New Lenten menu just one way popular restaurant continues to innovate

There are restaurants in every community that are easy to take for granted.

They are steady, consistent and dependable in quality and execution and it’s easy to lose focus on how truly amazing that is to accomplish day in and day out.

Jimmie’s Ladder 11 is one of these spots for me. I was reminded recently of how special they really are when I was invited to a party at their Greenhouse rental space behind the restaurant.

The food was wonderful, the space was cool and a wonderful evening was had by all.

In addition to the Jimmie’s Greenhouse rental space that they have innovated and invigorated their business with, the themed menus that they have put into practice have long been impressive. They may have wrapped up their St. Patrick’s Day menu, but there’s still time to try out the restaurant’s Lenten menu.

This year the Brown Street restaurant is featuring shrimp cocktail ($10), a grouper sandwich ($13), fish and chips ($16) crab cakes ($22) or a lobster mac ($16) made with cavatappi pasta with Wisconsin cheddar cheese and lobster cream sauce mixed with lobster and topped with parmesan bread crumbles.

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

The fish and chips are offered at dinner time Monday through Saturday and all day Sunday, while the entire Lenten menu is available to order from throughout the Lenten season 5-10 p.m. on Fridays.

“Being part of the Catholic Community, we have a lot of folks who come to Jimmie’s to enjoy Seafood Fridays during Lent,” said Sue Brandell who owns and operates it with her husband Jimmie Brandell.

Brandell says they plan on having themed menus like this throughout the year tied to special events and holidays.

Some of the most popular menu items continue to be the Creole cheesecake ($12) blending andouille sausage, smoked Gouda, cream cheese, onions and red peppers served with warm pita chips. The paisano pasta chips ($12 full order, $9 half order) have long been a defining dish for the restaurant with pasta chips covered in Italian sausage, sun-dried tomatoes, onions, green peppers, mozzarella and provolone cheese topped with asiago cream sauce.

The Ladder 11 sandwich is also a highlight ($13) with a mix of corned beef and pastrami topped with coleslaw and Russian dressing on a toasted roll.

Hospitality and the restaurant business is a way of life for the Brandell family. Son Nick Brandell is the general manager, Jason Brandell is a trained chef and runs the kitchen, Anthony Brandell is a Junior business major at the University of Cincinnati and helps out with front of house operations when he can.

The future holds some changes but all will be based on the winning formula the restaurant was founded with decades ago.

“(We will) continue to provide a pleasant work environment for our staff and a top notch, consistent dining experience for our guests, as well as working on beautifying our patio and surrounding gardens,” said Sue. “We are stewards of this old building and continually strive to update and maintain a piece of Dayton history, built in 1892.”

Still change is inevitable.

“We are currently working on a menu update. We haven’t raised prices since May, unfortunately with everything on the rise we have to keep up,” said Sue who shared that like all restaurants they have been hit hard by COVID-19 and labor issues.

The future is bright as the Brandell’s continue to expand their business.

They opened Jimmie’s Greenhouse in 2016. The 1877 house located at 24 Park Drive behind the restaurant rents for minimum $300 for three hours with a minimum food budget of $25 per person plus tax and gratuity with 20 guests minimum. The space can accommodate 30-50 guests depending on the season. The fees include staff, a bartender and cleaning. Hosts can build a custom appetizer or dinner menu. Outdoor gardens are used to supply the restaurant.

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

The house features: catering by Jimmie’s Ladder 11, a custom bar, covered patio, indoor and outdoor seating, a pool table that converts to a banquet table, living room with a game table, a full kitchen and WiFi.

“We had a great opportunity to purchase a historic house located behind the restaurant and turn it into a unique, intimate venue. We receive many inquiries for large parties for the restaurant and Jimmie’s Greenhouse,” said Sue. “Weekend and holiday dates are booking up fast.”

To check availability email or call 937-424-1784

Dayton Eats looks at the regional food stories and restaurant news that make mouths water. Menu updates, special dinners and events, new chefs, interesting new dishes and food adventures. Do you know of new exciting format changes, specials, happy hours, restaurant updates or any other tasty news you think is worth a closer look at?

How to go

What: Jimmie’s Ladder 11 and Jimmie’s Greenhouse

Where: 936 Brown St., Dayton

Upcoming events: March 27 Jimmie’s will be hosting Miss Gay Gem City America pageant. The first Tuesday of the month, Dave Greer & Jazz Stompers take the stage from 6-9 p.m.

More information: or 937-424-1784

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