Jim’s has been around for over 25 years, with Ms. Kim at the helm of this retro diner spot. It’s your typical old school coffee shop, with somewhat tattered booths, counter seating, big windows so you can read the paper, and bottomless coffee cups. Friendly, snappy service, too. And as an added bonus, the food is pretty darned good. No artisanal, chia seed pancakes, no gluten free water. Just your everyday, down-home, greasy-spoon (meant in the best possible sense) eggs, pancakes, omelets, burgers, fries, chef salads, patty melts … you get the picture.
It’s the kind of unpretentious spot that I really hope continues to thrive. In this day of fancy new brunch places popping up everywhere, not to mention pop-ups, Jim’s only got their beer and wine license in the last couple of months, seemingly in an effort to stay relevant.
They now have mimosas! And beer. Kim told me she had always been worried that there could be trouble if she sold alcohol, but as she’s seen the neighborhood change, she felt she needed to go with the flow.
Whenever I’ve been there, the place is full of families, mostly Latinos, and working types, people coming in after the night shift, not party goers waiting to wreak havoc after too many brews. It’s more of a hangover place, for the younger folk. But again, it’s really a family joint, as evidenced by the myriad of customers’ kids photos on the wood paneled walls and on the padded column by the register. I espied not a single man bun. What you will see are regulars that feel free to walk behind the counter and grab some ketchup themselves if the girls are too busy, and no one kicks up a fuss.
We’ve been semi-regulars for a few years, but the BF had never ordered a burger there…
So he went all the way and got the double-patty cheese burger. That was a mighty tasty burger, I must say. Charred and beefy with a good soft, sesame-seeded bun. The fries were done right, too.
I went a little exotic…
Hangtown Fry! The famous dish of the Gold Rush days – it’s a genius concoction of eggs, bacon and oysters. The only other place I’ve ever had this dish is Tadich, that venerable old lady in the Financial District, which is supposed to be the pinnacle around these parts. Jim’s was better. While the omelet may have been a little overbrowned for me, it wasn’t dry at all, and tasted fresh and rich, the creaminess of the oysters standing out from their eggy bed. And, I absolutely ADORE Jim’s hash browns. They’re the perfect combination of super crispy yet fluffy. And don’t you dare put any goddamned peppers or onions in my hash browns. If you want to turn up the volume on your spuds, just ask for their salsa verde…
They make the green sauce in-house, and it’s super garlicky, cilantro-y, and delicious. And if that’s still not hot enough for you, you can always ask for some jalapenos…
That’s a standard-sized mixing bowl there, people. Anyone who asks for jalapenos gets their very own Andre-the-Giant-sized bowl of pickled peppers.
On our next visit, the BF went back to his standard breakfast order…
Sausage and eggs. He likes that they serve patties here, instead of links.
I had my favorite breakfast of all time:
Eggs Benedict. Swoon. Jim’s makes theirs with ham instead of Canadian bacon, but who’s to notice? My Hollandaise was surprisingly light, and the eggs were perfectly cooked – oh wonder of wonders – a coffee shop that still knows how to poach eggs properly!
On our first visit, we watched a little old lady at the counter, very nicely dressed, and quite obviously a regular who never has to look at the menu, get served what was clearly her “usual” – poached eggs and two strips of bacon, and some toast. The eggs were the fluffiest things I’ve ever seen, like two little clouds on her plate, and I wish I’d had the cojones to reach over her shoulder and take a picture. And then, again without her asking, they brought out a cup of soup, whatever was the special that day, and she proceeded to pour it all over her dish. Yeah. You can definitely have it your way at Jim’s.
They have “dinner” specials, too, like any self-respecting coffee shop would: liver and onions, sirloin, chicken fried steak, a mixed seafood plate. But you’ll have to eat them at Early Bird hours: Jim’s closes at 3:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Hey, Ms. Kim has a family to take care of, and needs her rest! So go in and say hello, give her a big smile, have a club sandwich and a shake, read the paper, and maybe put your phone down. And tip big. The girls will appreciate it.
See all of our restaurant reviews here.
2420 Mission Street
Between 20th & 21st
I have seen this place for years, and never went in. I am definitely going to start eating here. Hangtown Fry is a must.