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Jimmy's BBQ in Malvern/Frazer?

I see that Jimmy's BBQ is now open. That is in the shopping center with the japanese place, thai place, staples, happy days diner, hilti, etc.

They've been doing catering for several months but now the restaurant is open. Anyone check it out yet?

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  1. My wife and I tried it on Thursday 01/22 for dinner. She had the pulled pork sandwich and I had the spare rib platter. Now for the truth; I'll try them again in 6 months if they are still there but not until then because quite frankly it was not a good experience.

    The pulled pork was cold, dry and a bit too chunky; should have been warm, moist and shredded. The ribs, which I heard on the radio they were calling the best in Chester County, were quite frankly not very good. To me a BBQ rib; and I've eaten in BBQ joints across the country; should be warm, moist, tender and lean. These ribs were cold, dry, Tough and mostly fat. The dry rub was almost tasteless and the ribs tasted more like liquid smoke than BBQ. If they are the best ribs in Chester County then they are the only ribs in Chester County and I don't think that's the case.

    The "platter" came with 2 sides. I chose Mac and cheese and Cole slaw. The Mac and cheese was dry, cold and bland and they forgot the Cole slaw completely. The portion was a joke; I'd say a couple of tablespoons at best. We also got the corn bread and although it was ok, it would have been a lot better if they had butter or something to put on it so it wouldn't have been so dry.

    The BBQ sauce on the tables was sweet enough to put on pancakes. The ambiance was boring at best but then they just opened. The place reeked of smoke as did the food. When we left our cloths and hair were so permeated with the smoke smell we had to go home and shower and change. The only time I want to smell like I just spent the last few hours around the campfire is when I just spent the last few hours around the campfire. Maybe the owners are trying to attract the local fire fighters because the place really did smell like a fire scene.

    On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the best, I'd have to say this place was a 2 and that's only because the restroom was clean.

    There were plenty of paper towels on the tables and the 2 staff members we spoke to were personable. The sink in the dining room for washing your hands has inappropriate handles, too much pressure and the water was very hot. I see someone getting seriously burned if they are not real careful.

    These are trying economic times and a real dicey time to be opening a new eatery, especially one with such a limited menu. If they don't improve the quality of their food real quick I speculate they will be gone by this summer.

    8 Replies
    1. re: rmorrison1116

      Thanks for the honest, but disappointing review. I guess, unless I hear otherwise, I'll skip that place for now

      1. re: rmorrison1116

        Wow, I was waiting a long time for this one to open. I will probably give it a try despite the bad review (if its bad, BBQ heaven at Mabel's is only ten minutes away!) Was the smokey smell Hickory or campfire? I never mind a little hickory!

        1. re: xtownj

          BBQ Heaven at Mabel's 10 minutes away? What/where is this place you speak of? I would so love some good bbq without a long drive! TIA!

          1. re: Mawrter

            downtown West Chester. i think there's even a website...try googling it

            1. re: FriedClamFanatic

              Mabel's is not the real thing. Stick with Jimmy's, just give him a chance to get organized.

              1. re: capricemental

                I think Mabel uses a pressure cooker for her ribs. Not much smokey flavor but the ribs are consistently fresh and tender. Its obvious that she uses good quality meats. I contrast this to some of the 'real' bbqs around that have meat that is old, tough, has strange colors, and is often greasy. If I want good smoked ribs, I do it myself (or drive to Syracuse). If I don't have six hours and I am craving good ribs, I go to Mabel's. If Jimmy's can provide good smoked food that doesn't taste like it was made a few days ago, I'll be a regular.

                Mabel's is on Market St, between Dunkin Donuts and the Great Pumpkin. Give it a try, I think its great. I have also heard good things about her fried chicken although I haven't tried it yet. Its take-out only.


        2. re: rmorrison1116

          Six of us went last night, having read the very positive review in the Inquirer. We were not disappointed. We ordered the smoked bacon appetizer and the chorizo and cheese appetizer. I loved both. The bacon is small bites of very thick bacon and has a wonderful smokey flavor. We ordered ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, and pulled chicken. We would have tried the brisket, too, but they were sold out. The ribs were big and meaty, tender and flavorful. We all thought that the sauce on the table was sweet and needed more "bite", so we grabbed a couple of bottles of tabasco from the counter and that made the sauce perfect for our taste. The pulled chicken was absolutely heavenly and a universal favorite. It has a unique lemony, smokey flavor that knocked our socks off. The pulled pork was good and smokey, but the least favorite of our group. We were stuffed by the time we left. We did bring beer, which was great to wash down all the great food. The help was great and Jimmy himself personable and entertaining. Check out the picture of his catering rig near the cash register. All in all, it was a very worthwhile trip and we will return soon.

        3. We got takeout last night. I was glad we did after my husband noted how smoky it was in there. We'll try them again in a bit, but mostly have to agree with rmorrison1116, although I'd rate it more like a 5 or 6. All the meats we tried had good flavor, but were dry and cool to cold.

          Service was REALLY bad. When we opened the bag at home, 2 of 4 meats were missing. We called to say we were coming back to pick up the other 2, and named them...expecting they would have it wrapped and ready to go when he got there. Not only were they NOT, he had to wait while they heated one selection. A number of things were sold out, but the sides we did get were OK.

          Hopefully things will improve after a few weeks, we really NEED a BBQ place!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Liz K

            I went to Jimmy's last Monday 1/ 26 and it was great. I got the 2 meat meal and choose pulled pork & brisket. I loved them both but the Brisket was fantastic. The baked beans and collard greens we also good. I agree that the BBQ sauce was extremely sweet but I don’t think any is needed.
            As for the smell/ smoke it smelled like hickory, there was no smoke in the restaurant and my clothes did not smell after I left.
            I will be back again & again.

          2. Just returned from my second trip to Jimmy's, last Saturday being the first. Both experiences were good and I would recommend Jimmy's to anyone. Last week I would agree that the mac & cheese was a bit bland, but that has been remedied. The pulled pork was moist and flavorfull as was the brisket, ribs, and chicken. I can't speak to the BBQ sauce because the meat stands on it's own and didn't need it. Give Jimmy's a try - it's the real deal.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Ellymae

              Glad to hear it! We'll get over there soon

              1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                What happened to the reply from Jimmy himself??

                Is that against the rules?

                1. re: Major504

                  Please see our Posting Etiquette: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/367605

                  In particular the section under "FOR RESTAURANT OWNERS, FRIENDS AND OTHER INSIDERS"

                  Since the goal of this board is for sharing chow tips in PA, if there are further queries about site policy/rules, please post them on the Site Talk board (where discussions about the site are posted) or email us at moderators@chowhound.com, so that we can keep this board focused on the chow. Many thanks!

            2. Well, I had a chance to go there this past Saturday (2/7) and couldn't have been more pleased.

              Like Mr. Morrison, I've had the chance (and desire) to visit rib spots across the country, from the "Dreamland" establishment in Birmingham Ala to the "Dinosaur BBQ" reasonably near me in Syracuse. Those places have been up and running for years and are "well oiled" operations but the pork ribs at "Jimmy's" tasted as good as anything at those restaurants.

              My ribs were moist and meaty and nearly fell away from the bone. I can't advise anybody about the sauce in the squeezebottle on the table because in my view the ribs didn't need any help. They are "Memphis style" and so differ from sauce encrusted racks you get at places like Damons. If you like Memphis style, you'll like these.

              I got mine with beans (tangy) and cornbread... I probably would have had the coleslaw instead of the bread, but they were making a fresh batch at the time I ordered.

              The proprietor was walking throughout the seating area greeting me and other diners, and getting feedback about the food so I'd be surprised if any opening day issues still apply.

              The decor is simple but the place is about the food. I'm glad I tried it and reccomend it highly.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Upstate Riblover

                Went to Jimmy's last week for lunch. Took home the Ribs, Pulled Pork and the Brisket. As the Riblover said...these are Memphis style, and they're pretty good. Good smoke, good seasoning. The sauce is on the sweet side, but then everyone likes it and makes it their own way. The pork was also fairly good.....I agree that the portion seemed a bit small. They say it's 8oz. ...but it looked a little light. The Brisket was great...and Brisket is BBQ to me. Again, good smoke, good crust, tender meat.

                We had every side on the menu except the whipped sweets.The beans, greens, slaw and dirty corn were very good. The cornbread, and mac were ok..but again, this was takeout, and that killed the cornbread. They use smoked bacon in the collards...I'm partial to ham hocks, but this was pretty good.

                As far as complaints about the smokey room, lack of decor, or unpolished service.....you've come to the wrong place for the wrong reasons. That's not what this place is for....this is where you come to get BBQ and feed your soul. I'd be disappointed if the place didn't smell of smoke. I'm actually happy to see a small, limited menu.....This guy knows BBQ, and that's what he's here to sell. Selling out of products doesn't bother me much either....usually means your food is fresh, and that it's selling. I don't wanna be the first lunch customer of the day and get last nights leftovers.

                Mabels is ok.....the fried chicken is great. All their sides are seriously oversalted....and I love salt. Their ribs aren't even close to Jimmy's.

                I've heard about another BBQ place in WChester...."Pig'n out" or something like that....any word on this??

              2. Just got back from Jimmy's. Another great meal. The brisket is amazing with real good bark. My wife and kids couldn't stop raving about the pulled pork sandwich. My 17 Y.O. son ate for about 15 minutes until all was gone then ordered another pork sandwich. We could hardly watch him eat, we were so stuffed. Good job Jimmy.

                1 Reply
                1. re: BBCaprice

                  I finally got to Jimmy's and it looks like he is on the right track. The meats all looked fresh and lean. It was a little surprising that the smoke flavor was subtle considering the impressive smoke ring. Maybe he uses more cherry than hickory. The brisket was juicy and tender. My favorite thing that I tried was the whipped sweet potatoes, yum!

                  Overall it was very good, fair prices and generous portions. The smoke smell in the place was hickory. If you smell smoke, it is usually a good thing. I agree that the sauce is too sweet, luckily I had some Wegman's Memphis Style sauce on hand.

                  My only suggestion would be a larger sign on Route 30. If you aren't looking for the place, it may be hard to see. Its tucked behind another building which hides it a little.

                  My one experience with Pig Out was bad. The ribs tasted old, had a grey color and were soaked in grease. I regretted paying for the full rack. Stick with Jimmy's if you like it.

                2. OMG. We so have to go there!

                  1. i went last night , it was great ..got the pulled pork and the brisket..pulled pork was great brisket was tasty but a little dry ...loved the sauce ...beans were amazing ...going back for sure

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: smobron

                      Finally finally made it to Jimmys! I have been to several of the events he catered and was happy to find that the food in the restaurant is just as good. I had the pulled pork platter and there was enough meat for two meals---so tender and flavorful. Also had the mac n cheese and collard greens. The mac n cheese was a little too sweet for my taste but still nice and creamy. I like that he uses smoked bacon for the collards.

                      Definitely going back again. It was great to see the crowds there at lunch too, constant stream of people coming in.

                      1. re: Lola2007

                        I went on Friday with several co-workers and loved it! We were so full that we wanted to take a nap once we got back to work. I had the pulled pork platter with baked beans and cole slaw. Loved the pulled pork and beans! Cole slaw was good but I like creamier slaw better. Really liked the barbeque sauce too. Jimmy came over to our table and talked a while, very nice guy. I smelled like smoke the rest of the day, but that's the price you pay for good barbeque. Try it, you won't be disappointed.

                        1. re: katesprings

                          I happened to be there on Fri as well, just around lunchtime (12:30pm). Interestingly I thought the brisket and pulled pork were dry, while the ribs and chicken which seemed to be still warm from the smoker were delicious and moist.

                          The baby back ribs were the star and had a good coating of dry rub and did not need any sauce, though I did try it and found it to be a little too sweet for my taste, like others have mentioned. Maybe he should offer a range of sauces like BBQ
                          USA does.

                          Collard greens and corn bread were OK (collards could have more depth of flavor) while I did not care much for the coleslaw.

                          Smoky smell the rest of the day is a bonus in my book. I will be back to try more.


                    2. Riding along Rt 30 in Malvern and the pungent smell of hickory and cherry wood came wafting into the car. I was seduced!! So..this afternoon my son & I stopped into Jimmys for some take out. I was early for lunch so there was no crowd. Jimmy was there and promptly introduced himself, what a super guy!! He and I chatted a bit and I was inquisitive about his smoking equipment, which appeared to be the same equipment that one of my favorite BBQs in central Florida uses. It was the same. Even better than Jimmy, was our take out orders. A pulled pork and a brisket sandwich, baked beans, mac & cheese as well as coleslaw & BBQ sauce. I was tormented by the aroma from the bag in the back seat the whole way home, and I do have to admit it was tough showing restraint! Finally home. All was packed in such a way that nothing had to be re-warmed. The brisket was tender and moist and needed no BBQ sauce, but I had to try it. Man, that is some good sauce!! Tasted of molasses and what appeared to be almost a pruney taste.. it is just magnificent. The baked beans were like no other which I had tasted in the past. They really tasted smoked. How'd he do that? (without the beans falling through the grates, lol!!). My wife is the Mac & cheese expert and she gave a big smile & a nod of approval. I liked the Cole slaw, it is southern style and goes very well as a sandwich condiment as well as just eating with a fork. The pulled pork was absolutely as I am used to in the better Florida BBQ places, smoky, tender and just great. I look forward to the next visit which will be an eat in.. and I'm gonna try the ribs, greens, etc. I obviously recommend this place very highly! Eat & enjoy!

                      1. Oh wow. NOW I know what you were all gushing about - we finally went. We ate everything in sight and only wished it was possible to consume more. Ribs, sausage, baked beans, collard greens, mashed sweet potatoes, dirty corn.... I swoon. We'll definitely be regulars.

                        1. After reading the last few posts that were very positive, I went to Jimmy's and was very disappointed. I had the ribs and they were not very tender and not very flavorful. I have had ribs all over the country and these were not good at all. They did have a smoky taste and the smoke ring inside, but they were underseasoned and tough. The people working there were very nice.
                          The macaroni and cheese tasted and looked funny. It was a brown-grey color and I couldn't figure how they got this color.
                          The barbecue sauce was unique and I liked it. It tasted like raisins or prunes and it made the ribs edible. The rib portion was very large, but I couldn't finish it all.
                          The people I went with ordered the chicken and it was juicy and tender.
                          The corn bread was dry and needed salt or some seasoning.

                          1. Just went back. Ribs and sausage. Man am I happy there's good local barbecue now! And reasonable, with great service.

                            1. We went here after seeing it was opened & reading the reviews on this site. We were not dissappointed! It was very good. My husband & I both got the pulled pork platter with 2 sides. I got Mac N Cheese, it was very good & cheesy along with Dirty Corn (this is a cold corn salad, with vinegar very good & refreshing. My husband got sweet potatoes -he enjoyed them and cole slaw, was also very good. You get your money's worth. We had enough pulled pork for at least 3 sandwiches each. Very tasty & the BBQ sauce was very good also.

                              1. Ribs ribs ribs... it's all about the ribs. The sausage is good, too, and we love all the sauces except the vinegar-y one (that one we like but don't love). I love the fact that the sauces have heat but aren't mouth-searing and sweet without being anywhere near cloying. In fact, the first few times I tasted the sauce it didn't even occur to me that there was any sweetness, but it's there. Love the sweet potatoes and the collards. Tried the brisket and the bacon and they're nice, but we love the ribs beyond all reason.

                                1. So we just went back for our 5th visit , the pulled pork is still great , beans excellent. I am really happy that we now have legitimate bbq in the area , it has been crowded each time we have been lately ......I think it is key that Jimmy is always there

                                  1. Visited Jimmy's BBQ tonight. It's the real deal. Very good barbecue all the way around. Slow cooked without the short cuts. Had the pulled chicken and a rack of ribs for the family. Big ups for Jimmy's

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: productionjon

                                      The wife and I are looking for something different tomorrow night so I think we'll give this place a shot as I've been dying for good BBQ. Anyone know if they take reservations?

                                      1. re: mitchh

                                        Its a casual place where you order at the counter. No need for reservations. Have fun and make sure to try the smoked bacon!

                                        1. re: xtownj

                                          Thanks for the info. I'll post a review on Sunday.

                                          1. re: mitchh

                                            Just wanted to post a quick review of Jimmy's.

                                            We got there around 6:45 on Saturday night and the place was empty. One other couple walked in after us, but as we were leaving a few more folks came in.

                                            We were greeted at the counter by Jimmy. He's a very friendly guy who is very proud of his restaurant. We took xtownj's recommendation for the smoked bacon and we were not disappointed in the least. It's definitely not something you can eat all of the time, but it's great once in a blue moon. Very tasty with a great smokey flavor.

                                            Personally I am a big fan of dry rubs and adding sauce on your own so this place is my kind of place. IMO BBQ isn't about meat swimming in sauce to mask what could be subpar meat. The meat is supposed to be the star of BBQ, not sauce. That said I was very impressed with the hot and vinegar sauces that were on the table.

                                            We ordered the brisket and ribs and got the cornbread and mac and cheese for the sides. I can't say that we loved the ribs. They were good, but not great. Personally I'm more of a fan of baby backs (Jimmy explained to me that he uses these ribs to keep the cost down and he likes the extra fat to add flavor). I also wasn't thrilled with the dry rub. It was sort of bland and not enough "char" for my taste. On the other hand, the brisket was PHENOMENAL. It had a great "layer" of char and the meat was so tender.

                                            The cornbread was very good (not too sweet and not too dry) and the mac and cheese was excellent.

                                            If this place knocked me off my feet I'd have no problem driving 30 minutes each way on a regular basis, but I can't say that it did. On the other hand, if I'm in the area and I'm looking for dinner, I'd definitely stop in.