(Photo: SCOTT WHEELER/THE LEDGER)
CUISINE AND ATMOSPHERE: Jimbo's is celebrating its 50th year in the barbecue business and could use a bit of a facelift. The bench-style tables are refinished and shiny, but there's a certain drab quality to the interior. Old bottles and knickknacks line the perimeter. There have been a few changes to the interior in the 40 years that our superb waitress Evelyn has worked there, including a new floor.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: The ribs at Jimbo's are tremendous, and so is the sauce. You get four in a lunch order and five for dinner, which doesn't sound like much. But these are big, meaty ribs. Five at Jimbo's is like 10 at a lot of places. And they're just plain delicious. Same goes for the tasty barbecued chicken, which is cooked just right. Jimbo's pit leaves the right amount of moisture in the chicken. This chicken would be hard to beat -- by anybody. Meals come with hush puppies that were delicious. The sides are perfect, too: potato salad, coleslaw and barbecue beans. The green beans are also way above par. They're cooked in a buttery sauce that can't be good for you, but it sure does taste good. The apple pie topped with cider sauce is also wonderful.
WHAT'S NEW: Not too much. Jimbo's began serving a chopped chicken salad about a year ago.
PRICES: Sandwiches for less than $5. Barbecue plates from $7.45 to $11.95. Steak or a shrimp plate for $10.95.
Jimbo's Pit Bar B-Q
1215 E. Memorial Blvd., Lakeland, 863-683-3777
Open 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Saturday and 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday
AMBIENCE: 3 stars
FOOD: 4 stars
SERVICE: 4 stars