There comes a time and place when you just need a greasy-spoon joint—a place that's been around forever, never changes, and sure as shit doesn't have avocado toast or pour-over coffee on the menu. When in Fells Point, Jimmy's Restaurant has you covered. It's the kind of place that probably isn't gonna change if a review such as this is good or bad, which is exactly the reason why we love it so much.
On a recent Saturday morning, we rolled out of bed early (for us) and opened the door to the Baltimore institution around 9 a.m. to find an already-bustling scene. Almost every table was full, with all walks of life enjoying their coffee, reading the paper, digging into fluffy stacks of pancakes, and (BONUS!) filling out Keno slips in the hopes of taking home some cash along with that corned beef hash.
Speaking of the corned beef hash ($2.99), you're gonna want to order a side of that. Looking to get a good base of food in our system prior to hitting up Max’s Belgian Beer Fest, we decided to go with the more-is-more approach to breakfast and ordered a side of the hash and some scrapple to accompany our mains—a move that's a no-brainer with Jimmy's dirt-cheap prices. The corned beef hash was salty and spicy, the perfect antidote to the sour beers that were to come next door. The side of scrapple ($2.35), a quarter-inch slice of porcine indulgence, oozed out onto our forks as we cut through the crispy outer shell and mixed it into our corned beef hash—a pork power move if there ever was one.
Happy with our sides, we dug into a plate of homemade sausage gravy and biscuits ($6.55) that was so heaping, it almost dripped onto our old-school place mats that advertised everything from Natty Boh gear to fishing charters. The gravy was filled with big chunks of sausage and had a good zing to it, something we attributed to the crushed black pepper flecked throughout. Paired up with the fluffy and rich biscuits, it was a dish that we could have easily scarfed down and asked for the check. But what's the fun in that? We had more reporting to do.
Next up, we decided to go traditional with a simple plate of two over-easy eggs, hash browns, sausage, and toast ($6.70). While eggs may seem easy, we’ve witnessed plenty served overdone from much places more haute than Jimmy's. Unsurprisingly—they've been cooking them since 1946 after all—theirs were spot on.
But the accompanying sausages were the real gem. We're not talking those sad and gray Bob Evans-style pork links that seem to be everywhere; these were two fresh bad boys that were so plump we had to turn our heads when we stabbed through the casing to ensure we didn't get a an eye full of hot fat. A friend pointed out they were similar to something you would get in England with bangers and mash, and we enjoyed them so much we were cutting them up and passing the porky coins around like breakfast currency.
Looking to go a bit "healthier," we finished our breakfast with a spinach and feta omelet ($7.15). Served with hash browns and toast (this isn't the place to come if you're looking to go low-carb), the eggy oval was nicely cooked, with the salt of the feta blending nicely with the fresh spinach. Nothing fancy here, just a satisfying mix of eggs, cheese, and greens, with a couple of dashes of hot sauce to liven things up.
From door to bill we could have easily been in and out in 30 minutes, but with a scene so lively and the people-watching so good, we happily lingered over our coffees ($1.60 with free refills). And as the owner walked a couple of excited kid brothers back to a jar overflowing with lollipops, we couldn't help but feel like we were happily back in another era, if only for just an hour.