When we landed in Dallas a year ago to make it our home, we were invited by our very dear friends to Jimmy’s Burger & Grill for iftar. Our boys love anything with the name “burger” associated to it so of course they got excited. The menu, being predominantly burgers was not my idea of breaking fast but our hosts had mentioned that there will be “some traditional Pakistani food”. Arriving at Jimmy’s with middling expectations, we were met by a huge crowd of excited people which made us curious and as we proceeded to our table to wait for maghrib, a sideway glance at the service counter left us simply open-mouthed! Boy, did the sight and aroma of the colorful and delectable food splay on their counters surprise us!! The “some traditional Pakistani food” as mentioned by our hosts seemed a mere understatement! The counter from one end to the other was covered with dishes that I had literally not seen in years, with exotic drinks of Rooh Afza and mango lassi filled up in dispensers completing typical iftar pleasures. The combination of smell and look of food conjures up recollections for everyone in different ways. My husband, Owais and I both spent most of our student life in Lahore. As we tasted one item after the other, the dishes brought a different memory. The flavors took us all the way back to our homeland – from narrow streets of Shah Aalmi food shops, dhaba style eateries in Ichhra, cart stands in Liberty Market to the high end iftart buffet at Marriot and formal dining experiences at Tabaq. And we were not the only ones reminiscing or impressed, this seemed to be true for the returning Jimmy’s customers as well who were sitting around us complementing the food. This first interaction with Dallas desi food and people spiked our spirits pleasingly and to date we remember our happiness of this start in our new home city, because it was after all this ethnicity and cultural offerings we moved here for!
This past year, we have been regular patrons of Jimmy’s Burger & Grill. Our boys crave their burgers and we love everything else that they originally had and recently added to their menu. During numberless opportunities to dine at the joint we found the taste to be consistently delicious, which says a lot about a restaurant. Their staff is always very polite and courteous. I can vouch for it since we go around everywhere with a special needs teenager and how accommodated we are by the staff and how understanding the staff is to our this specific family dynamic plays an important role in our eating decisions. The only thing that sometimes made us think twice about going there after a hectic day was the long wait lines but happily they took care of this matter by adapting the systems of Dinifi. Dinifi is an app which is integrated in the POS of the restaurants and enables its users to look up restaurants nearby, their menus, contact info and directions. Food can be ordered to be picked up at a later time and able can be reserved for dining in.
Using this Dinifi has been such a blessing in our experience with Jimmy’s and helped us increase the frequency of our visits. The iftar buffet was one of the anticipation associated with Ramadan so the app came in real handy since Jimmy’s only took reservations for the buffet this month. Just three weeks ago, we were the proud hosts of our dear and close friends and family for iftar. Last Thursday on June 15th, we attended the VIP event at Jimmy’s which was an amazing collaboration of the two outfits that banqueted 151 Dinifi customers to be exact. On this occasion, besides their regular iftar buffet (which by no standard is regular), Jimmy’s had some awesome fun surprises included in the 30-item menu: a full goat with mundi (head), goat leg with rice and nuts, hunter beef, kata kat, ribs, jalfrezi, and succulent loki halwa which made the buffet a very colorful and feasty spread, measuring right up to the joyous occasion of Ramadan. Wonderful time passed amidst the company of our wonderful friends, and we finished this phenomenal iftar with traditional Pakistani mixed chai which was actually brought on tray by their very polite attendant. Following pictures are just a sample of what we witnessed there!
Before this VIP event, Bilal bhai, the owner of Jimmy’s Big Burger and I chatted for a little bit and he went over the interesting account of city and its ethnic culinary scene just less than two decades ago. Today’s Dallas is so different; it is hard for new comers like us to imagine how deprived halal food consumers were then in the area which is now swarmed with desi food options. Bilal bhai, an IT professional from previous career is married to Sharmina, who is a doctor by training. Sharmina told me her husband had always had a penchant for cooking and the lack of desi food options in town gave him the impetus to start a catering business almost 16 years ago. The couple has successfully been running Chilli Pepper Catering since 2005. Three and a half years ago they opened Jimmy’s Big Burger, now called Jimmy’s Burgers & Grill. Originally meant to target fusion food fans rather than hard core desi foodies, Jimmy’s clientele ultimately (and naturally) adjusted to 80% desis! In response, they have introduced some traditional Pakistani and Indian dishes to satisfy the sub-continent palates although they still maintain burgers as their main offering. The burgers are a variety in their own with a hint of flavors from different food styles. Alamo: a cheese burger: Del Rio a version of Animal style called Junglee in Jimmy’s world, Ferris: chipotle cheeseburger to name a few. Then they have chicken burgers like Mineola, Naples, Kirby. Their menu has gyros, chicken wings, tenders, quesadillas, salads and Philly subs. The appetizers are an assortment of desi and non-desi foods of samosas, jalepeno cheese fries (my favorite). The new menu also carries their popular biryani and all-time favorite haleem. As you can see their menu is designed to suit variety of taste buds – so to all my non-desi readers, Jimmy’s is conveniently located on Independence and Spring Creek in Plano. The joint serves these delish regulars from 10:30 am to 10:00 pm on Mon-Thurs and Sundays and till midnight on Saturdays. Do come over for a fun culinary adventure – you will not regret it!
In closing: Jimmy’s Burger & Grill, thanks so much for bringing the taste from the heart of our mother country for our special meal times here in Dallas. And I cannot conclude this post without the congratulatory complements that Dinifi so deserves. Good food is worth the wait but in this day and age, long lines can become an aversion to trying out good things. Upload the app here to improve your dining experience.
Side Note for my non-desi readers: Desi is an Urdu/ Hindi/ Punjabi word that has two meanings: native (indigenous) and pure (simple and provincial), but as the literary irony has it, the term has been pleasantly confused and mutually adapted by people of subcontinent (mainly Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka) to refer to those of us who are living abroad.