Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Little Jerry's

I went to check out Little Jerry's, a new-ish restaurant in Tacoma. They've been getting some buzz on Facebook and Yelp.

Little Jerry's has a Seinfeld theme: all the items on the menu are named after episodes or characters on the show, the restaurant is decorated with Seinfeld memorabilia, and there are even J. Peterman catalogues on the magazine rack.

It's a tiny restaurant, and when our party of six showed up we were told we'd have to eat outside. I think we'd have been seated inside, except all the tables were full but two. We were just a little late. There's definitely a claustrophobic feel, but it's nothing too off-putting.

The menu is pretty much burgers and breakfast. Although the take-out menu didn't specify times, they stopped serving breakfast before we arrived. Zonked! I had planned on Eggs Benedict.

So instead of Eggs Benny, I ordered the "Mimbo", a cheeseburger with bacon and an egg, and two grilled cheese sandwiches instead of a bun.

It was an epic burger: I couldn't actually eat it all.

For the rest of the day I felt like I'd eaten a shot put.

Their fries are easily the best I've eaten in Washington. They were mahogany coloured, with the slight caramel flavour of mature fry grease. They were the fries my grandfather made for family gatherings when I was coming up. The server assured me the fries were hand-cut daily.

The service was pretty slow; I'm not sure if they were slammed, or if they just haven't found their stride yet. It wasn't "I won't go back" slow, but it took us the better part of an hour to get our food. I'll want to go and try it again to see whether it was just the timing, or perhaps their kitchen had trouble with our party of six.

On a more esoteric note, I found the menu was incongruous to the Seinfeld theme. The menu was right out of a southern greasy spoon comfort-food kitchen (like the Penguin in Charlotte); but Seinfeld was all about New York. Don't get me wrong: the food was great and I definitely plan on going back; but it seemed like two restaurants: there was a lot of Seinfeld schtick up until the food arrived, then it turned into an "I dare you to" burger joint.

The verdict? I'm sure planning on going back. The Seinfeld theme might wear thin, but the food would keep me coming back. Regardless of the schtick, it was solid food: too much of it will kill you, but it tasted great.

I highly recommend this place. But next time, I want to get there early enough to get Eggs Benny.