I promised myself I wouldn’t review anything until this blog became it’s own. However, this is pretty epic, so for Little Jimmie, I am making an exception.
Most of the business in Mt. Airy is from the locals and among the locals, one name rings bells – Little Jimmie!!! His first business, a quaint little bakery/coffee shop set on the hallowed grounds of the former St. Michaels Lutheran church has done exactly what a business as such should do – it serves as a gathering place for the community.
I have to admit, I fell in love with Jimmie the minute I set eyes on him. Not because I love cakes, scones, cookies, and he is the producer of some of the most decadent pastries I’ve ever paired with a cuppa, but because he looks like everything he is – sweet, nice, and hospitable with flavor. His light Southern drawl teases your palette bringing an anxiety to your taste buds that only someone from the south can appease through doing what they are known for doing in the kitchen. Jimmie makes me think of Nana’s humble beginnings in rural Beckly, West Virginia when flour, sugar and water were staples in the nook.
As much as I would like to go into Jimmie and his background, this post is meant to let everyone in Philadelphia know that there is Soul Food being served at Little Jimmie’s Bake House. The Bake House is his 3rd venture, that I know of, after Poquito Jimmie’s (which was his attempt to introduce Mexican cuisine to the neighborhood) fizzled out, to my dismay. The Bake House is what you would consider his flagship location. This is where he bakes the best of the best stuff he can bake. It is here where everything is visually merchandised, not with the hopes to gouge your pockets, but to highlight his gifts that he has shared with this community for at least 4 years. It is in this location, where he touched my heart, letting me know he was expanding his coffee operation to include roasting. IF ANY OF YOU DO NOT KNOW, I AM THEEEEEE COFFEE SNOB, so you must know when he told me he was going to be roasting, I was convinced he had outdone himself.
No … actually he had not outdone himself. His coffee program has been well underway for at least a year and I thought it was over. But then, my mom, a friend of his said, “Hey, Jimmie is serving hot food.” I said, “Oh yeah.” I was excited, but I thought he was going to be selling what he used to make at his Mexican Spot, because he has done that from time to time. But then, I walked in and it was a Soul Food Situation.
If you ask me, the Soul Food market in Philadelphia is kind of poor. If you find a soul food restaurant, it is very expensive and the portions absolutely suck. Or if you find a soul food restaurant where the prices are reasonable, the business is often bad and/or the food is not up to par. Little Jimmie’s Bake House, in a short period of time isn’t just an establishment, but by being connected to Little Jimmie, it is established. He is a man who, besides baking and whipping up really great things to eat, has experience in restaurant management at the retail level. This means that you never have to worry about his business being bad; he knows how to run a store. If you know anything about business owners … well good business owners … you know they genuinely care about the money that you spend with them. I promise you that you will not be disappointed at The Bake House.
I walked in and was in awe. He had pot roast, okra, baked rosemary chicken, baked macaroni and cheese, string beans, a vegetable medley, meatloaf, and I am sure I saw pork chops. All of his cakes, cookies, pies, and buns were beautifully in attendance. He had samples, too. Locals came in and out because everyone heard he was going to be doing this Soul Food from now on and he said, “The reception has been great!” Of course you know I wasn’t going a damned place without taking a few pictures and a plate.
I chose Rosemary Chicken, his baked macaroni and cheese and some string beans. I got all of that for under $10. Well, let’s just call it $10 because the total was just over $9.70. I haven’t had soul food in Philly for under $12.
When you see Jimmie, you are going to understand why I am not going to bother describing how good the food was. When you see his business, when you hear how he speaks, when you see him, you already know you are in good hands. I could sit here and tell you how rich his macaroni and cheese was and that I am sure he is sourcing high quality ingredients for his recipes. I could sit here and tell you to notice that his Rosemary chicken are full breasts and not the cheap quarter legs that most restaurants use. I could tell you that the smokiness of the string beans will make you think he got somebody’s Great-great grandmother, from the bayou, locked up in his kitchen where he commands her to cook at his will, but I won’t. I think you all should just trust me on this.
Whenever you make it to meet Little Jimmie, be sure to let him know it was a review on EBSHAB (Every Bitch Should Have a Blog) that swayed you. The smile that you’ll receive in return will be priceless.
Thanks for reading.