1014 Main St
Mt Vernon, IL 62864
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 10:30 a.m.- 5 p.m.
When on the road, many travelers prefer to find an “off the beaten path” local restaurant. If you’re looking for that experience or are a local that hasn’t yet discovered the Greek food Mt. Vernon has to offer, you will want to stop at Jimmie James Blue Goose. Ranked the #1 Best Restaurant near Mt. Vernon on Yelp, the reviews speak for themselves.
“This was an unplanned stop, but this was one of the best lunches we have had on our 14-state road trip. Truly worth going out of your way to stop.” – Yelp User
Owner Jimmy Hassakis moved to America with his family from New Zealand in 1975. In 1978, his parents opened Jimmie James Blue Goose. After his father’s passing in 1992, Hassakis began working at the restaurant full time. Hassakis’s Great Uncle, from the village of Paleros, Greece, owned the building in the 1930s and operated what was then, the Blue Goose Tavern and Café. Now an authentic Greek restaurant, Jimmie James Blue Goose offers a concentrated menu of traditional Greek cooking.
Their gyro meat consists of both beef and lamb. The gyro, properly pronounced as “yee-ro”, has kept customers coming back for 41 years. Along with a gyro sandwich, you can order the kalamata salad, gyros stew, crinkle cut French fries, and traditional baklava dessert.
For those who haven’t tasted it, baklava is a sweet pastry made with layers of filo, chopped nuts, and honey. Hassakis says he now has second and third generations of families visiting the restaurant. “Some of my customers are my friends and neighbors”, Hassakis remarks. After striking up conversations with customers, Hassakis finds a large percentage of their customers are travelers who stumbled upon Jimmie James Blue Goose on Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google, or Facebook. Hassakis believes, “People are seeking out more and more local, small businesses”.
Jimmie James Blue Goose only employs two: Hassakis, the owner, and one other employee. Hassakis cooks all menu items, while his employee preps for opening and waits on customers. Their system is efficient, clean, and has proven to work well over the years.
Looking to the future, Hassakis hopes to help downtown achieve their goals. “We need to bring more businesses to make people travel this direction”, Hassakis comments.
If you plan on making a trip to Jimmie James Blue Goose, stop by the ATM and bring cash. They do not except credit cards and only take cash payments. Come on a weekday with an empty belly and ready to engage in friendly conversation. Impressed by the gyros? Share your experience with others and remember Jimmie James Blue Goose next time you are travelling through Mt. Vernon!