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Jim's Burger Haven, is it really all that?

I now pass this place everyday on the way to and from work, it seems like time has passed it buy and looks pretty beat up. But, How is the food ? I realize looks can be deceiving.

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  1. I posted the following a couple weeks ago:

    "After driving around the Highlands and realizing how seasonal many of the places there are, we decided to head up 36 to try Jim's. The vintage roadsign is wonderful. The burgers were quite good in the sense that they remind you of what McDonalds was like when you were a child. The atmosphere is depressing and the place is past funky, almost downright dirty. Takeout only for us should we ever be in the neighborhood again."

    3 Replies
    1. re: MGZ

      It is what it is?It's not a place I frequent but i have tried it once in the past for a burger and t was not to my liking.I recently went again and gave it a shot with a shrimp platter.Again I was dissapointed.The upkeep of the exterior should be a good indication of what to expect inside.However,as this place survives (and thrives ?) my curiosity got the better of me,and I was hoping for a diamond in the rough - it's the kind of place I "Want to like",but it's not to be.
      My go- to place for dogs was always Mr Dees in Parlin (cnr Ernstone rd ) when it was still owned and run by the three Italian DiRisi brothers after thier Father passed away.They used the snappy Sabbrets dogs.They sold the place a few years back and from what I gather it has declined?I have yet to find any place that comes even close for a chilli dog.Warm fresh buns,spicy (quality) home made chilli,and a fresh snap dog.They did a brisk business,so the dogs never sat it the water too long.

      1. re: xny556cip

        While Dee's has been downhill ever since they built the building and sold the business, it still has a pretty good dog.

        1. re: RPMcMurphy

          Dee's has been gone for more than a year.

    2. Jim's Burger Haven has its fans and detractors on this board. I am a fan. Read my notes and decide if it's for you.

      Great burgers! Patties are fresh, not frozen. This is a fast-food style burger, made with a pre-formed patty, grilled on a steel plate. I recommend a double burger. Better yet, a double burger with bacon. Wrapped in wax-paper and oozing some grease.
      Good hot dogs. They use Best Brand dogs.

      Go here for burgers and dogs. Especially when owner Nick is at the grill, which is most of the time.

      The french fries are merely adequate.

      Jims' Burger Haven is NOT:
      - This is not a glittering clean place. This is a dimly-lit run-down old place with hand-lettered signs and grime in the corners. Lots of vintage 1980s orange plastic. I think the place has character. I do take-out. If cleanliness and bright lighting is your top priority, there are plenty of burger chains in the area.
      - Not a pub. You will not get a hand-formed char-broiled 10oz burger on an artisan roll.
      - Not a full-menu restaurant. They have an expanded menu, probably wanting to increase business. Resist the urge to order fried clams, chicken soup, breakfast pastries, etc. Not a good idea. Stick with burgers and dogs. Breakfast sandwiches are usually good.

      -----
      Jim's Burger Haven
      1215 State Route 36, Hazlet, NJ

      3 Replies
      1. re: val ann c

        usually not my style to mention but v.a.c. you're my go-to ch hands down.
        I've also had good/not so good meals at Jim's BH but I'm a pushover for estalishments still 'rockin' and this "joint" fits the bill. For dogs I head to Keyport. JBH for the double w/bacon.

        1. re: HillJ

          Thanks HillJ. Where are you getting hot dogs in Keyport? I heard Ricci D's was closed.

          1. re: val ann c

            val, last hot dog was at the corner pub off the main drag. might have been on special but with kraut, roasted russets and sharp mustard it was heaven (sans bun) that day.

      2. You guys really seem to be in touch, with the area. I just moved here and I am always looking for a good haunt and will travel for some to. I have heard about a place in Port Monmouth for Italian Hot Dogs? also what about the seafood off the boats in Belford, its right down the street. There is a nice little lunchonette in the Junction, "Sissy's Place" for Breakfast and Lunch, very homey and good.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Milkfacebstrd2

          The hot dog place is Jersey Joe's. It's on the corner of Port Monmouth Rd. & Wilson Ave, right across the street from the bay. I always thought that it was Belford, but it might be Port Monmouth. It's about a mile west of the Belford Co-op.

          1. re: DrewBB

            Jersey Joe's web site
            http://jjoes.com/

            Get lunch, drive to the park across the street, and look out at the beautiful view of the bay.

        2. Everyone seems to love the double, my favorite is a tie between the 'Superburger', and the 'Big Jim'. The Big Jim is thier rendition of a big mac, while the Super Burger is akin to a whopper - only both are better. Jim's used to be a Burger Chef, probably about 35-40 years ago. I know Burger Chef was a chain, but I only know of one other location, which was in Barnaget. I believe that location is also an independant burger restaurant too, although I don't know for sure.

          4 Replies
          1. re: DrewBB

            Drew - Apparently there were approx. 33 BC locations in South Jersey according to this site. http://members.aol.com/jsf605213/page...
            How about those Shef Burgers? Too bad they were before my time.

            1. re: bgut1

              Wow! Thanks for that link bgut1. I guess that my beloved Big Jim burger, is the decendant of the Big Shef. When Jim's was Burger Chef, I was only into the plain burgers, it actually predated my love of raw onion on a burger! On a sadder note Jim's days are numbered, amid constant rumors of a White Castle opening right next door, which is apparently true, I have heard sale is imminent.

              1. re: DrewBB

                Stopped at Jim's today for a Superburger & some fries. It was great! Like a Whopper but much much better.
                Tried to take it down to the new Keyport bulkhead to enjoy the niceish weather today. With all the money they spent, they didn't bother to install any benches...so I ate in the car.

                I will definitey go back to Jim's soon.

            2. re: DrewBB

              There was at least one location in Rockville, MD, late '60s.

            3. i hear jims just got sold and will be closing soon. is this true?

              1 Reply
              1. re: dasoccerguy07

                Does anybody remember Wetsons,Airport plaza ?

              2. I heard the White Castle deal fell through b/c Hazlet would approve the project, I agree about Jim's Burger Haven, I think you have to grow up with it to love it. I had it once or twice and it's ok. the white paper is fun. Some rave about Chil Dogs. I talk to a lady that grew up in CA, never had a White Castle, when she finally did she didn't like em. Everything she said about them was true she just didn't appreciate the taste

                1. a little update. i just confirmed this place is closing in october. apparently the owner is retiring

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: dasoccerguy07

                    I heard that Jim's will close on Oct. 22nd. There will be an auto parts store going there.

                    1. re: debbie173nj

                      Jim's closed last Wednesday Oct 21st. My wife and I went there for one last bacon, egg, and cheese. There will be an AutoZone in it's place. Really sucks!

                  2. I was hired there in 1978 for my first "real" job......Had a blast and met some pretty girls......Sandy!!

                    2 Replies
                      1. re: thebigstew

                        Not sure what year but my Mom used to take us there in the 60's when it was Burger Chef. When Burger Chef went under...Big Jim, who was the franchise owner changed the name to Jim's Burger Haven. Jim was a nice older Greek guy. A really good guy that I enjoyed working for.