I don’t even need to think of a snazzy title full of alliteration for this post, it’s already done for me. Thank goodness, because while this day ended up great, it did not start that way.
I started out the day on the wrong side of the bed last Tuesday. The neighbor’s dog started its incessant barking way too early and our lulu cat decided to chime in and howl/scream/just plain annoy me. It was cold and rainy, not a good start to a day off at all. I dragged myself out of bed, complaining the whole time. At that point, Laurent made a quick exit to work with a “sorry, gotta run, hon” Probably just glad to make it out alive, as my grumpiness would most likely be directed at him, poor guy.
I sucked it up and put on my bright yellow rain boots and got in the car to head to Beverly to buy bottles for the syrups I am making. (Syrup company to launch sometime in the fall! More about that some other time.) Of course there was traffic. After this drive into unchartered territory, I was hoping for some type of fun discovery to brighten my day. I got my wish. As I was driving west on 95th, I passed Jimmy Jamms Sweet Potato Pies. Oh ya, my kind of discovery! I had heard about this café that serves everything sweet potato on the Hungry Hound or read about it in the paper, or something, but it wasn’t on my radar or my excel list at all, and then I just came upon it. Time for a U-Turn.
I parked and walked in and was greeted with a sample of sweet potato ice cream. How could that not turn my day around? Yum. I love sweet potatoes, savory or sweet. And they had it all here. I wanted to hold off on my blog post to go back and try one more item, but I just couldn’t wait to tell you about it. I did try quite a few items, so I am not lacking material, by any means. Now you know I am not good at making decisions. This was torture! I asked the friendly woman behind the counter what I should have. I couldn’t decide between the Jimmy Jamm Loaded Yam, a loaded sweet potato with filled with sautéed onions, green peppers, brown sugar, shredded cheese, chicken or steak and mushrooms, or the Sweet Potato Stew or a deli sandwich on sweet potato bread. The stew just sounded perfect for this cold rainy day. She threw me for a loop when she said that her favorite was the chicken and sweet potato waffle. She said the chicken was so perfectly spiced that she didn’t even need hot sauce on it. Where was that on the menu? I didn’t see it anywhere. I can’t forgo a server’s recommendation, as they have hardly ever steered me wrong. Even though I had my heart set on a loaded sweet potato, I gave in to the recommendation. I placed my order and she reminded the kitchen staff that she had told me how perfectly it was spiced, so “do it right” she told them.
While I was waiting for my chicken and waffles to cook, I went a little crazy in the dessert department! I ordered a piece of sweet potato pound cake, ‘for Laurent “, (yes I meant to put those quotation marks there!) a piece of sweet potato bread, these donut looking pastries filled with sweet potato and a piece of sweet potato pie. That decision was hard enough, as there were about four or five varieties of sweet potato pie, with pecans and pralines or with honey cream cheese topping. I went for the classic. I also had to leave the cupcakes, cookies and ice cream there. Next time. Next time.
So, I took a seat on one of the big comfy chairs to wait for my chicken and waffles. It arrived and I let out an “oh my!” and immediately started taking pictures of it. I took one with my camera phone and sent it to Laurent, who immediately responded with “where’s mine?” Let me tell you, I took him leftovers. There was no way I could finish that. The dish had four huge meaty wings and sweet potato waffle the size of the 10” plate. First, the chicken. The server was right, this chicken was perfectly spiced. I have never had fried chicken this good. It was not spicy by any means, but spiced or seasoned with herbs, maybe a little chile, all mysteriously infusing the batter and chicken with great flavor, but not apparent to the naked eye at all. The batter was flaky but not falling off. The chicken was juicy and piping hot. This waffle was the perfect complement to the chicken. It was a little tart, ( buttermilk?) but sweet at the same time. You could definitely taste the sweet potato, but it wasn’t dense or heavy at all. It was served with butter and syrup, which I used a little of, but it really didn’t need it. It is so rare for me not to pour any kind of sauce that is given to me over my food. I’m just a saucy girl! These chicken and waffles did not need it at all. I am not a chicken and waffle expert by any means. In fact, I think I have only had it one other time, but this was good stuff and I think it may have ruined me for all other chicken and waffles in my future.
I packed up the rest of my feast for Laurent, and dug into the sweet potato pie, which comes with a warning saying “These pies are very addictive and may cause you to buy more” . Heed this warning, as it is true. While I resisted this time, as I had a bagful of other goodies to try, I was very tempted. The sweet potato pie was very tasty, creamy, sweet, spiced, but not too much of any of these, except tasty. Great balance, texture, flavor. I have heard that you have to order whole pies for the holidays early, as they sell out fast. At $10 a pie, a full size pie, I can see why.
Jimmy Jamms Sweet Potato Pies made my day. The staff was super friendly, the food was tasty and it was super inexpensive. Lunch big enough for two and all these yummy sweets added up to only $20! $20! This place is a bargain and a half with friendly service and excellent food. I can’t wait to go back and try that loaded yam and the stew and more of those chicken and waffles and top it all off with some sweet potato ice cream, of course. Get yourself to Beverly soon. It is well worth the drive!
Jimmy Jamm Sweet Potato Pies, 1844 W. 95th St. , 773-779-9105, Closed Sundays