EVERETT — The down-home American food at Jimmy Peppers, a new restaurant at the south end of town, is as comfortable as an old shoe.
We’re talking burgers, brisket and pulled pork sliders, grilled cheese sandwiches — you get the picture.
And if the name sounds familiar, that’s because it is. Owner J.C. Misko has been running a food truck by the same name since 2017.
The other day, colleague Sara Bruestle and I ventured down Evergreen Way to sample what Misko’s cooking in his wheel-less kitchen.
Our lunch, arrayed on quarter-sheet pans lined with Jimmy Peppers-monogramed paper, arrived as quickly as it would have from Misko’s food truck. We chose pork and brisket “Little Jimmys” (aka sliders), a pulled pork grilled cheese “sammich” (“like a sandwich, only better,” the menu advises), and chipotle BBQ “spudmuffins” (“like fries, only better,” says the menu).
The Little Jimmys ($2.99 for pork, $3.49 for brisket) hit all the flavor notes we expected, and Sara vowed to order the “Big Jimmy” ($9.95 for pork, $11.95 for brisket) next time because the little guy left her wanting more. If she really wants more, she’ll choose the “Gigantic Jimmy” ($11.95 and $13.95), or even the “Monster” ($18.95).
The sammich ($9.95) oozed with gooey cheesy flavor on hearty seedy bread, with tons of flavor-packed caramelization. “I love pulled pork sandwiches and grilled cheese sandwiches and thought the two of them together must be good,” Sara said. “I was wrong. Pulled pork and grilled cheese together is damn good. I had one of those ‘Where have you been all my life?’ moments.”
If pulled pork grilled cheese isn’t your thing, Jimmy Peppers also makes five other varieties, plus French dips, plus 10 kinds of burgers, plus the “JP Dog” a hot dog that’s loaded with caramelized onions sauteed in butter on a toasted bun, then smothered with Misko’s chipotle ranch cream cheese.
What it all boils down to is this: If it can be griddled to a golden-brown on Misko’s flat-top grill, it’s on his menu.
The spudmuffins ($2.99) were roasted potato slices that were hit with lots of Misko’s spice blend. They were tasty, although we wanted a bit more crisp on the spuds.
Everything comes with a healthy dollop of Misko’s BBQ sauce, which delivers a nice kick of spicy heat. Misko puts peppers in just about everything he cooks, but because he often smokes them, they won’t necessarily burn your palate.
While Sara and I munched on lunch, we eavesdropped on a conversation at the ordering counter in which a customer declared, “If you’re on a diet, don’t come here.” Maybe so, but Misko’s menu does have a “Keto” section with salads and wraps, some with zero carbs.
If carbs are no problem, you’ll want to try Misko’s half-dozen mac and cheese offerings, including one with no fewer than 14 types of cheese, according to the menu. They’re coming soon, as soon as he gets things sorted out in his new kitchen.
Misko, 39, who lives near Lake Ki, was parts manager at Hyundai of Everett for 11 years before switching to the food-service industry.
“My job was telling people ‘no’ all day long,” he said. “I was dealing with people with broken cars. Now I’m dealing with happy people all day long.”
The Jimmy Peppers food truck is a familiar sight at Naval Station Everett and local community celebrations, including the Marysville Strawberry Festival this weekend. Its popularity inspired Misko to open a bricks-and-mortar restaurant.
“Last year, I was so busy on the truck that I could not keep up,” he said.
Misko’s got big plans for his business. The food truck remains on the road, and he’s working on getting government approval to bottle and sell his BBQ sauce. And he is looking into opening a second location, possibly in Smokey Point.
And he’ll strive to live by a mantra he learned from his stepfather: “Every day is a holiday, and every meal is a banquet.”
If you go
Jimmy Peppers, 10122 Evergreen Way, Suite 10, Everett, is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Call 425-585-0028 or go to www.jimmypeppersonline.com for more information.