Tuesday, March 4, 2008

DallasEats Reader Picks: John's Cafe

John's Cafe

1733 Greenville Ave, Dallas

(see website for second location in Plano)

A couple of weeks ago, FP and I asked our readers to recommend their favorite undiscovered restaurants. I must confess, it was a selfish ploy. What appeared at first glance to be a friendly way to get the word out about some great places you might not have heard of, was, for me at least, a means by which I could gain access to a few closely guarded gustatory secrets.

Case in point: John's Cafe. Our dear friend and loyal reader Elizabeth offered this unassuming hole-in-the-wall off Greenville Avenue in response to our request, and it was just what we were looking for. Thus, I am faced with a dilemma - now that I know about John's, I'm reluctant to share the wealth. A place like this makes you wanna keep a secret.

John's Cafe sits in a strip mall on lowest Greenville, next to a Thai restaurant, across the street from Lucky's Roadhouse (great bar, different story). You'd miss it if you weren't looking real hard. A companion and I rolled in about 11 a.m. on a weekday for a late breakfast/early lunch. Our first impression was that this tiny place was squeaky-clean, from the linoleum floors to the vinyl booths lining the walls on our left and right. We proceeded to the back counter to place our order - my pal went for the Combo Omelette and I had a cheeseburger and fries. My antennae are always up when it comes to finding great burgers, and I noticed that the word "Hamburgers" is actually on the sign out front of John's - a very good omen.

As my companion pondered his beverage order, a gray-haired, mustachioed gentleman sitting at the counter tipped his newspaper and suggested "Ouzo...?" with a wink (and a thick Greek accent). Once we began to chuckle, the old man joined in, along with the man taking our order. I don't know if this was an impromtu performance, or their standard "new customer" joke, but we were charmed nonetheless.

Our food arrived in mere moments and soon we were tucking into some solid diner-style fare. My mate's omelette was a monster, filling 3/4 of a dinner plate, and it contained a little of everything - cheese, meats and veggies of several varieties. Alongside were some nice-looking hash browns featuring a respectable dark brown-to-creamy white potato ratio. My burger was a solid "B+", earning points for juiciness, generous amounts of cheese and toppings and a toasted bun (a personal requirement for anything above a "C" rating).

I can't wait to return and try some of the Greek-inspired dishes on John's menu - Gyros, anyone? Considering the crowd that began to gather as our early lunch wrapped up, however, I'd suggest hitting John's at off-peak hours. See why I didn't want to let you in on my new little secret? Thanks, Elizabeth, for the excellent pick! (note: I miss you very much now that you're all the way up in Boston...but at least I won't have to fight you for a table at John's!)


elizabeth said...

Good choice for your first review! If you don't like crowds then don't go on Sat or Sun morning. Actually, I just remembered John's is awful. Don't go. Don't tell your friends. Leave it all for me. When I'm back in Texas. :)

Robin said...

I love a good food tip. Thanks ladies.

Anonymous said...

Will definitely try John's; lowest Greenville is one of our frequent routes home.

Need to add a new recommendation - Tucker on Ross Ave. Wonderful food, great atmosphere, attentive service and a smoking patio!