A week ago I was invited to review one of Baguio City’s own, Jim’s Retro Diner which is located at the ground floor of the La Azotea building in Session road. To start, the owner of this unique establishment is Mr. James Sayang-od, A Cordilleran with roots from Bila, Bauko, Mountain Province. He was born and raised in Baguio city. After college, he went on to work in a cruise ship. That was the time he was exposed to a lot of restaurants, snack houses, diners and bars. After employment, he went back to his home town Baguio City and decided to become an entrepreneur. He went on to set up a computer shop, resto-diner and an acoustic bar. Jim’s Retro Diner is a result of what he has learned during his Cruise Ship days.
The common clients of this Diner are students, young professional and families. It is also frequented by real estate and insurance agents as well as couples young and old. The owner, James, relied on word of mouth marketing and it was good. However, with the opening of different fast food chains alongside Baguio Cathedral in Session road made a difference in terms of foot traffic. What fastfood patrons do not know is that Jim’s Retro Diner offers HUGE servings at more or less the same price and they could even get to enjoy the feel of eating in a 1950s diner set-up.
This establishment offers burgers, pasta, pizza, rice servings, ice cream, coffee, tea, juice and so much more. Another good thing about Jim’s Diner are they giant bread and buns which are home baked. They also use fresh Benguet Vegetables and use the quality palm oil – mitra in food preparations.
The Diner has 15 wide steps going down and just before the main door you will see a big oven and a working place where the ordered pizzas are being made. At least when someone orders a pizza, he can see how it is being made from dough to ingridients to oven to serving.
Upon entering the dinner, you will get the 1950s chill especially when you will see the pictures of James Dean, Manilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, vintage cars, baseball events etc hanging on the wall. The floor tiles too are colored black and white. The diner has around 12 tables and can accomodate 50 to 60 individuals at one time and opens at 8:00am until 12:00 midnight.
A resto review is never over until you have actually eaten. After taking some pictures and looking at the beautiful staff, it was time to eat!
First on the line was a combination of Four Cheese Pizza and my favorite Alfredo’s pizza. The four Cheese Pizza has a “pinoy” taste. It was creamy filled with cheeze and mozarella. The Alfredo’s pizza was another story. It was a little bit hot and spicy probably due to the green bell peppers. Alfredo’s pizza is good for those who are into hot chili sauces.
The second was the Jim’s Diner Original Seafood Pizza. This recipe is unique because it has slices of seafoods, a lot of basil leaves and a combination of cheese and other ingridients. I would not recommend this though to children because the mixture is not of the common taste. I leave it to you to discover why.
The other half of the pan is the Jim’s Mega Supreme Pizza. It is the pizza with the most ingridients. One thing I liked with this especialty is the size of the ground meat. At least with every bite you can feel that there are bits of meat being chewed. I reccomend this pizza preparation to the heavy eaters who have the appetite for meat.
Another especialty served was the Virginia Summer Platter. It was served on a big oval plate and it had pasta with lots of chopped basil leaves, fried chicken, vegetable salad, garlic bread and two small slices of pizza. For P230, you get a good meal in an ambiance worth the price. And by the way, the chicken was soft and has a “sweet” taste and aroma, probably because I tasted it right after it was served.
If you are a French Fries fanatic, you better try Jim’s Fries. At less than one hundred pesos you get to enjoy “real potato fries” or what we call “buguias fries” sliced in big pieces. They goes very well with lemon iced tea.
Last in this review is Virginia’s Coffee. It is one of the best tasting brewed coffee in Baguio city because of the combination of Benguet and Kalinga coffee beans. And here’s the catch…it only costs P38 a cup WITH FREE REFILL!
Also, the owner James is always accomodating. Unlike other owners of restaurants, he makes it sure that he talkes to his customers whenever he has the opportunity. It was a great dinner and we all enjoyed.
And lastly, the best thing about this place is that it has FREE WIFI!
REVIEW AFTER EFFECTS:
When my brothers saw my photos of the review, they also wanted to taste “the difference”. And so the following day, we all went together with our children and they did enjoy the HUUUGGEEE servings!
Let us support and endorse our own locals. Jim’s Retro Diner is owned and operated by an Igorot and a real Baguio Boy.
©Dean Cuanso Reviews, 10/29/12, All rights Reserved, Baguio City