Review: Jimmy's Steer House, Arlington
Some restaurants get a bum rap because they lack the flashiness and trendiness that many consider a must when choosing where to eat. And while Jimmy's Steer House in Arlington is often overlooked for this very reason, it remains an incredibly popular place, doing more business in one week than many restaurants do in a month (or more).
I used to go to Jimmy's Steer House quite often growing up, but hadn't been back to this spot in years. This weekend marked a trip back there, however, as a large group of us decided to have a late lunch (or perhaps an early dinner?) there. And unsurprisingly, the place hasn't changed much at all. Yes, they now have a bar area, and sure, some modern touches have been added. But Jimmy's Steer House remains a comfortable old restaurant favored by retirees and families, as well as couples looking for a quiet and reasonably priced place for a meal.
Jimmy's is separated into three areas, with the section on the left including a bar as well as a few booths. In the back is a fairly small room with a handful of booths and tables. The main area is all booths, including some that can fit big groups. Carpeting, vinyl seats, and wooden tables are found throughout, as well as lighting that is warm and not too harsh.
We started out with appetizers (chicken fingers, potato skins, mozzarella sticks) and basic salads that were heavy on the iceberg lettuce. The main entrees soon came out, including a marvelous 12-ounce steak teriyaki that had very little waste and was a steal at about $15.00. Other dishes were similarly good, including the flavorful stuffed chicken messina (chicken stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes, Italian cheeses, and baby spinach), the tender and lean steak tips, and the hearty lobster pie. A few of us somehow had room for dessert, with the rich and delicious brownie sundae standing out. Service was about as good as you will find anywhere, as our waitress was on the ball from start to finish, and the total price was more than reasonable.
I have to say that Jimmy's Steer House impressed me more than Frank's in North Cambridge, another old-school steakhouse that I enjoy going to every now and then. The dishes seemed a little better overall, and the prices really were quite good. It may not match up to the high-end steakhouses in downtown Boston, but there is definitely a reason why Jimmy's has lines out the door day after day.
The address for Jimmy's Steer House is 1111 Massachusetts Avenue in Arlington. The phone number is (781) 646-4450.