In Greenville, Mississippi, everyone knows Jim’s Cafe.
Most folks know Jim’s for breakfast, and we’ll get there in a minute. But first, here’s what you really need to know: the onion rings at Jim’s are what onion rings all around the planet should aspire to be. They are perfect. Perfect onion rings: there’s a big, showy, deeply golden, ruffled batter that’s crisp and salty and just a little greasy. You could eat that batter alone and think you’d stumbled onto a very fine thing, but then you bite a little further to the treasure of a melty-soft sweet band of onion. And you think of all the energy all these years you’ve put into combining flavors and textures exactly right: which wine for that cheese, the herb in this sauce, the spices in that rub– and you scoff. Because here it is: crunchy, salty batter on sweet, soft onion. Boom.
That would have been enough, but we made another big discovery at Jim’s. Maybe there are many folks in the world who already know and do what I am about to tell you, but we two food professionals had never seen it before. And we think it is brilliant. Jim’s serves their big, fat, fluffy pancakes with a little pitcher of melted butter. MELTED BUTTER. That means you don’t have to delicately lift each pancake with your fork and reach in between to try to spread a pat of cold butter over the surface, working quickly so the pancakes will stay warm enough to melt the butter. (Oh, the stress!) No, thanks to your little pitcher of pre-melted, warm butter, you just pour, spread, sweeten with syrup and bite. Genius.
(Try that the next time you serve brunch and watch ’em ooh and ahhh.)
314 Washington Avenue
For breakfast and brunch recipes, click here.