Jimmy’s Roundup Cafe: OKC’s best chicken fry and a whole lot more

by | March 4, 2009 | 14 Comments

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Jimmy’s Roundup Cafe is located at 1301 SW 59th Street in Oklahoma City (map).  Call them at 405.685.1177.  Jimmy’s is open 7 days a week.

Well I found myself cruising around SW 59th again looking for some shady wonders and stumbled upon a not-so-shady but wonderful place called Jimmy’s Roundup Cafe.  There are lots of shady spots in the area around here. In fact, we had a gun pulled on us just down the road a few days ago, but that’s another review.  Jimmy’s lacks too many shady qualities to be part of the prestigious Shady Restaurant club, but it does have a lot of qualities that make it a fantastic place to eat on the south side of OKC.  Jimmy’s is family friendly, work lunch friendly, and very friendly to your stomach and taste buds.


Jimmy’s Round-Up Cafe has apparently been around for years and at multiple locations.  He had a few locations on the north side that are no longer there but has since consolidated to just one location.  Our first experience was fantastic.  We were immediately recognized as non-regulars, and that prompted a visit from Jimmy himself.  Jimmy was not afraid of his food or the quality.  He proceeded to sell me on the selection I should have and offered to buy it back from me if I wasn’t completely satisfied.  I respect that in a restaurant owner.

The decor has that good-ole’ country diner feel.  Dark wood beams cris-crossing around, decorated plates, plus a load of cowboy and country decorations.  They also have a crane machine to tempt you into spending several dollars in hopes of scoring that awesome 50 cent toy. And, of course, they have a couple candy dispensers.  My favorite non-food items in the place however are the fiber-optic ball caps!  That’s right, get your OU, OSU, or even Texas fiber-optic hat right at the register.  If they start selling Jimmy’s Round-Up fiber-optic merchandise you may see me sporting a new hat around town!

The food offerings are actually pretty diverse.  You have your standard country diner options (catfish, chicken fried steaks, burgers, and sandwiches), a fairly good-sized BBQ offering (claiming the tenderest ribs in town), and now some Mexican dishes as well.

I’ll start with what Jimmy sold me on.  It was a dish that consisted of tender cuts of beef covered in his signature BBQ sauce.  I was a little nervous, especially after the last couple of recommendations I’ve had, but this was a winner!  The cuts of beef in these types of dishes are usually left over from the previous “special” and drowned in a sauce to hide the flavor and help you break down all the un-chewable connective tissue.  Not in the case of Jimmy’s special.  This was fantastically tender, full of flavor, and accompanied by two home-style sides (I had fried okra that rivaled Pappy’s and mashed potatoes with gravy).  You also get a basket of homemade dinner rolls with every meal.  I like to dip my rolls in the little puddle of grease at the bottom of the cup of fried okra, but that’s just me.

As good as my meal was, however, the shining star at Jimmy’s is the chicken fried steak. I will put myself out there and claim it as the best in OKC.  I think it’s the best value in town, not to mention the best taste.  For $4.99 you get chicken fried steak, two sides, and a roll.  This chicken fried steak uses a very light batter, and it’s fork tender.  Amazing.  Too often the chicken fry’s in this town are heavy, thick batters — thicker than the cut of meat hidden inside. They also tend to be Texas-sized with a Texas price, and infused with all the flavors of the kitchen that have been dipped in the same grease. Not so here (oh, and don’t leave nasty comments about how Ann’s Chicken Fry is better until you have tried Jimmy’s).

There is a lot to try at Jimmy’s. There are other great deals including a Super Bowl Special for ribs (seasonal, of course) and all you can eat catfish for $9.99.  I may never get past the chicken fried steak again, but if you do, you may want to try the cinnamon rolls that are the size of my head.  And I have a big head.

There is a guy who sits right next to the cash register who is there every time I’m there, and apparently there for breakfast too.  Don’t take my word for it, ask him.  He will be happy to tell you about the great food offerings here.  Plus, if you can’t decide on what to eat, Jimmy will be happy to make personal recommendations and back them up with a guarantee.  The wait staff here is fantastic as well.  They are sold on what this place has to offer. The waiter we had last time spent so much time telling us how we should be bringing back friends and spreading the Jimmy’s Round-Up gospel that we accused him of being the owner and having the other Jimmy as a stunt double.  He said he was simply a loyal waiter and loved his job.  Refreshing huh?

Our only complaint comes from a friend who went there and had some serious confusion on the bill.  They have a lot of specials, and apparently can get confused on when something is on special price or not.  He really had to go around and around a few times with his bill to figure it out.  I have not had a bad experience personally.

Go try Jimmy’s Round-Up.  Take your family, take your co-workers, or take me!  You will find something here that you will find time to go back for, I guarantee it.  Like I said, I may never make it past the chicken fried steak, so please let us know what else is good here and any other thoughts on Jimmy’s in the comments.

Jimmy's Roundup Cafe on Urbanspoon

This article was posted by Andrew Littleton on Wednesday, March 4th, 2009. It is filed under:

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  • Randy OKC says:
    March 7th, 2009 at 8:17 pm   

    Went to Jimmy’s on 3-6-09 for lunch. The three of us were quickly seated. Our table was right by the cash register so it was loud and busy. Not really a big problem. Our drinks came fast but we had a hard time ordering because the seater spoke so fast.
    The waitress was good and took her time to explain the menu and get our orders right. I changed my sides three times.
    I ordered the 4.99 Chickin Fried Steak with pintos and mashed potatoes. The order was slow coming but it was correct and they were busy.
    The Chickin Fry was good but not the best I have had in OKC. The sides were small and the steak was not drained (grease) very well coming out of the fryer. The sides were good but not awesome.
    Overall the lunch was worth $4.99 if you didn’t have to add drink tax. The waitress was worth tipping 15-20%.
    I would like to try other things off the menu before I write this place off. Very friendly and affordable for lunch.

  • Charlene C. Imholz says:
    March 7th, 2009 at 9:28 pm   

    Why don’t I permanently pack my bags in Arkansas and stay in Oklahoma City? It seems this city has a great deal of diversity. I’m glad there’s a good scout out there letting me where to find these hidden treasures.

  • Zaid says:
    March 10th, 2009 at 6:38 am   

    This was not all that it is said to be. I ate there yesterday 03/06/09 and will not go back anytime soon. I had the Hungry man CFS and it was paper thin and too much breading. The sides were so small that combined they did not make one side, I thought I might be back in Elementary School.Service was slow in coming but was pretty good was we got it. I would recommend Ann’s if you want a Good CFS. I have seen the CFS at Nick’s, but can never get past the Burgers or the Chops.

  • Jason says:
    March 10th, 2009 at 9:00 pm   

    I haven’t been to Jimmy’s in forever, but I remember I enjoyed just about every meal I got there. A group of us used to go to the location on NW 10th, sometimes twice a week, before they closed that one. I’ve only been to the one on SW 59th a few times. If I remember right, the one on 10th used to be open 24 hours. I don’t know if the south location ever was. Thanks for the reminder! I need to head over to the southside soon.

  • Andrew says:
    March 10th, 2009 at 10:29 pm   

    Interesting. Perhaps I caught them on a good day. It appears my inflammatory statement regarding best deep fried chicken fry sparked a healthy debate. I stand by Nic’s as the best chicken fried steak in town. Partly because I like griddle fried over deep fried any day of the week.

  • Ernest says:
    March 12th, 2009 at 7:50 pm   

    I live on the south side, but never tried Jimmy’s (my church is nearby). I went in last Saturday based on the recommendation of the chicken fried steak. I agree that the sides are nothing to write home about, but my CFS (the middle $4.99 portion) was one of the best I’d ever had – right up with the CFS at Toby Keith’s, which is too huge. Mine was perfectly fried and breaded, and the gravy was great. It came out fairly quickly after I ordered it, and was just the right size, too. The dinner roll was hot and melted in my mouth. So if you’re looking for a decent meal with great CFS, this is reasonably-priced option.

  • kevin says:
    March 18th, 2009 at 7:51 pm   

    Jimmy’s is Jimmy’s but for CFS, I’m kendal’s bound to Noble, or momma is making it for me.

  • William says:
    April 2nd, 2009 at 6:23 pm   

    Hi there people. I´m writing from San José, Costa Rica. I went to Oklahoma three years ago and one afternoon, some friends of mine from the OU and Argentina, Canada, México and myself spent some time at Jimmy´s (Norman). The service was Great, and the food: Incredible delicious. My congratulations to all the staff. On my next vacation around Oklahoma, plase save me a sit.
    Regards from Central America. PURA VIDA!.

  • Andrew says:
    April 28th, 2009 at 9:06 pm   

    Kendall’s that used to be in Noble, then Norman, then back in Noble is by far the best Chicken Fried Steak in OKC! No question about it.

  • Keith Kemp says:
    August 15th, 2009 at 3:19 am   

    Jimmy’s Roundup used to be a Roy Rodgers restaurant way back in the last century before Jimmy came and made it a better place to eat real food with real good people.

    My dad James and I used to go there when I was still living in OKC and working for a living.

    Now that I live so far away and can’t have my food imported like Oprah does than I will have to settle for another road trip to Jimmy’s this coming summer of 2010.

    Somethings we were born to wait for but I sure hope Jesus doesn’t come back before I get there.

    Keith W Kemp
    Hungry as Usual :-)

  • Wimpy says:
    August 24th, 2009 at 11:32 pm   

    Ate there today guess I should have tried the cfs I ordered the lunch portion catfish it consisted of four pieces of catfish about the size and shape of my index finger a small ramikin of pot. salad and another of pinto beans one roll that was quite good. The waitress was nice and asked me if I was full,to which I replied not nearly, she smiled and left me my check. If I go back I won’t order the catfish again!

  • Fonz says:
    September 25th, 2009 at 9:24 am   

    Great CFS. YOu can also get a hooker just down the road. South side rocks!

  • Martin St.John says:
    December 31st, 2009 at 11:05 am   

    Sounds like you got ripped off by the slow waitress. Besides the two sides, that stuff also comes with a 1/3 cup of the soup of the day and a tiny little salad-ette. Also FREE. One waitress there does not bring you the salad/soup, even if you ask her, we call her the “slow” one. And I don’t tip her as much. If you missed the Baked Beans, darlin, run, don’t walk, back there and say, gotta gotta get me somea them Baked Beans that Marty St.John told me about. This is the best buy Restaurant in Oklahoma City.

  • Cgreen1127 says:
    March 3rd, 2011 at 6:24 pm   

    Jimmy’s has now reopened from an all out makeover. It is clean and neat, but I do miss the homey effect. The waitress staff is still effecient and friendly. One is missing from the originals and I do miss her. Our favorite cook is still there and still doing a good job to satisfy our taste buds. Jimmy is always there and that has been the norm for years. His fried pies are delicious whether they are fruit or meat pies. My husband has been a regular for many years as has many others. We plan on enjoying ourselves with the company of friends and staff for many years.

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