After you've helped yourself to a bowl of fresh nuts from the huge barrels at the front of the restaurant and then walked to your table, the crunch of shells underfoot starts to make sense.
It's part of the casual atmosphere, along with country western music, big screen TVs showing sports and a large, open bar area. The owners run two other Jimmy Mac's restaurants in the Puget Sound region.
The beverage menu is varied and includes beer in "sissy" size (16 ounces), "roadhouse" size (25 ounces) or "longnecks," four margarita varieties, wine and a list of specialty drinks. Customers are encouraged to drink the longnecks from the bottle and the Roadhouse offers growlers to go.
This is not your fussy Grandma's place. It is a fun, lively locale to meet up with a group of friends (they boast tables suitable for groups of 16), enjoy happy hour, take the kids for peanuts and a burger or just start the weekend.
The first page of the menu is all about appetizers like deep-fried pickle spears or onion rings, soups and salads such as crawfish chowder and a fried-chicken wedge salad, and sides including sauteed mushrooms or prairie patch vegetables. Pages follow with burgers, hickory smoked options, steaks and seafood.
The "hubcap burgers" are served on real hubcaps (bought new), so my husband tried the special beef brisket ($8.95) with the sweet potato fries. The beef brisket was tender and flavorful on the fresh bun; the fries were very sweet.
Included was a small side of flavorful coleslaw, which was tangy with finely shredded cabbage, carrots, onion and celery seeds.
I had the coyote steak salad ($9.95), a half portion, which had sliced sirloin steak cooked to order, salad greens, tomatoes, onions and bell peppers. What I thought were toast wedges at first, turned out to be quartered potato skins served on the side. They were quite good.
I tasted two of the appetizers: coconut shrimp ($8.95) and crab cakes ($9.95). The shrimp basket had enough butterflied shrimp for everyone in a group of six to try one with the sweet chili dipping sauce. The coating was crunchy and went well with the sauce.
My favorite, however, was the crab cakes: two generous sized patties of crabby goodness, with a slightly peppery sauce, so good that next time I will have that as an entree.
Pair the crab cakes with one of their small salads, King of the Road or Caesar ($3.95 each) for a lighter meal and then enjoy the warm rolls with honey butter. The "fresh-hot-out- of-the-oven yeast rolls" are served to every table.
You wouldn't know that Jimmy Mac's has only been open about six weeks. Our server was pleasant and helpful, and our food arrived quickly. We could have waited even longer for our meal, enjoying the atmosphere, peanuts and warm rolls.
Jimmy Mac's Roadhouse
11731 Airport Road, Everett; 425-865-1770; www.jimmymacsroadhouse.com.
Specialty: Steaks and barbecue.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
Vegetarian options: Limited.
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