Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q
I was excited to see the new barbecue restaurant opening near my home- Jim ‘N Nick’s. It seems like the built it in no time once they broke ground. I visited it for the first time last week, with mixed reviews.
The atmosphere was extremely nice and it seemed much nicer from a design perspective than most barbecue restaurants. After looking the menu over, I noticed that they are actually a chain. Most of their 23 locations are in the Southeast - this is their first in North Carolina. It is located near the corner of South Tryon and Highway 160 - on an outparcel next to Harris Teeter.
The waitress did a very good job. Our drinks did not get empty and she seemed to be around when we needed her. It appeared they had ample waitstaff. Hopefully, this is not just due to the fact that they are new.
First, let me mention their tea. It was very light in color and very weak. Their menu made a big deal of the fact that it was their “Signature Slow Brewed Tea.” I sure hope this was a bad batch because it could be improved upon. It was drinkable though - unlike some places.
They bring you a basket of what the waitress called “Cheddar Biscuits.” These did not resemble anything I have ever known to be a biscuit. They were more like corn muffins with cheese. Regardless of what they called them, they were hot and fantastic. I could have eaten an entire meal just on the “Cheddar Biscuits.”
I was a bit disappointed when I saw the Barbecue being delivered to tables smothered in sauce. The thing that comes to mind is what are they hiding with the sauce. Good barbecue does not require sauce - altough it is sometimes a nice compliment. To use a quote I hear a lot on the Food Channel - “Sauce hides things.” I immediately told the waitress that I wanted my sauce on the side so that I could truly judge the quality of the barbecue.
The barbecue was good but still not the great barbecue that I have grown to enjoy over the years. I tried the sauce. The regular sauce was nothing to write home about. They had a Habenero Hot and Spicy Sauce on the table which was great. I may have to get me some of this to use at home. It was hot - and it was Spicy - although not as hot as habenero usually is. This was a good thing since they have the sauce sitting on the tables.
The baked beans were good, but kind of different than what I expected. They had some sort of pepper in them that made them spicier than normal.
The slaw was pathetic. It was basically cabbage salad. It was not grated at all. There were large chunks of cabbage sitting in a pool of white liquid in the bowl. I suggest they spend 30 second longer on each batch of slaw to grate it and blend it well.
On another note, there was no border between smoking and non-smoking. Given the numerous studies related to higher revenues in non-smoking restaurants, I am not sure why a new restaurant would even have a smoking section. When selecting your table, be sure to request to sit far away from smoking if you do not wish to be bothered by the stinch.
They have lots of items besides BBQ pork - including an assortment of sandwiches, burgers, salads, brisket, chicken, turkey, pork hot links, ribs, steaks and much more. The one thing I did notice on most all items is that their prices were about $2 to $5 higher on each item than your typical barbecue restaurant. For instance, a pulled pork Bar-B-Q plate was $13.50, and hand pulled pork Bar-B-Q sandwich was $8.50…..and so on.
As far as what I had, I rate them as follows (scake if 1-10):
(1) BBQ 6 of 10 (better than average - not great)
(2) “Cheddar Biscuits” - 9
(3) Baked Beans - 7
(4) Slaw - 0 (they didn’t even hit the scale on this one)
(5) Onion Rings 8 - my wife had these, they were exceptional
(6) Tea - 4
(7) Atmosphere - 8
(8) Service - 8