Jimmy’s Restaurant and Sports Bar
Jimmy’s Sports Bar and Restaurant has opened up in Port Isabel across the street from Walmart (behind the lady on the ship’s bow). It is a down-home place that was a delight to find.
This place screams Tarpon Pride and it reminded me of when I was in high school and was full of school spirit.
I can easily see the after-football-game crowd coming in here to down a few “cold ones” on a Friday or Saturday night during football season. The Port Isabel Tarpon football team is usually a winner in the area and I hope this year will prove to be great like the others.
I liked how they stuck in the Corona flip-flop among all the P.I. blue.
This place is unassuming; there are no $1,000.00 chandeliers like there were at Los Camperos in Brownsville, but it had nice elegant touches.
Sleek lines and curves framed the vibrant colors against the stark white background.
The owner researched the area and decided to target the main popluation and adjust the menu and its prices accordingly. That means that they offer a lunch buffet for the “working man” who doesn’t have time to sit and wait for his meal to be prepared. The food is ready, hot and waiting for you. It is also not as impersonal as a fast food place; it is a sit-down restaurant where you can choose between a booth or table and take your time if you like.
This is a family-oriented place. A place where families can afford to go out and eat.
The buffet doesn’t have 350,000 choices like Lin’s Chinese eat-til-you’re-dead buffet but then I thought, “Well, just how much food do you need, Princess? Though this is not a hedonistic celebration of gluttony, is this not enough? More than enough, even?” The answer is “Yes.” I have equated “buffet” with “a celebration of gluttony” and that is wrong. The food here tastes good, well-prepared and there are healthy choices like your mom would serve you at home, what more do you want?
The salad bar was definitely kept at the right temperature. Salad dressings cold and delicious on that crisp salad.
Everything was neat, clean and tidy.
The food that should’ve been hot was hot and really good!
This was creamy shrimp rice with LARGE shrimp in it.
The carne guisada reminded me of my mom’s, to tell you the truth. It had all the right blend of Mexican spices. The meat was soft, the potatoes were big chunks and the carrots were cooked to just the right texture. 65 pts for reminding me of my mom and 55 for nailing the spices right.
I loved the thick slabs of garlic bread. They reminded me of how Ben’s Bakery (also in Brownsville) used to make big delicious loaves of French bread. No other bakery I have ever encountered in my life has ever been able to match Ben’s bread’s taste and texture but this bread camethisclose to Ben’s perfection. The width of these slices is EXACTLY how I used to slice the Ben’s Bakery bread and toast it in the oven when I was a little Princess and it was good to see someone slicing toast the way it should be served. Who came up with Melba toast’s sliver thinness? Who did that? THIS is how toast should be served. 50 pts. here.
The waitresses and hostess were polite, friendly and cheerful. I got good service from our new favorite waiter, Eric, too. All these people are locals and have that “real” quality to them.
I couldn’t help taking this picture cause all the perfectly lined-up glasses looked so cool.
I absolutely love watermelon and having fresh fruit on the buffet is a nice touch for dessert.
This story ended up being continued because my husband was tired after another successful all-day chartered fishing trip. (I was out galavanting as Princesses should.) Our favorite all-u-can-eat-fish places were already closed and the others charge you $10 or more for a plate of breading so we drove to all these other restaurants and I asked my husband, “Do you really feel like dropping $35 – $40 on a meal right now?” We’ve been going out to eat a lot and that plus galavanting adds up. Today though, I did not want to take the time to cook; I just wanted the food cooked already for me but not have it cost a lot… and I remembered Jimmy’s. Thank goodness they were open. The dinner is menu only but the prices did not increase dramatically. Wait til you hear the prices…
This Mexican food plate with enchilada, taco, chalupa, rice and beans – $8.00. A real meal for the price of a Whataburger and ONE french fry from Whataburger.
A real beef burger with lettuce, onion, tomato, ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise (how I order my burgers) PLUS thick, hot fries – FIVE FREAKIN’ BUCKS!!
Burger King serves you a burger with one slice of pickle, a drop of mustard & calls that a burger… and sells you fries but forgets to put in the ketchup so you are all, “Aaarrgghhh!” by the time you are too far to do anything about it, but I digress. I was at a nice restaurant with my handsome husband, sitting in a booth, enjoying myself for $5 freakin bucks. I was so stuffed that by the time Eric came by asking if I wanted to order the “Chocolate Mountain” dessert, I just looked at him like, “Are you crazy?” That was sooo good for so little. It’s cheaper than Dairy Queen but you get the restaurant atmosphere.
I haven’t even laid the buffet price on you – $5.99. For less than a price of a combo meal at Burger King, you get grilled chicken, beef stew with carrots and potatoes, the HUGE slices of Garlic French Bread and the rest of the home-cooked items on the buffet. I know times are really good right now for everybody beacause we are at the height of tourist season and everybody is rolling in money right now, but like the “Ant and the Grasshopper” fable by Aesop, it would be smart to be a little prudent in our spending because the winter is coming.. and even the fall drop in August. My hope is that our beloved Winter Texans, those of whom are on a fixed income, will fall in love with this place and keep it successful.
I applaud the owner and her sister-in-law, Melly, the manager, for providing a nice restaurant for those who cannot usually afford to take the whole family out to eat at a nice place. It is my business to share good news and this is good news. This is certainly a nice development. The place was really big, clean and decorated well. The buffet serving area was always kept clean and tidy. The food was kept at the right temperature and that meant a lot to me because I got food poisoning once from seafood salad (from HEB in Brownsville) and I was out of commission for THREE very painful days. I am so busy nowadays, I cannot afford to be down for even a few hours. The food was prepared well in a clean kitchen by older people who have experience cooking and know what they are doing. The place is family-oriented and offered teen nights and DJ music so the community kids could have a safe place to go.
What got me was the price. The homemade food is incredibly affordable. You get restaurant meals in a really nice comfortable family atmosphere for fast-food prices and you come out of there full, what more do you really want? This place scored highly on all fronts especially where their hearts are. They are so community and family-oriented, I wish them all the success in the world.