came, but no appetizer. We asked our waiter, and he realized that he had forgotten to pick our appetizer up from the kitchen. He apologized. In a few minutes, the manager apologized and gave us the appetizer for free. We didn’t need that. It was just good to know what happened and very nice to get the apology.

That’s one of the reasons why we love Jim ‘N Nick’s. They have always provided good service, no matter how busy or hectic the day. Another reason is, of course, great food. Despite the appearance of being a big chain place, Jim ‘N Nick’s does a fine job with barbecue. I would compare them favorably to many smaller places where you expect a barbecue master to work.

Yet another reason we love Jim ‘N Nick’s might not be obvious to the average diner, but we notice it every time, written at the bottom of the menu, “We are a proud sponsor of the Southern Foodways Alliance.”

We ourselves are huge fans of the SFA and their work. We are proud to be members and to provide support in our own small way. A company that supports the SFA automatically endears itself to us.

Yes, that’s wonderful, but how’s the food?

In our several visits to Jim ‘N Nick’s, we have never been disappointed. At times, we have been delightfully surprised.

Our biggest surprise was the smoked turkey. To us, turkey is generally bland and often dry. In the hands (and the smoker) of the folks at Jim ‘N Nick’s, turkey becomes succulent, with it’s natural sweetness enhanced by the light touch of the smoke.

Another dish, a reminder of my childhood, is a thick, juicy hamburger served with an optional topping of pimento cheese. Anyone who remembers the now gone local chain of Gridiron Restaurants, will remember the Palm Beach burger. Jim ‘N Nick’s honors that Southern tradition and surpasses it with an excellent beef patty and a generous portion of pimento cheese.

Of course, as fine as these dishes are, they pale in comparison to the star of the show, the cheese biscuits.

One absurd website suggests that if you dine at Jim ‘N Nick’s, you can save yourself calories by eating things other than the cheese biscuits. Ridiculous. If you want to save calories, eat a salad for lunch the next day. No, when you go, the cheese biscuits won’t be the only thing you eat, but they will certainly be among the best. They’re light and fluffy, slightly sweet, and practically oozing with cheddar cheese. They’re more muffin than biscuit to my ideas, but it really doesn’t matter when they taste so good.

And yes, I say when you go, because I fully expect you to plan a trip soon. If an off day can get me to thinking what a fantastic place Jim ‘N Nick’s is, I can assure you that you won’t be disappointed.

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