Although many Pensacolans know Jerry’s as the hamburger place, regulars come for three square meals a day. The breakfast menu features all the usual configurations of eggs and luncheon meat (with grits and/or hash browns), plus an extraordinarily luxurious chicken liver omelet. At lunch, you can have a meat loaf sandwich, marvelous local grouper or fried mullet, and first-rate milk shakes.
But about those hamburgers: they are just right: modest-sized patties of juicy beef beautifully dressed with lettuce, tomato, chopped onions, mustard and mayo, served with crisp cole slaw and French fries. They are not gourmet burgers, not unusual burgers: just good, satisfying hamburgers. It has been claimed that Jerry’s invented the bacon cheeseburger. If so, my compliments to whatever chef came up with that fine idea; but even a burger without bacon or cheese here is a classic.
Jerry’s originally opened for business in 1939. It is a Formica-counter café with a few tables and booths and help-yourself rolls of paper towels for customers to use as needed. The walls are decorated with college pennants, silly slogans (“Men with nagging wives live longer…. Well, at least it seems longer.”) and a 2009 proclamation from the U.S. Congress recognizing waitress Faye Schneidewind for 50 years of loyal service.
Despite the name, there is no in-car dining here; accommodations all are indoors. But as of Spring, 2020, indoor service has been suspended. Curbside delivery is back.