6773 Stage Road Plaza
After going on a two hour, fruitless search for Bakugan balls at every Target in town with the monkeys this morning, we found ourselves near Wolfchase Galleria starving to death. Rather than brave a chain, I remembered one of my DWM reader's suggestions to try Jimmy's in Bartlett. I called my sister, who had computer access, and asked her to look up the address for me. Turns out, Jimmy's was on the way to our next destination--the $2 Bartlett Malco--and therefore a "go".
Jimmy's is actually right next door to the Hollywood 20 Theater in a non-descript strip mall. (Since discovering Las Tortugas I don't let this fact get me down.) It was a little after 1pm and the place wasn't too crowded--maybe 3 or 4 tables. I plopped the monkeys (Satchel, 5, and Jiro, 3) down at a booth with their second choice toys from Toys R Us and asked, "Do you want a hot dog or pizza?" Satchel said hot dog and Jiro said pizza.
I walked towards the counter and started reading the menu and various signs that had been taped to the wall. I immediately discovered that Jimmy refused to serve hot dogs with ketchup, kids had better behave, deep dish pizza took 45 minutes, and I better read the entire menu before asking any questions.
Now even though Jimmy's clearly specialized in hot dogs, I had been sent to try out the deep dish pizza. I really wished Warren was with me so he could try out one of the many specialty dogs like the Memphis Dog (onions, BBQ sauce, coleslaw), Belushi Dog (sour cream, onions, cheese, tomato slice, taco sauce) or the Harry Caray Dog (salsa, nacho cheese, Giardinaire peppers).
The kids' menu had two options: Pupzilla or Kid Burger with fries and a 12 oz drink for $3.29. I decided I'd get a deep dish pizza and let Jiro eat a hot dog while we waited...assuming a "Pupzilla" was a hot dog.
I tentatively walked up to Jimmy and asked, "A Pupzilla is a hot dog, right?"
Annoyed, he looked at me and nodded.
"Okay, I'll take two," I said.
He motioned to a small cooler behind him and said, "These are your drink choices: red, orange, purple, or blue."
Clearly kids were no longer allowed the 12 oz fountain drink. I had to choose an artificially flavored 8 oz "juice" drink. The menu clearly stated there were no substitutions in various areas so I didn't dare ask if I could get something else. "Uh, orange," I said finally.
"And for you?" Jimmy asked.
"I'll take a deep dish pepperoni and black olive."
"It takes an hour," he said looking over my shoulder at the monkeys (who were acting just fine).
"Oh, I thought it said 45 minutes," I replied.
"Forty-five minutes to cook," he said. "Fifteen to prepare."
I looked back at the menu. Thin crust pizza had a cook time of 20 minutes. Technically we had an hour to spare, but I was hungry and Jimmy was quickly outranking Seinfeld's Soup Nazi. "Okay, make that thin crust," I said.
Smiling, he said, "That takes 30 minutes."
"Fine," I said.
"Anything else?" he asked.
Panicked, I felt like I should get an appetizer or something. "How about a Pizza Puff?" I said, clearly having been subliminally influenced by the Pizza Puff advertisement next to the register. "And a water."
I paid my $24 and received two orange "juices," one styrofoam cup and directions to the water dispenser, and a number.
Back at the table, the monkeys were happily playing. I told Jiro that the pizza was going to take awhile so he was getting a hot dog first. "Okay," he said.
They were both interested in their orange "juices" so I peeled the aluminum foil back for them and spent the next ten minutes watching the plastic containers closely lest they spill and Jimmy kick us out.
I heard my number and walked to the front to retrieve the two Pupzilla baskets and the Pizza Puff. The small condiment section had ketchup, so I figured Jimmy wasn't opposed to customers dispensing their own ketchup onto their hot dogs.
As much as they loved their new toys, the monkeys happily set them aside to eat. "Where's my pizza?" Jiro asked.
"It's coming," I said.
I figured out who wanted what on their Pupzillas (plain for Jiro, ketchup and mustard for Satchel) and got them all ready. The Pupzillas appeared to be tasty and were nice and big. I can only assume they tasted good since they were gone in about 60 seconds. I stole a few fries which were yummy...unlike my Pizza Puff, which consisted of ground beef, onions, cheese, and pizza sauce in a pastry. What was I thinking?? I ate a few bites and then wrapped it up and hid it under a napkin.
I took a moment to appreciate the fact that our food came in paper baskets and that the only styrofoam (restaurant enemy #1) on the table was my cup.
Then Jimmy brought out our piping hot pizza and a stack of styrofoam plates. When Jimmy walked away, Jiro and Satchel started giggling. "He looks like Obi Wan Kenobi!" they said.
I looked at the middle aged man with a pizza gut and grey hair. "In which movie?" I asked.
"The one where he has long hair," Satchel said.
I looked at Jimmy some more and pictured Ewan McGregor in my mind. It must be the mustache I decided.
The pizza looked and smelled fantastic. The cheese was nice and golden brown. Deep red sauce peeked out from the edges. "I want some!" Jiro said.
The pizza was cut in squares--something I like very much. I gave Jiro a square, warned him that it was hot, and then proceeded to eat all four "corners" of the pizza myself. (I did offer one to Satchel, but he refused.) It tasted even better than it looked. While the crust wasn't thick, I definitely wouldn't call it thin, either. At least not Pete & Sam's thin. It just seemed like "normal" crust to me.
Jiro ended up eating two pieces, and I had two myself, in addition to the four little corners. (I tried really hard to get a picture of Jiro with sauce all over his face, but he refused.) That left us with plenty to bring home (in a styrofoam container)...and me with the nagging feeling that I should have held my ground and ordered the deep dish!
Clearly, I will need to plan ahead next time...and bring Warren!
Yes, we visited the restrooms. Average, mildly funky one seaters.