Thursday, November 25, 2010

Jimmy's Famous American Tavern

The menu looked delightful and I couldn't turn down the opportunity to try Jimmy's Famous American Tavern, which had been on my radar, but I'm rarely in the neighborhood. Billed as a gastropub specializing in classic American dishes, it's located in the Point Loma area, not far from the airport. They have a gorgeous patio that overlooks the harbor, making it a nice destination for brunches and lunches. For dinner, enjoy the patio's fire pit, which makes the area nice and cozy.

Daniela and Monique of Bread and Butter Public Relations kindly included me in celebrating Jimmy's six-month anniversary with a tasting menu by Executive Chef James Nunn. The menu showcased some of their specialties and, since it was Wednesday, included fried chicken. Jimmy's Famous American Tavern (J-FAT, if you will) has all-you-can-eat fried fish or chicken on Wednesday nights. Not the best for the ol' arteries, but certainly worth a visit for those who love fish and chips or fried chicken.

We started with a sampling of their appetizers. On the left is their ahi poke served on a crispy wonton chip and topped with a slice of avocado. Middle is a spicy jalapeño deviled egg. Last, but not least, there is the cheddar pimento dip served with corn tortilla chips. Of the three, I'd say the dip was the winner. The tuna was a bit bland and the deviled egg was overpowered by the jalapeño. The dip, however, was rich with cheddar, sweet with pimento, and paired fabulously with the salty corn chips.

Their onion rings are great, with sweet onion and crispy batter. They're fried to the point where the batter is crisp, but not so crisp that the onion becomes chewy and comes out of the battered shell with the first bite.

Blue cheese sliders came out next and these were awesome. Great blue cheese sauce dribbled over a thick patty topped with fried onion strings. The fries were pretty good, too. At this point, I'm convinced that J-FAT will not fail at anything fried.

They certainly didn't let me down with their potato chips. The homemade potato chips are so good that they negated the need for the accompanying sauce. Thinly sliced and fried to a delicate crisp, these chips were full of flavor and not very greasy. I have a very soft spot for freshly fried potato chips and these won me over easily.

The fried chicken's delicious, with perfect crust and tender meat. Even with breast meat, the chicken didn't dry out, so more props to J-FAT for some serious frying skills. However, I'll admit that my personal bias towards chicken breasts overcame the frying perfection. I would have dearly loved to see them offer bone-in dark meat as an option.

Dessert was a miniature version of their ice cream sundae, with vanilla ice cream, a chocolate chip cookie, fudge, and whipped cream. The meal was great and this shouldn't have been the note to end it on, with the unremarkable ice cream, the too-sweet and too-hard cookie, and the melted droop of whipped cream on top. It lost me on the details... it would have been nice to have a softer cookie with more chocolate flavor, a punchy and fresh vanilla bean ice cream, and freshly whipped cream. Or they should just fry it. Hey, their frying is for winners.

I'm looking forward to a return visit to J-FAT, for Monday night football or brunch on that lovely patio overlooking the marina. Potato chips, burgers, fried chicken, beer from their extensive beer selection... it'd be a great place to hang out with friends and have a good meal.

Jimmy's Famous American Tavern
4990 North Harbor Drive
San Diego, CA 92106

The Fine Print: Many thanks to Daniela and Monique of Bread and Butter Public Relations and Chef Nunn and staff at J-FAT for providing a lovely meal in celebration of six months.

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Mary said...

I was invited to the JFAT dinner but I sadly couldn't make it at the last minute (bf got sick). I've been to JFAT a couple of times though and the food is quite tasty!

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