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Sep 4, 2006 07:33 PM

Chicken Fried Steak- Jim's Coffee Shop, Alameda

Finally satisfied the craving! Thank you to chowhounds for the recommendation.

Restaurant was crowded at 10AM, but it was Labor Day. Seated within 5 minutes, service was prompt, with water and coffee being poured frequently.

I ordered the chicken fried steak, which came with three eggs, choice of hash browns, country potatoes, or fresh fruit, and choice of toast (wheat, white, sourdough, rye). I opted for 3 poached eggs, hash browns, and wheat toast. Egg beaters and dietary syrup are offered at no extra charge- a nice touch.

Food arrived quickly, and it was quite a large meal! Thick piece of chicken fried steak which was nicely seasoned and still juicy inside. (Sometimes I find thin chicken fried steak dry and tasteless.) It was smothered in a really thick cream gravy which had chunks of breakfast links in it. The flavor was kind of bland, but perked up with some pepper. The cream congealed toward the end, so I would have preferred something slightly thinner.

Everyone here seems to order hash browns, and I was glad I did. Nothing spectacular, but a nice crust on top and bottom, cooked all the way through. It's amazing sometimes how hard it is to get something this simple right.

I regretted getting poached eggs, it's kind of hard to eat them with the rest of what I ordered. It was served in a separate little dish. Should have stuck to scrambled or fried. The eggs were warm and yolks bright and runny, but didn't add much to the dish.

Toast was of course unremarkable- but the nice thing is that they bring the toast after your entree, so that it's nice and hot. It's served buttered and there are Smucker's jam packets on the table.

My breakfast was $8.35. The price listed on their website is incorrect ($7.25). I could only eat about 1/3 before feeling my arteries clogging, but now I have a nice full box of leftovers.

They have tons of specials for breakfast and for other meals. Nice large dining room with free parking lot, friendly and efficient service. I find their food much better than Ole's Waffle House a few blocks down on Park St, especially non-breakfast items.

Breakfast served all day, lunch until 5, dinner after 5PM

2333 Lincoln Ave
Alameda, CA 94501

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    1. To each of us his/her own poison, I suppose.

      And, coincidentally, around the corner from Jim's, there
      is a new vegetarian restaurant in the process of opening,
      "Central Vegetarian Restaurant."
      A possible refuge for Alameda's cholesterol-ravaged hoardes?
      Not me, I'll be sopping sausage gravy and biscuits at Jim's.

      2 Replies
      1. re: alameda fats

        It appears "Central Vegetarian Restaurant" is going to serve Asian/Buddhist vegetarian food. At least, all the names on the posted permits are Vietnamese, and the lettering of the sign is what I think of as "Chinese restaurant font." I for one am looking forward to checking it out.

        I want to like Jim's more than I do. I've never had good hashbrowns there, even when I asked for them well-done (they were burned on the bottom and still pasty white on top), and I've found the other offerings to be similarly poorly cooked.

        I think it was better a few years ago before the remodel, when there was a counter where you could watch the short order cooks doing their thing.

        The best hashbrowns in Alameda are at the other end of town, on Webster at Tillie's and Albert's (to get back to the original topic, the chicken fried steak at Albert's was not good).

        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          Have you noticed that all the places that serve CFS have a guy's name in it? Jim's, Albert's, Joe's. Does Tillies serve it?

      2. I was extremely fond of the chicken-fried steak served at
        the old Blue Dolphin in the San Leandro Marina. It was
        available for lunch only on Tuesdays, and had an ethereal,
        light, greaseless crust, and that magical, bechamel-like bacony cream gravy that only Southern cooks seem to master.

        Another Alameda-area classic was the breaded veal cutlet in cream gravy with hash browns served to go at the legendary,
        late, great Lola's. It had a true Southern chicken-fried sensibility.

        I've heard that Mcgee's in Alameda does a relatively good
        chicken-fried steak. Haven't tried it yet, still on a low-fat
        diet. Yuk.

        1 Reply
        1. re: alameda fats

          If there's anything edible coming out of the kitchen at McGee's, that's a real news flash. Although it's been so long since I gave it another chance, maybe they've improved.