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I forgot to take a pic of the sign when I was there Wednesday night, so I lifted one off the Web as well as the map that marks the location. If you are riding a baht bus along 2nd Road, push the buzzer when you see the parallel street that runs alongside the under-renovation Big C North. Cross the street, walk a block and turn left. Jim's beyond a couple of Thai restaurants. It opens Monday-Friday at 5.00 p.m. and closes at midnight. On Saturday and Sunday, it is also open for a couple of hours around noon.
It's easy to walk past Jim's because it's in single shopfront and partially hidden by an abbreviated basketball court. Diners can burn off some calories shooting hoops before or after their meal! Another interesting aspect is that Jim's is Thai owned and operated. I've read the controlling partner spent time in the U.S. learning to make quality burgers. The burger and craft beer emphasis may have been inspired by similar gourmet burger places in the U.S. that have become an alternative for the more to fast-food and classic diner hamburgers.
Inside, Jim's is relatively small, with space for 20 diners if every seat is taken. About 10 more could sit outside. It's cool and comfortable inside, but a bit eccentrically decorated for my tastes.
The hanging light bulbs were annoying but the surreal chalk drawing was an original touch.
But the important thing for my tastes is the food and Jim's doesn't disappoint. As said, the menu is limited to burgers and a few sides (mostly potatoes) and salads. There is, however, a variety of burgers, not just beef burgers, but also pork, chicken and vegetarian (mushroom). They are fancy and perhaps busy burgers, topped with a lot of stuff. Most come in two sizes, large and small.
The pic of the menu has a high enough resolution that you can enlarge it to read the detailed descriptions of the burgers, which range in price from 160 to 380 baht. Most are 200 to 250 baht.
There isn't much on the menu besides burgers. The salads are huge, served in big bowls and could be shared among three or four people. The beer list for the day sported an impressive 12 draft beers and one draft cider in small and large sizes, roughly equivalent to half-pints and pints. There were some lauded imported beers on the list as well as plain ole' Singha. Jim's also has an assortment of bottled craft beers.
I was in a dark mood that evening, so I went for a half-pint of draft Brewdog Bourbon Baby, a Scotch ale with a subtle but complex taste and a hearty 5.80% alcohol by volume. It's refreshing and fortifying without the dominant flavor of many other dark beers. You have a choice of buns at Jim's, so I continued my dark theme by picking a charcoal bun for my small Honey Beef Burger at 190 baht. It immediately attracted attention!
The Honey Beef Burger is a 100% beef patty cooked to order and topped with an onion ring, a tiny bit of fried onion, cheddar cheese, a slice of bacon and Jim's special honey sauce, which isn't very sweet but adds a offsetting touch to the burger's saltiness. The patty rests on a cabbage leaf and slices of dill pickle.
The burger came with a "sampler portion" of waffle fries and a dipping sauce. Very tasty and freshly fried!
The bun's black color comes from vegetal charcoal, either bamboo or coconut. Black has become a bit of a trendy food hue in Asia and even Burger King in Japan offers a burger with a black bun and black cheese. The charcoal has a startling effect on the bun's color but doesn't affect the taste. For those less adventurous, the homemade buns at Jim's come in plain and wholewheat versions as well as spinach.
I finished my glass of Bourbon Baby and ordered a half-pint of Brewdog Elvis Juice, an India pale ale infused with grapefruit. The citrus-tinged bitterness goes well with burgers and it packs 6.50% abv. Brewdog products have a special place in my heart, but that's a story for another thread. The onion ring atop the patty was great. I'm sorry I didn't order a full side of them.
I guessing the purpose of the burger's "business" - toppings and sauce - is in part due to the trend towards piled burgers but also an attempt to add and balance ingredients with salty, sour and sweet flavors in the same dish. That's a sophisticated Thai approach applied to the plebeian U.S. hamburger.
I rounded off my meal with a glass of Weihenstephan Vitus, a German weisenbock that tipped the abv scale at a big 7.70%. It was creamy with great mouth feel. It had a hint of citrus and spice that somehow reminded me of Christmas. I'd never had it before, but will certainly be having it again. In the pic below, the Weihenstephan Vitus to the right and the Brewdog Bourbon Baby to the left. All three of the draft beers I tried cost 180 baht for the 0.25 liter glasses.
Bottom line: Jim's Burger now ranks as my favorite hamburger place in Pattaya, with the range of craft beers also a strong draw. Service is very friendly. It's not cheap, but for the quality you get, it's not extravagantly priced, either.
I just wonder if it might suffer from its location. I'm sure it would be full every night on Walking Street or LK Metro, but it's unlikely to attract many passers-by on that side street. Maybe, though, it's better situated for the Thais who patronize some of the nightspots nearby and tourists who stay in that area, assuming they know Jim's exists.
My best wishes for it to live long and prosper!
Due to my back problems I ventured only to restaurants close by the hotel so I will show you two meals I had and wonder if anybody can guess where I had them. Straight away I want to say that both meals were big disappointments. To make things easier to guess, the meals were taken on soi Nana and Soi 8.
1st meal was a Sunday roast of beef. I paid 350 baht which is a fair price but the plate arrived which I rearranged as I didn't like the way it was served. The cauliflower was cold, the broccoli was warmer but both were not cooked correctly for me. My mother never uttered the words Al Dente in all the years she cooked for me so I am always disappointed when restaurants (not Italian) under-cook food which they may deem the correct way to serve. The carrots were nice, the potatoes ok but the beef was quite tough with a few veins of gristle running through the slices. Yorkshire pudding very crunchy but acceptable. On the side were gravy, ok, a horseradish sauce, again acceptable for taste, maybe not size and a small dish of what I thought was melted butter with no smell. It was only later when clearing the plates the waitress told me this was a cheese sauce, I was glad I didn't put it on my plate. Out of 10 I would give the meal 4. I had a pint of Singha beer for 140 baht (not happy hour). 1st photo as delivered, second rearranged.
2nd meal was in the evening and was a popular pub nearby. I plonked myself on a chair but waitresses were running around me without noticing i was there to sample their fayre. Eventually the cashier told a girl to serve me and I was offered the menu which looked good. I fancied fish and chips and noted dory and chips at 299 baht and imported cod and chips at 399 baht. I opted for the cod and chips. Again very disappointed when the meal was served, photo shows the dish without being touched. Peas ok although i could nearly count them, chips slightly starchy but cod was in that batter that just peels off the fish, just was not tasty. The cod itself was good but just not enough of it for 399 baht. The tartar sauce almost wasn't there. I had a soda (the small 8 baht one from 7/11) which was 80 baht. I ate the meal and still felt empty, it just was not a filling meal and although the price to Bangkokians may be reasonable I thought value for money was poor for what was served. Out of 10 I would give it a 3.
Any thoughts guys, apologies if there are any clues there if I missed them. Will offer the locations after 24 hours if not guessed..
With the low cost to produce Middle East oil this will only help keep prices down.
What are your thoughts / predictions for the future of world oil prices / consumption.
Cost cutting is continuing but at a reduced rate and a lot of farangs have been let go (but in a reasonable and controlled manner) and the small pool of those remaining is reducing. I am working 2 - 3 days a week instead of 5 but that may soon tail off to 1 - 2 days a week which is ok becasue it allows time to enjoy life but still have an income albeit much reduced.
For PL members either working in the O&G industry or are out of work how are things where you are?
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