Growing up in a house of seven, a leisurely weekend breakfast was always something to look forward to after a hectic week. Whether we fought over the last bite of the latest scrambled egg concoction whipped up on the fly, or we ventured out to a new grungy diner-style breakfast spot, our weekend breakfasts always promised to leave us with a craving for the next week’s endeavor.
So, when my mom paid a visit to Sacramento last weekend, I had one assignment: find the perfect breakfast spot. Luckily, a fellow Sac Foodie had recently told me about a place she described as a Sacramento landmark, with huge servings and, more often than not, a line out the door. Those words were all I needed to hear to decide we were going to Jim-Denny’s.
If you don’t know what you’re looking for, pulling up to Jim-Denny’s will have you wondering if this place is a drive-thru, walk-up or just plain closed for business. As soon as you swing that front door open, though, you will know you’re at the right place.
The entire restaurant is slightly larger than a walk-in closet with a counter seating about 10 and two small tables-for-two squeezed in along the wall. The kitchen and staff are front and center behind the counter for all to observe. The staff is very friendly and attentive to diners while providing a fun atmosphere with their family-style chastising for a myriad of kitchen transgressions.
Atmosphere aside, Jim-Denny’s could probably be your traditional diner. What makes it particularly special is the famous grill in the corner window, seasoned to perfection with about 70 years worth of burgers, omelets, pancakes and more, adding a uniqueness to everything cooked on it that no other restaurant can match.
Jim-Denny’s is known for its tasty burgers and hubcap-sized pancakes – yes, you read that correctly — they’re huge! After much contemplation and witnessing a couple pancake-conquering failures by our fellow diners, we (Mom & I) opted to try out the hearty omelets while enjoying the delicious smell of those pancakes sitting nearby.
Rest assured, our omelets did not disappoint. They were amply stuffed with sausage, cheese and veggies and totally covered the plate. First thought that comes to mind when you see one of these omelets is “How am I going to finish all of this?!” They’re so good that you’ll find a way, not wanting to leave a morsel on your plate. Hey, this is a casual place…you might even consider licking your plate!
I’m not sure if it was the atmosphere, my breakfast or the pancakes, burgers and other menu items that are now taunting my appetite, but Jim-Denny’s definitely left me planning for my next visit.
816 12th St.
Sacramento, CA 95814