Sherman's Food Adventures: John's Place

John's Place

Since we already hit up a "You Gotta Eat Here!" spot in the morning at Jam Cafe, we figured that visiting John's Place would be in order.  Hey, one can never have enough comfort food in crazy ass portions right?  There were a few moans and groans since they were still digesting brunch.  However, John's place fit the bill as it was reasonably-priced with large plates of food and happened to be the first restaurant featured in the "You Gotta Eat Here!" series.  Now it is one thing to serve copious amounts of food, but how does it taste?  I guess we were about to find out on this food adventure.

We started off with some appies including the Calamari and Fried Dill Pickles.  Okay, this has to be one of my pet peeves when I order calamari - the addition of fillers.  There was more green pepper and onions than calamari itself.  With that being said, the squid was tender with a pleasant chewiness.  The batter was lightly crispy and stayed adhered to each piece.  I loved the tzatziki as it was thick and flavourful with a good kick of acidity.  Sporting a thick, yet crunchy breading, the pickles were juicy and appealingly tart.  On the side, the  ranch dip helped cool the piping hot pickle as well as added some creaminess.

We weren't huge fans of the Hummus & Pita since the dip itself was rather grainy and too mildly seasoned.  However, I did get a bit of garlic and lemon.  I'm not sure if this is what they were trying to achieve, but for us, it wasn't the creamy and tangy version that we prefer.  The grilled pita on the side was soft and fluffy with an exterior crispiness.  This was the only dish we didn't end up finishing.

For my main, I decided on Cloudy with a Chance of Meatloaf which was doused with a notably rich and creamy gravy.  The meat itself was tender and not overly dense.  It was bordering on loose, but ultimately stayed intact. Flavours were mild, but the Marsala in the gravy was impactful enough.  The mashed potato was on point being starchy while still smooth.  Loved the veggies too as they were caramelized and sightly smoky.  The crispy onions were a good textural contrast.  Cee Cee went for their signature dish in the Chicken Oopa stuffed with feta and almonds.  This was a fairly "light" dish where the flavours were mild with some tang and Earthiness. The chicken itself was tender and succulent despite being the breast meat.

One of the most appealingly-plated dishes was surprisingly the Perogies and Ukrainian Sausage.  It ate as good as it appeared where the perogies sported a relatively thin dumpling skin that was not doughy nor too dense.  Loved the caramelization on the outside (with Cajun seasoning) while the filling was soft and well-seasoned.  Nicely seared, the sausage was meaty where it provided the necessary saltiness to the dish.  Looking rather rich and creamy, the Tortellini with chicken was good.  The pasta wasn't too thick and was just a bit past al dente.  As mentioned, the sauce was creamy as well as being well-seasoned.

As much as Halibut n' Chips didn't seem like an exciting dish to order, it turned out to be one the best of the meal.  It featured a large piece of halibut which was flaky and moist.  Although the batter on the outside seemed a bit aggressive, it turned out to be crunchy and not dense.  The tartar sauce was a real star as it was creamy and purposefully tart.  Looking very brown, the house cut fries were crunchy, yet a bit oil-logged.  Another solid dish was the Cheeseburger in Paradise featuring a thick hand-formed patty.  It was pretty moist and natural-tasting.   As seen in the picture, there was plenty of melted cheddar and crispy fried onions.  So from the dishes we tried, you can probably tell the place is a honest diner without any bells & whistles.  In that regard, it does it well at a reasonable price.

The Good:
- Generally solid diner eats
- Well-priced
- Nice people

The Bad:
- A little rough around the edges, but it is honest food
- Gotta work on that hummus


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