Monday, September 5, 2011

Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q, N. Charleston, SC

Dieting And BBQ - It Can Be Done


One might say that attempting an outlet mall on a holiday weekend is crazy, and after stopping at Tanger Outlet this weekend, I would agree. The sales were great though and we couldn’t resist.  After we shopped ‘til we dropped, it was time to find a place for lunch – Yahoo!

I must admit that I have started a diet.  I’ve decided that my eating habits could be a lot better and that my waistline could follow suit.  When I was thinking about this I thought, “When is a good time to start a diet?”  This weekend is Labor Day, this week I am also traveling all week on business, next weekend we’re hitting a few restaurants for restaurant week, the following week I have a business luncheon to attend, and then I travel again for another full week, then it’s my birthday, then it’s Thanksgiving, then it’s Christmas, and did I mention New Year’s Eve.  No time like the present to get this diet party started.

Front View Jim 'N Nicks
My husband picked the restaurant for lunch.  Thankfully it wasn’t Five Guys, as that’s too tempting, but running a very close second was Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q just outside of the Tanger Outlets.  Great, just great. I was determined to get in and out of Jim ‘N Nick’s with my diet unscathed.

Entering the building it felt a lot different than the King Street location, which I really like. In doing some research about Jim ‘N Nick’s after our meal I found out that they are a restaurant chain of 27 locations, with their 28th on the way. It felt like a chain restaurant, but the hickory smoke wafting through the building made me think that we were still in the midst of some great ‘Q.

As I glanced over the menu it became difficult to select something that wasn’t going to break the bank of my diet.  I started to veer toward the “grilled” section and asked the bartender a few questions about the menu. 

Inside Jim & Nicks
I was surprised that nowhere in the restaurant can you find any nutritional information about their menu items.  This is required now in several states, (MA, NY, CA to name a few), and is something that’s on the horizon and during this particular lunch, would have been appreciated. 

I asked the bartender if he would recommend the Grilled Catfish or the Grilled Chicken. I was surprised to hear that the Grilled Catfish was one of their largest selling items. It was served to two side dishes, all of which looked terrific – Mac ’n cheese, cole slaw, fries, but my food mouse went for the daily vegetable. Finding out that it was Black Eyed Peas had me go back to the menu for further review.

Our very helpful bartender recommended that I sub a salad for the two sides, which I did, with the salad dressing on the side.  My husband ordered the Pulled Pork Sandwich and I was past envious, but I stayed the course.  The bartender then came back to us and said, “Since you were concerned about calories I was going to put in an order of cheese biscuits for you, but would you like to pass?”  No… but we did.  Did you know their biscuits are award winning? 

Our lunch was out in no time and just as we had ordered.  My side salad was topped with cucumbers, tomatoes, cheese, croutons  and real bacon.  Most of which were cast to the side, but the small taste of bacon that I did have was awesome!  In reviewing their website this morning I found out that EVERYTHING is made from scratch and in-house.  No BacOs at this BBQ joint.
Side Salad
My catfish was perfectly cooked and had a light hickory smoke scent to it.  I dabbed it with a bit of their hot barbecue sauce and it couldn't be beat.

Grilled Catfish
My husband’s Pulled Pork sandwich was good, but the fries sat in the window far too long, which was disappointing. After all, isn't a French Fry the thing you eat first when your sandwich is served? 
Pulled Pork Sandwich
At the end of our meal I asked the bartender what the catfish filets weighed. I had been served two and eaten one.  He said that they were 6 ounce filets and asked if I wanted to take the other one home, which I did.  It was lunch the next day.

My moral here is that you really want to stay on a diet when dining out, you can.  Let’s see if it holds true when we venture to Grill 225, Charleston Grill and Hall’s Chophouse to celebrate restaurant week this weekend. 


We gave Jim 'N Nicks 4 out of a possible 5 plates. 



Jim 'N Nick's BBQ on Urbanspoon

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