Da bears are back! The one - the only - good thing about snow is that today's Frugal Floozie Friday feature, Krazy Jim's Blimpy Burger, builds snow bears in front of the restaurant each winter, taking the dreaded white stuff and turning it into something wonderful and fun. How could we not visit - and love - a place that's been featured on the Food Network's "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" and which bills itself as "cheaper than food"?
Craig, Jeremy, and I enjoyed a great, greasy meal at Blimpy Burger recently, reveling in fabulous comfort food. There are so many items on the menu that meet our $5 per person budget that it was hard to choose among them.
But then, choosing is always difficult at this place. You get to select how many patties you want (2-5), what kind of cheese and roll (4 and 6 options, respectively), whether you want any grilled items (9 choices), and then top it all off with condiments (an even dozen). Some mathematical wizard has determined that there are 2,147,483,648 possible combinations.
There is a very precise regimen for ordering at Blimpy Burger, to facilitate efficiency: pick up a tray, order the type of bun and number of patties when asked, order grilled items (fries, deep-fried vegetables, etc.), then move on down the line 'til you're asked about toppings. Heaven forbid if you violate the rule about not using your cell phone while proceeding along the assembly line. Nearly everyone who's eaten there in its 60 years has a story about being chastised for one misdeed or another!
We followed all of the protocols, received very friendly service, and then sat down to our dinner. For $4.90, Jeremy ordered a quad - 4 flattened patties - topped with blue cheese, ketchup, and mayonnaise, served on a regular bun. Cheese and the dozen aforementioned condiments are included in the price; but a kaiser, onion, or pumpernickel roll would have cost an extra 65 cents.
I also ordered a double with cheese - Swiss - and I had debated adding blue, as well, which would not have cost anything extra. I added mayonnaise, pickles, lettuce, and tomatoes, deluding myself that I was eating my vegetables and thus ingesting at least a tidbit of nutrition. The regular order of french fries cost only $1.85, so my burger and side dish together came in at less than our mandatory $5 budget. (And if you're feeling particularly indulgent, you can satisfy your junk food cravings with a basket of chili cheese fries for $4.61, no burger needed.)
Vegetarians can even find a guilty pleasure at Blimpy Burger, where they can enjoy the regular-sized fried Mixed Veggie "Feast from the Deep" for $3.45 or the Ultimate Cheese Sandwich for $4.30 ("Five Cheeses & Grilled Egg With Onion and Peppers On An Onion Roll"); there are also salads, for those with noble intentions. Everyone will like the brownies, the cookies, and the assortment of specialty sodas.
A long-time institution, Blimpy Burger offers a great meal of ol'-fashioned "greasy spoon" delicacies for exceptional prices. And although I loathe the snow, I have to admit it's good to have the snow bears back where they belong!
Krazy Jim's Blimpy Burger
551 South Division
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Monday - Saturday: 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Sunday: 12 - 8 p.m.
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