Originally from Southern Greece, the Tziavaz family sought their fortunes in far-flung places ó Montreal in the í60s and Texas in the í70s ó before settling down in Boston in 1985. Their first Bay State foray, Tony and Alís in Coolidge Corner, was lost to a building sale, but Jimís Deli stuck. Located on Washington Street in the heart of Brighton Center, Jimís has been doling out solid breakfast and deli-style food to legions of hung-over Boston College students since 1991. No microwaves here: all the action takes place on a large grill, where father Mike and sons Jimmy and Nick have refined their short-order cooking to a series of orchestrated dodges, swerves, and serves. The Tziavaz matriarch, Vaso, takes things slower, cooking the deliís four daily dinner specials in the back.
Half of Jimís menu is devoted to breakfast, the other half to deli fare that includes 18 varieties of subs, wraps, clubs, burgers, pastas, veggie dishes, dinner specials, and even seafood. The tomatoes, mushrooms, spicy sausage, and American cheese in the Brighton omelet ($5.95) worked well together, while generous chunks of spicy home fries helped us to forgive eggs that were less than fluffy. The small chicken-cutlet sub ($4.50) wasnít small at all, with three breaded-and-fried chicken breasts set atop crisp lettuce, tomato, and mayo in a fresh sub roll.
While Jimís orange walls and green-and-white-tile floor might be ripe for the Trading Spaces treatment, the college students enjoying morning-after liaisons in the ample booth seating probably arenít worried about the décor. " We are first class, " Mike cheered as we left, but it was the grunt-and-nod agreement of a nearby dorm rat that spoke volumes.
Jimís Deli, located at 371 Washington Street, in Brighton, is open Monday through Friday, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, until 3 p.m. Call (617) 787-2626.