Slideshow: We Eat Everything at Jimmy Jamm Sweet Potato Pies

Sweet Potato Pie ($3 slice, $12 whole)
Sweet Potato Pie ($3 slice, $12 whole)

This is the slice that started it all. On a dense crust you have a velvety custard of sweet potato puree with warm, Thanksgiving-friendly spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice; plenty of sugar; and a hint of citrus flavoring. That super-smooth potato puree, the recipe to which is something only the trio of owners know, is the magic ingredient added to nearly everything on the sweet side of Jimmy Jamm’s menu.

Sweet Potato Pie with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting ($3.50 slice, $16 whole)
Sweet Potato Pie with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting ($3.50 slice, $16 whole)

Now take that same classic pie base, and add a thick whipped layer of honey-sweetened cream cheese frosting. Yep. “This one’s our top seller,” Ferguson says. Other riffs on Jimmy Jamm’s pie include a banana rum version, turtle topping, cheesecake, and sugar-free.

Sweet Potato Cake ($2.75 slice, $20 whole)
Sweet Potato Cake ($2.75 slice, $20 whole)

The cake has proved stiff competition for the pies. Each dense, moist, sticky-sweet slice has just the lightest touch of sweet potato flavor, and would easily stand alone—although we won’t complain about the honey icing on top.

Sweet Potato Cobbler ($3.75)
Sweet Potato Cobbler ($3.75)

In the cobbler, the potato shares its spotlight with a flaky homemade butter crust. (That recipe is also part of Ferguson’s father’s legacy.) It’s a double-decker: two layers of sweet potato puree mixed with diced sweet potato and brown sugar and cinnamon, each with a pastry layer above and below. This one’s best taken home, heated up, and topped with ice cream and toasted pecans.

Sweet Potato Ice Cream ($3.95)
Sweet Potato Ice Cream ($3.95)

In this haven of buttery pastries and pies, the sweet potato soft-serve is a vegan treat that’s light, fluffy, and tastes—seriously—exactly like the pie. We wondered how to nail the lightness of a summer dessert with the deep, rich, cinnamon-spiced flavor of an autumn one. But Ferguson’s following in her father’s footsteps and keeping the details of the recipe to herself; she’ll only say it’s basically her sweet potato puree tossed into a soft-serve machine.

Sweet Potato Cupcakes ($2.75 pair)
Sweet Potato Cupcakes ($2.75 pair)

There are also a variety of cupcakes, which have—of course—sweet potato puree folded into a traditional batter. The offerings can change, but we found chocolate, red velvet, and pumpkin spice. Although Jimmy Jamm’s will plate up any of its baked goods for you to dine in on, most people pluck them from the cooler next to the register and take them to go.

Loaded Sweet Potato ($6.99)
Loaded Sweet Potato ($6.99)

Forget pie for the moment—Jimmy Jamm’s loaded sweet potatoes are a show-stealer. Green bell peppers and onions are sautéed until caramelized and melt-in-your-mouth tender; then in goes the chopped chicken (you can also choose steak or mushrooms) with a generous amount of cracked pepper and brown sugar. It all gets packed into one of the largest, most tender sweet potatoes you’ve ever seen, and then topped with a handful of shredded cheese. We’d be impressed if a person could polish it off alone; it would make a big meal for two.

Chili Yam ($6.99)
Chili Yam ($6.99)

But just when we thought we’d arrived in savory sweet potato heaven, the next dish—the chili yam—arrived and proved even better than the chicken-stuffed version. Whoever invented the bread bowl didn’t know how much better a jacket potato could be for this heap of thick, smoky, tomato and kidney bean chili. The savory stew seemed to have been invented for the sole purpose mixing with sweet and peppery sautéed green peppers and onions, brown sugar, two kinds of melted cheese, and a sweet potato’s steaming orange flesh.

Steak Sandwich with Chips ($5.75)
Steak Sandwich with Chips ($5.75)

The hot steak sandwich is along the lines of a Philly cheese steak—a few tender layers of rib-eye with sautéed green peppers and onions, a good old-fashioned square of melting American cheese, and a swipe of mayo—but it’s sandwiched between two soft, dense slices of sweet potato bread. For lovers of the old sweet-and-salty combination, the peppery steak with sweet, cinnamon-spiced quickbread isn’t often done, and definitely works. Also on the menu are cold deli-style turkey, ham, and roast beef sandwiches, plus a kid’s grilled cheese ($4.95).

Sweet Potato Stew ($4.75)
Sweet Potato Stew ($4.75)

The sweet potato stew is clearly the café’s healthiest option: a Southern-style mix of green beans, peas, carrots, and diced sweet potatoes swimming in a light tomato broth. The bowl comes with a slice of sweet potato bread or a ginger-spiced sweet potato muffin on the side.