The next time you have a hankering for a really good meal and you don’t know what you want, give Fat Jimmy’s BBQ, in New Castle a look! Located at 2612 New Butler Road, New Castle, Pa, (724-598-3500), it has been owned by Kathy Davis since 2008.
During the 50’s and 60’s this building housed an ice-cream stand that also served hot dogs, hamburgers and pizza burgers which are unique to New Castle.
Do you enjoy a menu that lists alligator, frogs legs, pig wings as options? Maybe you’re in the mood for slow-roasted pulled pork, fire-grilled shrimp, fresh-cut fries or one of the best burgers you’ll ever find. You might also be looking for an old fashioned diner where you sit at the counter and watch the cooks move meats and buns expertly around the flat-top grill, laughing with their coworkers, assembling the plate, wiping the edge for a nice presentation. If so, Fat Jimmy’s won’t disappoint.
We have tried many items on the menu and return for the pig wings, burgers, New Castle Cheese Steak and fresh-cut fries. The pig wings are pork shanks, slow roasted and finished with their slightly sweet and tangy BBQ sauce, accompanied by beer battered onion rings, and you’ve got a great meal. The New Castle Cheese Steak is made from thin slices of raw beef, tossed on the grill and chopped. It’s topped with grilled onions and grated Swiss cheese, then enclosed in a grilled hoagie roll. The flavors roll around as you take the first bite and realize: bliss! this ain’t your average steak sandwich, it’s real beef, not that processed stuff.
When we went for lunch recently I had the Bad Ass Bones dinner of 1/3 rack of baby-back ribs, six wild wings and coleslaw. The ribs had that required red tinge on the meat and were so tender, slathered in their BBQ sauce, mildly sweet and tangy. The wings were coated in their version of Louisiana Lickers, my favorite wing sauce. This was a great meal combination with creamy coleslaw and icy root beer for a drink.
Denny had the bacon- cheddar- jalapeno- single burger. What a grouping of flavors blending so perfectly on that grilled bun, the burger cooked just right, and served with fresh-cut fries. It’s quite a show sitting at the counter and watching all the meals come together on the flat top, being assembled, finished and taken away to waiting customers.
Our server was Jess who remembers us and sets down two Barq root beers before we order.
We watched as the Big Nick was prepared: 2 ½# patties of beef with bacon, swiss, pickle, lettuce, 3 beer-batteredonion rings, and mayo was prepared. That thing was huge!
We generally go on Sunday, but understand that they close at 2:00 pm on Sunday so you have to go early for lunch. Better yet, go for their breakfasts which feature their own biscuits and gravy, country-fried steak and eggs, pulled pork hash and eggs, real corn beef hash and eggs, a variety of pancakes which include stone-ground buckwheat, buttermilk, or Johnny cakes. Not your average breakfast menu.
One of the servers wore the best cancer awareness tee shirt I’ve ever seen.
After all that food, wander on down New Butler Road to McConnells Mill State Park (http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/findapark/mcconnellsmill/). A really lovely park of the rushing Slippery Rock Creek, massive boulders, tall pines and hardwoods. You can walk off your meal and enjoy this park, so close to Youngstown, and still pristine. We played here as children, learning to swim in icy Slippery Rock Creek and fish for trout.
Another pretty park is Moraine State Park (http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/findapark/moraine/) where you can walk miles on trails or bring your sailboat and mingle with the sailors from Pittsburgh. My father worked as a volunteer at this park for many years, building pavilions and planting trees.
Movie recommendation: Princess Bride
Eat well and be kind!
Lee and Denny