In the midst of a delicious greasy bunch with M at Toronto’s popular diner, Aunties & Uncles, a couple weeks ago, M mentioned Jimmy’s Lunch in Kitchener. He stumbled upon it on a random hungry Sunday, and described it as the “most sketchy place he has ever been to”. Torn seats, old booths, and he felt out of place since everyone else seem to be regulars. Coffee was self-service. Help yourself to the cream in the fridge too.
That sounded fascinating – I could not wait to visit this mysterious and “very sketchy” diner.
Instead of Y, I treated my godmother to a Sunday brunch at Jimmy’s. She is 87 years young and lived in KW most of her life. She was surprised when I told her about Jimmy’s, and recalled her last visit 15 years ago. Jimmy’s is slightly over 60 years old, probably the oldest restaurant establishment in the KW region.
Lots of space inside but cluttered with random items in the dining area.
Only one server/chef working. Open-concept kitchen allowed him to interact with customers while cooking.
It started to get crowded even at 10am on a Sunday. I started to experience M’s description about feeling out of place. Regulars sat at counters and some even started helping out by making coffees and serving tables. Only people who are not familiar with Jimmy’s needed to be served. With only one person cooking for over 20 orders, service was slow. We waited approximately 20 minutes for our orders.
On the Table for Maple:
- Coffee ($1+)
- Chili-Con-Carne & Buttered toast ($4.95)
- Grilled Western bacon & eggs & toast ($4.95)
Since I take my coffee black, it is easier to differentiate between various beans and roasts. I definitely did not like this coffee. It was too watery, leaving an odd sweet aftertaste.
Scrambled eggs were dry, but Godmother said bacon was crisp to perfection.
The chili was reheated from a container out of the freezer. At a typical restaurant, not being served fresh food would have annoyed the heck out of me but peculiarly, I did not mind the frozen chili at all. Chili serving was generous but a tad too salty.
Nothing in Jimmy’s seemed appealing, at first sight. Everything was old, torn, and cracked. Food definitely provided bang-for-buck, but service was slow with insufficient compensation from the dishes. However, something left me wanting to go back for more. Stepping into Jimmy’s felt like a trip back in time. I was able to slow down in the hustle and bustle of the modern day society, watch customers greet each other like old friends, and enjoy some good ole’ buttered toast. It did not feel like a simple brunch. It felt like… eating history.
Godmother was very pleased with the meal. She said Jimmy’s displayed great dedication, perseverance and sincerity – something the modern generation lacks.
Jimmy’s lunch felt too precious to be judged with the typical scale.
1) $ price – cheapest you can ever get
2) Probably the same layout and atmosphere for the past 60 years
3) Sense of home – help yourself to anything!
4) A taste of history
From a renown painter – “Breakfast At Jimmy’s Lunch”