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Evil Penevil

Jim's Burger Near Big C North

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Jim's Burger offers some of the best, if not the best, hamburgers currently available in Pattaya.  It's been open a few months, bringing the number of Jim's Burger restaurants to four.  Three Jim's outlets  have sprung up in Bangkok over the past two years. True to its name, Jim's specializes in burgers and craft beer, without much else on the menu.




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!




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You really dig some eateries out, great work never heard nor seen the one :o

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Evil, thanks for the heads up on this one. Burgers look awesome. I had never heard of it but I checked and there is one in Ari area of BKG....I will probably go give it a try Sunday afternoon.

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I made a follow-up visit to Jim's to try the Lava Cheesy Burger, which promises triple the cheese of an ordinary cheeseburger.  I chose the small version at 210 baht.  The large goes for 290 baht.




I ordered it on a traditional bun and it came with the usual side of a sampler portion of waffle fries.




The buns at Jim's are homemade and fresh, which in fact adds to the overall burger experience. The Lava burger also came with Jim's signature garnish, a golden fried onion ring.




The bun was perfectly toasted.  Like Baby Bear's porridge in Goldilocks, it was "just right."




I'm not sure it was triple the amount of cheese on my burger- I'd have pegged it at about double.  But no doubt, it dripped with plenty of lovely melted cheese. 




The quality of the ingredients as well as the  attention to detail is what makes Jim's burgers stand out in a crowded field.  Some thought has gone into the construction of the various burgers. It's not just a bunch of stuff thrown together, but each component ingredient adds to the overall effect.


In the Lava burger, the meat patty and cheese are the dominant flavors, and rightfully so.  But the modest amount of veggies has a supporting role to play.  The tomato slice and dill pickles add tartness and the lettuce leaf provide a bit of crunch.  I'm not a fan of raw onion, but the two small rings gave the burger a bit of a kick.




I had a half-pint of Singha draft (120 baht abv 5.0%) along with the burger.  It's not the most interesting beer in the world, but it has good carbonation and a light taste, so it goes well with a burger.  




 After the burger, I also had a glass of La Trappe, a Dutch wheat beer at 165 baht (abv 5.0%).  It was easy to drink. with slight hints of citrus and spice.  It's a refreshing hot-weather beer.




The outdoor seating area at Jim's and the basketball cage.




The staff at Jim's Burger is very friendly.  You can look right into the kitchen, which is always a good thing.




If anyone needs a landmark, Jim's is diagonally across the street from Differ, a Thai nightspot.




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