Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Jerry’s Drive-In, Pensacola

We pass it all the time. Jerry’s BBQ Drive-In. People kept telling us we had to go there, everyone goes there. When we were asking about the best hamburger in Pensacola, the word came back: Jerry’s.

When people tell you about Jerry’s it’s like in Qatar when people tell you “it’s near where Parachute Roundabout used to be,” because it isn’t a drive-in anymore, and they also don’t seem to have a lot of BBQ. Jerry’s IS like a time capsule, you walk in, you wait about 15 minutes for a table at lunch, or you try to find a seat at the counter, and it’s like you’ve walked back into the 1950’s. But it isn’t a theme restaurant, it’s just that nothing has changed. When we looked at the menu, we got a big shock – we don’t even remember prices like these. It would be hard to spend $20 on a lunch for two, unless you toss back a beer or two, and we saw a few people doing that.

It seems like a place where people are known – like people eat there all the time. We heard a many greeted by name. AdventureMan said if he were a widower, he would probably eat there all the time. It looked like the kind of place where you could get a good meal and a kind and friendly greeting.

Service was prompt, efficient, courteous and friendly.

AdventureMan said it was one of the best hamburgers he has ever eaten. He compared it to Red Robin and said it isn’t so big, and it doesn’t look so fancy, but it is the perfect size, perfectly cooked and he thinks it is hand packed, it had a great texture. He ordered it with ‘the works’ and was surprised that ‘the works’ doesn’t include a slice of onion, but it did include lettuce, tomato and pickle.

I had the BLT, which came on toast, with lettuce and tomato, nothing fancy, just a BLT, but a good BLT, generous on the bacon:

We ordered sides of hush puppies, baked beans and cole slaw, so we could see how they compare. Hush puppies were like AdventureMan used to eat when he was a kid, the kind people make at home, no surprises, no corn, no jalepenos, no sugar, just plain hush puppies, exactly in character with this slice-out-of-time. The cole slaw was wonderful. I am not a fan of mayonnaise-y cole slaw, and this one was a little vinegary, just what I love. The baked beans were divine. Not a lot of chunks of anything, just plain beans, baked to melting in a sweet tangy sauce. The best of the ’50’s.

They are undergoing renovations to add more seating room and waiting room – business is good, and they need more space to handle their many loyal customers. At the corner of Perry and Cervantes, in East Pensacola Heights, right at the stoplight. AdventureMan says this is the kind of restaurant they feature in Southern Living magazine, or Garden and Guns, one of the hidden gems of Pensacola.

July 24, 2011 Posted by | Community, Cultural, Customer Service, Eating Out, ExPat Life, Food, Living Conditions, Local Lore, Pensacola | 2 Comments