It seems like a right of passage for any Ann Arbor, Michigan food writer to weigh in on Krazy Jim’s Blimpy Burger. The Road Food folks wrote a review and Guy Fieri of the food network film part of his show there. In fact there is a big poster signed by Guy near the grill. It was only a matter of time until I ventured in.
The first thing you notice is the overgrown vegetation blocking out the sign. I had to move some plants out of the way to get this picture. Basically, if you can’t read the sign, and do not already know where the place is, Krazy Jim does not seem to be worried.
The place is pretty small, with seating for about 20-25 people and some outdoor seating. Ordering is from the grill counter where you tell the cook what you want. The first question is if you want anything from the frier. I passed this time, but like Kosmo’s Deli in Kerrytown, Krazy Jim’s is a fried food lovers paradise. Krazy offers a range of fried veggies from onion rings, zucchini, broccoli to potato fries. I saw some of the the onion rings orders and they were impressive.
The big appeal of the place is the range of toppings for your burger. The blimpy burger web site claims 2,147,483,648 possible burger combination. The first thing you need to do is tell the cook the number of burgers. I ordered two, double burgers. The patties are not huge, and two patties make less then a 1/4 pound of meat. The cook throws four meat ball looking burgers on the grill, and ask what type of bread. They have several bun varieties to choose. There is plain, onion, kaiser and more that I forget. Then there are toppings from the grill, like grilled onions, mushrooms, bacon, and even hard salami. I choose the hard the salami to be different. Like the picture says, cheese comes later.
You wait on line pushing your tray forward and watch your burger being cooked. It has a gritty, kind of Top Chef aspect with watching your burger being cooked. The cook eventually, smashes the meat ball into a flat paddy. The burgers are all freshly ground on premisses, which makes all of the difference.
Eventually, you move up to your place in line and the cook ask for your cheese preference. I order swiss for my burger with salami and cheddar for my second for a traditional, but they also offer blue cheese, feta, american, and provolone. I am a plan burger guy, so a lot of the toppings are lost on me.
I get my burgers with mustard and pickles to finish and some onions for the salami burger. They have hot sauce, steak sauce, and malt vinegar on the tables. I grab for the vinegar for my salami burger to create a sort of Italian sub sandwich burger theme. The burgers are great. In fact they are some of the best burgers I ever had. The fresh grinding gives them a crumply texture which is juicy and flavorful. If you are a burger fan, and coming to Ann Arbor, make sure you get to Krazy Jim’s.