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Posted on Fri, Jan 4, 2013 : 11:30 a.m.

Frugal Friday at Krazy Jim's Blimpy Burger - many menu items are $5 or less

By Mary Bilyeu


Mary Bilyeu | Contributor

Da bears are back! The one — the only — good thing about snow is that today's Frugal Floozie Friday feature, Krazy Jim's Blimpy Burger, builds snow bears in front of the restaurant each winter, taking the dreaded white stuff and turning it into something wonderful and fun. How could we not visit — and love — a place that's been featured on the Food Network's "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" and which bills itself as "cheaper than food"?

Craig, Jeremy, and I enjoyed a great, greasy meal at Blimpy Burger recently, reveling in fabulous comfort food. There are so many items on the menu that meet our $5 per person budget that it was hard to choose among them.

But then, choosing is always difficult at this place. You get to select how many patties you want (two to five), what kind of cheese and roll (four and six options, respectively), whether you want any grilled items (nine choices), and then top it all off with condiments (an even dozen). Some mathematical wizard has determined that there are 2,147,483,648 possible combinations.


Mary Bilyeu | Contributor

There is a very precise regimen for ordering at Blimpy Burger, to facilitate efficiency: pick up a tray, order the type of bun and number of patties when asked, order grilled items (fries, deep-fried vegetables, etc.), then move on down the line 'til you're asked about toppings. Heaven forbid if you violate the rule about not using your cell phone while proceeding along the assembly line. Nearly everyone who's eaten there in its 60 years has a story about being chastised for one misdeed or another!

We followed all of the protocols, received very friendly service, and then sat down to our dinner. For $4.90, Jeremy ordered a quad — four flattened patties — topped with blue cheese, ketchup, and mayonnaise, served on a regular bun. Cheese and the dozen aforementioned condiments are included in the price; but a kaiser, onion, or pumpernickel roll would have cost an extra 65 cents.


Mary Bilyeu | Contributor

For $2.65, you can get a double with cheese, which includes the possibility of many, many extras. Craig devised an excellent creation with Feta, onions, mustard, ketchup, and pickles, all served on a regular bun. He then complemented it with an order of the famous onion rings for only $2.95.

I also ordered a double with cheese — Swiss — and I had debated adding blue, as well, which would not have cost anything extra. I added mayonnaise, pickles, lettuce and tomatoes, deluding myself that I was eating my vegetables and thus ingesting at least a tidbit of nutrition. The regular order of french fries cost only $1.85, so my burger and side dish together came in at less than our mandatory $5 budget. (And if you're feeling particularly indulgent, you can satisfy your junk food cravings with a basket of chili cheese fries for $4.61, no burger needed.)

Vegetarians can even find a guilty pleasure at Blimpy Burger, where they can enjoy the regular-sized fried Mixed Veggie "Feast from the Deep" for $3.45 or the Ultimate Cheese Sandwich for $4.30 ("Five Cheeses & Grilled Egg With Onion and Peppers On An Onion Roll"); there are also salads, for those with noble intentions. Everyone will like the brownies, the cookies, and the assortment of specialty sodas.

A long-time institution, Blimpy Burger offers a great meal of good ol'-fashioned "greasy spoon" delicacies for exceptionally good prices. And although I loathe the snow, I have to admit it's good to have the snow bears back where they belong!


Mary Bilyeu | Contributor

Krazy Jim's Blimpy Burger
551 South Division
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Monday - Saturday: 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Sunday: Noon - 8 p.m.

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Mary Bilyeu writes for on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, telling about her adventures in the kitchen - making dinner, celebrating holidays, entering cooking contests, meeting new friends ... whatever strikes her fancy. She is also on a mission to find great deals for her Frugal Floozie Friday posts, seeking fabulous food at restaurants on the limited budget of only $5 per person. Feel free to email her with questions, comments, or suggestions:

Go visit Mary's blog — Food Floozie — where she enthuses and effuses over all things food-related; and look for her monthly articles in the Washtenaw Jewish News. "Like" her on Facebook, or send a tweet on Twitter, too.

The phrase "You Should Only Be Happy" (written in Hebrew on the stone pictured in this post) comes from Deuteronomy 16:15 and is a wish for all her readers - when you come to visit here, may you always be happy.


Allie Warfel

Fri, May 3, 2013 : 2:46 a.m.

Can anyone tell me what the five cheeses in the Ultimate Grilled Cheese are? It's been 23 years since I've gotten anywhere near Ann Arbor, and I ~still~ drool over that sandwich!

Vivienne Armentrout

Fri, Jan 4, 2013 : 10:47 p.m.

Do we know how much longer they will be open?


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 9:56 a.m.

they are closing??

Nicholas Urfe

Fri, Jan 4, 2013 : 7:37 p.m.

I want to see Mary eat a quint!! Can we have a poll on that? As for the double, I have observed staff seriously hassle blimpy-virgin dudes who try and order "just a double". Stuff like "It's not going to be enough food. You're going to be right back in line." Those blimpy onion rings are excellent. The breading and onions are light, unlike most places. I love to add them to my burger.

Jessica Webster

Fri, Jan 4, 2013 : 4:53 p.m.

I have an unhealthy obsession with the fried vegetables at Blimpy.


Fri, Jan 4, 2013 : 9:23 p.m.

I love them too, but I have never been convinced that there are any real vegetables involved.


Fri, Jan 4, 2013 : 7:05 p.m.

Me too!


Fri, Jan 4, 2013 : 2:09 p.m.

Whatever you get...make sure you give them enough so you get at least $2 back in's not a trip to Blimpy's unless you leave with a $2 bill in your pocket...


Sat, Jan 5, 2013 : 2:46 a.m.

Or a 50 cent piece!