Hangover Helper: Jimmy's Famous Seafood is worth the drive to the city limits

I usually have a problem with restaurants that boast they are "famous" in their advertisements or tacky lit-up signs. However, Jimmy's Famous Seafood (6526 Holabird Ave., [410] 633-4040, jimmysfamousseafood.com), just on the border of the city limits*, rightfully claims some fame among locals.

As a born-and-raised Baltimore girl, I don't remember a time when Jimmy's and its "famous" seafood didn't exist. With its huge dining rooms and a fairly large bar, the spot is still crowded on any given night. Founded in 1974, it always seems to be filled with diners digging into their crab cakes and steaks, cracking crabs in the back dining room, or sipping drinks and slurping oysters at the bar while possibly hoping for a Ravens-player sighting (the restaurant holds Ravens events, and a few players tend to pop in on their own from time to time).

Because Jimmy's hosts a sellout tailgate at the stadium during Ravens home games, I figured the likelihood of easily getting a seat at the bar for brunch on a recent Sunday was higher than normal, and I wasn't disappointed. The comfortable sports bar was only half full, leaving plenty of seats available with a clear view of the game on one of the many televisions.

I turned down free beers from the friendly Miller Lite girls that greeted us in light of my need for some strong cups of coffee instead, but I was impressed to find that, had I wanted a beer, there's a fairly extensive list from which to choose, including plenty of microbrews and seasonals.

Caffeine finally running through my veins, I felt ready to make important decisions, like what might be the best food to help me recover from the previous night's indiscretions. While the restaurant's waffles, a special that day featuring a sweet strawberry glaze, were a tempting (and affordable at $7.99) way to boost our blood sugar, we opted for savory dishes instead.

The breakfast pizza ($11.99) was blanketed in a balanced red sauce, plenty of melted Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses, rough-cut crispy bacon pieces, thick biased-sliced, Old Bay-spiced sausage, and a chiffonade of basil with over-easy eggs centered on top. Thin and crunchy, the flatbread struggled to hold up to the hearty ingredients when lifted by hand, but with fork and knife it was easier to attack. Sliced eight ways, it was shareable and we still had leftovers to take home.

The famous benedict ($12.99) sported over-easy eggs perched atop generously sized crab cake sliders that were nearly the same diameter as the toasted English muffins beneath them. Between the English muffins and the crab cakes was a healthy amount of creamy and pleasantly tangy crab dip that served as a well-executed Baltimore-style substitution for the typical lemony hollandaise sauce. Broiling, and the use of only light seasoning and minimal filler, allowed the delicate flavor of the crab to shine and I was tempted to enjoy the crab cakes all on their own. But spearing through the layers to capture all of the elements together—chunks of sweet crab with the decadently rich dip and earthy egg yolk all on crunchy bread—resulted in the perfect breakfast bite.

Alongside the benedict were Jimmy's home fries, which were served with nearly all of the brunch dishes with the exception of the pizza. Chunked and grill-top-cooked with sauteed peppers and onions, the well-seasoned potatoes had a creamy yet still somewhat firm texture—an ideal vehicle for mopping up extra yolk or crab dip.

And while I'd initially turned down the idea of brunch booze, I couldn't help but indulge after noticing Jimmy's unlimited bloody mary and mimosa pricing. For $19.99, any brunch entree (except for the steak and eggs, for which there is an upcharge) can be paired with unlimited bloodys and mimosas. Sure, I could get my benedict for $12.99, but adding the unlimited brunch beverages was only $7 more, making the choice to order Jimmy's spicy Old Bay-rimmed and celery-and-dill-pickle-garnished bloodys a no-brainer.

Jimmy's may be at the far edges of the city, but with a huge bar that eliminates the element of crowding prevalent at so many Baltimore brunch spots, one of the most attentive wait staffs we've experienced in a while, and well-priced brunch options that are elevated far beyond the expectations of any sports bar, it's well worth the Uber/Lyft ride—or drive, because there's plenty of parking, too.

*A previous version of this post said Jimmy's was located in the county. It is within city limits. City Paper regrets the error.

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