Sunday, May 28, 2006

I'm Challenged

One of my favorite places to eat in Charlottesville when I last lived there was Big Jim's. Big Jim's is a barbecue joint that seems to have a catering contract of some sort with U.Va. Their food is always showing up at various events on Grounds. Their pulled pork barbecue is sticky sweet and delicious, and their cole slaw is pretty good despite the fact that it's way too smooth, like they put it in a food processor. They also have the best baked beans in the universe.

However, my favorite Big Jim's item must not be part of the catering menu. It's the Big Jim Burger. I can't put my finger on what's so special about it, since there are a lot of half-pound hamburgers in the world today, and this one doesn't have any odd toppings or anything (except a huge slice of onion, which is a plus for me). Maybe it's the fact that it's huge and delicious and cheap. Or that I have so many memories of so many Big Jim Burger Platters (with a heap of shoestring fries) eaten around those weird faux-wood tables with Than and Peff and John. Nowadays my appetite is a lot smaller, but when I was 19 I could devour the whole burger and all the fries, along with a crock of beans and a couple of glasses of sweet tea. I'd be lucky to finish the burger now, but I sure would like to try.

I've been back to C'ville many times since I graduated in 2002, but I've never been back to Big Jim's. Because I can't find it. I know it's just off 29N somewhere -- you take a left and then a quick right, and it's right there. I think there might be a Shell station across the street. But 29 is so overwhelming for me now that I can't drive and look for places at the same time, so I haven't managed to find it. Complicating matters is the fact that my townie friends generally took the back way to get there so they didn't have to drive on 29. I have no idea what the back way involved. Have I mentioned that I have no sense of direction?

Upon my triumphant return to C'ville, I'll swallow my pride and consult a map before setting out for Big Jim's. It's worth the struggle.

3 Comments:

Blogger The Medium Swede said...

Like your blog. I totally get the Big Jim Burger thing. It is more about the memories a place or food bring back to you. Good luck in law school.

5/28/06, 11:30 AM  
Blogger Lexi said...

Well, at the LS, you'll get plenty of Big Jims, they get it for EVERY picnic.

6/12/06, 7:15 PM  
Blogger Pigs On the Run BBQ Blog said...

I am always amazed how well Big Jim's is liked. I have had there braised pork ( call BBQ) many times.In fact they have been part of my inspiration for getting started in BBQ competions and my catering business . I would also venture to say that they don't smoke thier pork.
I couldn't believe how much sauce was on that poor pig. I honestly could not identify any other flavor than that sauce. I was truly sad that pig would be sacrifise for a sauce sammich.Even worse people would think it was the best thing since slice bread. Maybe I was like that before I started the BBQ pilgramage.Since I have started doing BBQ competitions, giving classes , lectures , catering and Judging BBQ. things appear different to me. I guess I have lost my innocence.I am glad that Big Jim's is here.!They have stood the "taste" of time. Remember the sauce should not be the "boss" , the pig has a bigger commitment!

1/7/07, 10:23 PM  

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