Krazy Jim’s Blimpy Burger
304 S. Ashley St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Hours: Mon-Sat: 11am–9pm
“You’re going to Blimpy?” my seventy-one-year-old father asked on the phone from Nevada. “I used to go to Blimpy,” he finished quietly, his voice full of nostalgia.
It’s true. Krazy Jim’s Blimpy Burger has been serving hungry coeds since 1953. When my dad was a University of Michigan undergrad in the 1960’s, he dined at Blimpy Burger, albeit in its original location on Division. Just last October, after a 14-month hiatus, Blimpy Burger was resurrected in a new location on Ashley.
The new location offers counter seating in the front windows and plenty of tables and chairs, many relocated from the former location. It has a casual and comfortable vibe.
Ordering the right way
There is a right way and a wrong way to order at Blimpy’s. Everyone gets a cafeteria tray and steps up to the counter. Basically, speak when you are spoken to. First, order sides from the fryer, then select your number of patties at the grill, a bun, and last but not least condiments.
I made my husband lead the way. He ordered fried cauliflower and French fries for the kids. I picked fried mushrooms. There are also onion rings, fried zucchini, or mixed vegetables. At the grill, my husband ordered a special edition Blimpy’s: the Pepper Steak Bullet, with three patties, grilled peppers, onions, provolone cheese, and a mixture of scallions, bacon and cracked black pepper with ranch dressing.
My eight-year-old daughter is not a fan of burgers, but she was not interested in Blimpy’s other menu items such as soup, chili, or sandwiches like a BLT. She ordered a single patty, a size only available to kids. Her brother, 11, and I selected two patties each. It was mildly thrilling to watch the cook toss balls of Western ground chuck on the grill and smash them with a spatula. In no time the patties were ready and we were prompted to select cheese and condiments. Both kids got American cheese while I got cheddar. My son added bacon. Folks behind us were adding grilled eggs to their burgers. You can also get items like salami or hot peppers. Next, we selected our buns—regular for us vs. more exotic types like Kaiser or onion. The kids finished with ketchup while I went with mustard, lettuce and tomato.
Unless you get a Special Edition burger or sandwich, everything is ala Carte at Blimpy’s. For example, adding a tomato to my burger costs 25 cents. Still, with sides, burgers and drinks, our bill was less than $40 for the four of us.
Becoming fans at Blimpy’s
The fried mushrooms and cauliflower were yummy. The vegetables tasted juicy inside, which balanced nicely with crispy, fried goodness outside. My husband and I got ranch dressing for dipping, making the veggies even more decadent. The fries and thick-cut steak fries were pleasing to the kids.
“I love it,” my husband declared of his Pepper Steak Bullet. “The beef is good. Juicy. The thing I love the most is the scallions and ranch.”
My son gobbled his burger while flashing thumbs up. I liked the beefy taste of my burger and wanted a third patty so that I tasted less of the bun. And what about my non-burger loving daughter?
“This is pretty good,” she commented. “It’s kinda the best burger I’ve ever tasted. Most burgers I don’t like.”
There were brownies and cookies available for dessert, but we were not tempted as our bellies were too full of Blimpy goodness.
New location? Yes. Same legendary Blimpy taste? For sure.
THE SHORT COURSE
To avoid wait: Weeknights are less crowded than weekends
Noise level: Moderate
Bathroom amenities: There are separate bathrooms for men and women, but no changing tables
High chairs: Yes
Got milk: White and chocolate, plus bottled juice, tea, soda and fountain pop
Kids’ menu: No, but kids can order a single patty for their burgers
Anything healthy for kids: As a sign on the wall says, “We have a low-fat item on the menu. It’s called water.”
Food allergy concerns: They’ll do their best. Peanut oil is not used and they can read labels of products, like buns, if you ask.