Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern rode their successful concept from San Diego to Orange County, tied up at the Dana Point Harbor and the South County dining scene has been buzzing ever since.
From the half-pound Jimmy Burger with Applewood Bacon, Pimento Cheese, and Jalapeno Jelly ($15) to the All-Natural Steaks with Buttermilk Beer Battered Onion Rings, or the New England Clambake in a Bowl, you’ll find creative interpretations of some of your favorite childhood meals. I couldn’t resist drawing you in with that shot of the Jimmy Burger – oozing with pimento cheese and beckoning ribbons of bacon, it was irresistible.
I didn’t order it but, even though my half tuna melt sandwich and salad was more than enough to satisfy, I had a bite or two so I could vouch for it’s taste. Everywhere I looked a JFAT burger (there are 5 to choose from) was making a statement at the table. Sometimes a table full of statements.It’s not often that we can pretend to be ladies who lunch so a few cocktails were in order. Jimmy’s Meal Mary ($15) is exactly that and I spied several meals being eaten at the bar. Decked out in Absolut Pepper, Bacon, Pimento Olive, Chilled Shrimp, Pepperoncini and a Deviled Egg it’s a feast for the eyes.
Service is friendly and informed – our server was all smiles as he delivered our tray of cocktails.
The Cucumber Cooler ($9) was light and refreshing and went down way to easy. The Basil Press ($9) packed a little more punch with Belvedere Citrus Vodka, White Peach Puree, fresh Basil, Simple Syrup, and Ginger Beer. The ultra fresh cucumber and basil garnishes were a nice touch.
While we appreciated our beverages we appeased our appetite with one of JFAT’s fire-grilled flatbreads – the Pear, Black Fig Jam, Prosciutto and Arugula Flat Bread ($14) had a beautiful thin crisp crust and went relatively easy on the cheese, compared to subsequent dishes, which highlighted the fresh ingredients well.
Perusing the menu for healthy options, College Girl opted for the Harvest Salad with Grilled Shrimp ($17). Her attempt at ordering a dish with not so much cheese was somewhat foiled because she missed the blue cheese in the description. The salads are a generous portion and she enjoyed the tender grilled shrimp and the array of fresh vegetables: spinach,tomatoes, avocado, and corn.
The portion sizes at Jimmy’s are ample and cheese lovers will be in paradise. With a menu that David Wilhelm declares to be an “unabashed celebration of comfort food” there are a number of healthier alternatives available to discerning diners. You can do the JFAT ‘Combo for a Cause’ ($15) which is a cup of clam chowder or tomato bisque, a small green salad, and half of a grilled cheese or tuna melt sandwich and, with every combo that is sold, $1 is donated to JFAT’s special charity partner Miracle for Kids.
The Grilled Salmon Salad ($17) is calling me back – eat half, take half home for dinner and there are a number of fresh seafood selections under Large Plates that would be excellent choices at dinner. Being a southern gal, I’m tempted by the French Quarter Boil ($22) and the Local Halibut served atop a Crispy Corn Cake ($26) – shown below.
Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern is proud to be partnered with the Long Beach Aquarium based “Seafood for the Future” program; only serving sustainable and properly harvested fish and shellfish species. That’s important to me and I’m happy to see so many restaurants making this an important part of their vision.
Like their sister restaurant in San Diego, Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern is also a nationally certified ‘Green Restaurant’ with the Green Restaurant Association. The Green Restaurant Association is a national non-profit organization that provides a convenient and cost-effective way for restaurants, manufacturers, distributors, and consumers to become more environmentally responsible. Restaurants obtain points in various categories such as water efficiency, waste reduction and recycling, sustainable furnishing and building materials, sustainable food, energy, disposables and chemical and pollution reduction.
With beautiful views of Dana Point Harbor, ample parking, everyone’s favorite comfort foods reasonably priced and a respectable craft beer and California-centric wine list, this stylish, yet comfortable neighborhood eatery is great choice for a quick lunch, relaxing dinner, weekend brunch, or celebration with friends.
Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern
25001 Dana Point Harbor Drive
Dana Point, CA 92629