‘The road I love’
By JOSIE RABBITT
SENECA — While Jimmy’s Family Restaurant has been under new ownership for the past six months, many of the favorite items on the menu have remained the same.
Co-owners Saul Ramos and his fiancée, Terri Ramsey, said they “have kept the traditional menu items — including all-day breakfasts and other classic staples — the same.”
“Why change something that is working?” Ramos said. “Together, we made the decision to keep all the items our regular customers love, which was a majority of the breakfast foods. We’ve added our own dishes to it, of course.”
Ramos, who graduated from culinary school in Puerto Rico, worked in various restaurants as a chef and dabbled in the “fine dining” industry of country clubs in New York for more than 25 years.
Ramos started working as a chef at Jimmy’s five years ago, right around the time Ramsey was working as a manager and server at the restaurant.
“We’ve both been given the opportunities to work in other restaurants and even other businesses, but this is what we love,” Ramsey said. “We love to cook and serve and talk to folks.”
In February, after five years working together at Jimmy’s, Ramos and Ramsey were presented with the opportunity to purchase the family restaurant from its previous owner.
“When I heard about that chance, I was already in talks with another company about a job,” Ramos said. “I chose Jimmy’s because it’s the road I love. My passion is cooking and, though it was a hard choice to make, I took the initiative to follow my heart, because that’s where I’d be most happy and useful to others.”
Ramsey attributes her fiancé’s vision to his heart.
“He has a love for what comes out of the kitchen,” Ramsey said.
Ramos, who uses his culinary school background and seven years of experience as a chef in the Upstate, said he created signature dishes that cause “even the regulars, who know what they want, to switch it up sometimes.”
“I thought it might be nice to add a little Italian flair to our menu so I added the meatball parmesan sub,” Ramos said. “I make the meatballs and roll them right here in our kitchen.”
Ramos’ creative addition of Italian life to Jimmy’s menu is evident in the items that are a staple and testament to Italy. Homemade lasagna, baked ziti, spaghetti and meatballs, as well as chicken alfredo and chicken parmesan are all plates that leave customers with a little taste of Italy.
The sandwiches, which range from $4.90 egg sandwiches to $7 country ham sandwiches, include a variety of condiments, toppings, French fries and a side of slaw.
Triple-decker club subs range from $7.40 for a turkey club to the six-ounce beef patty Texas club for $7.85. All triple-decker clubs are served on three pieces of Texas toast. Other menu items include a range of salads, hot sandwiches with mashed potatoes and slaw, seafood with sides, and country platters.
Jimmy’s specials, which appeal to the Sunday crowd as well as the regulars, are big breakfast plates like the S.S. Monte Cristo served with hash browns, the Heavenly Hash Browns served on toast, or the classic choice of two pancakes or a waffle plus two eggs and a side of bacon or sausage.
Jimmy’s newest special is the reasonably-priced special French toast served with two eggs and a side of bacon or sausage.
Omelets, buttermilk pancakes, waffles, biscuits and eggs benedicts are continually created special to each order and are available for an affordable price. Nothing on the breakfast menu exceeds $9.
Jimmy’s Family Restaurant is heavily involved in supporting the local community.
“We host a variety of groups here and have a back room people can rent out for parties or meetings as well,” Ramos said. “We support the Toys for Tots, Marines, several retired postal workers and veterans associations, and we always have that day’s local news page pinned to our bulletin where people can read it.”
The back room, which seats 65 people, can be held on a deposit of $150 for any event. The room is spacious enough for meetings and all types of parties from business to birthday.
“We are proud to host a coffee club on the first of every month,” Ramsey said, speaking about Jimmy’s community involvement. “We know people by name here.”
Jimmy’s Family Restaurant is kid-friendly with a standby cutout of a chef that children can take pictures with and a kid-friendly menu for those 10 years old and younger.
“Regulars, families, retirees, and newcomers are all welcome at Jimmy’s anytime,” Ramsey said.
“I think the community has fallen in love with what we’re trying to do here,” Ramos said. “We feel really blessed to be a part of the Upstate and we hope to serve the people here for many years to come.”
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