A friend has been raving about Jenny’s Lunchbox for years. Now I know why. My husband and I finally stopped in for lunch this week though we skipped the tempting lunch menu in favor of breakfast, which is served till closing at 2:15 p.m.
We love breakfast and could chow down on eggs, hash browns, pancakes, you name it, any time of day. Jenny’s beckons with homey, inexpensive fare, starting at 6:30 a.m. daily. Stop by daily and you’re bound to see regulars who have been coming here since the doors opened in 1999.
Jenny’s celebrates its 20th anniversary this summer, said owner David Raney, who has owned Jenny’s for the past 15 years. He was a server and a student at Florida State University when the original owner, Jenny Rhodes, owned the place. When she was ready to sell, she approached Raney, who at that time was a 23-year-old, recent FSU grad.
Raney went on to open Canopy Road, Merv’s Melts and Proper the Brewpub at Proof with business partner and former FSU roommate Brad Buckenheimer. Raney said he is considering opening a second Jenny’s Lunchbox.
Located in a former service station, the restaurant has a funky, laid-back vibe. The decor is minimal except for a farm mural and lunchboxes strung up around the restaurant, some graced with pictures of Jimmy Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Lucy or South Park.. Most of them have been donated by customers.
“You can tell the older ones,” said server Bianca Carns, who’s worked at Jenny’s for 8 years. “They don’t have the bar code. Some still have a thermos inside.”
Jenny’s serves traditional breakfast fare with special features like all-the-pancakes-you-can-eat for $5 on Friday and farm-fresh eggs, which cost $1 extra. They’re worth it. Raney said his mom, Denver, supplies the eggs hatched by chickens raised in her backyard. She also grows a lot of fresh produce.
“She lives about a mile down the road,” said Raney. “The eggs have been popular. You can tell a difference in their yolks and color.”
Our eggs, done over medium, were perfectly cooked and tasted fresh from the farm. It costs $2.72 for a one-egg breakfast, with home fries, hash browns, grits or cheese grits and toast; $3.72 for two eggs.
My husband had the The Lunchbox Special Breakfast 2 (Number 1 has bacon), which features two eggs, home fries, hash browns or grits and ham or sausage with toast for $5.58. He ordered the hash browns and sausage patties and was quite happy with all of it.
I pigged out with the egg special with ham and a waffle on the side. It was a plate-size waffle, fluffy and dusted with powdered sugar. I love waffles and am usually disappointed, but this was just right.
The breakfast menu also includes make-your-own omelet, bagels with cream cheese and chicken and waffles.
We’ll have to come back for lunch choices of burgers, sandwiches like a BLT, Philly cheesesteak and pulled pork.
Jenny’s will be celebrating its 20th anniversary this summer but it retains that retro vibe and a good value.
When you go …
Address: 295 N. Magnolia Dr.
Hours: 6:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. daily
FYI: The small parking lot fills up quickly but you can also park behind the building.