If you were just walking down the street, you might pass this one by. But as the many rave reviews on yelp clearly stated, this place was a classic. A tiny narrow restaurant with two very small tables in the way back and about 10 barstool seats at a long counter.
I ordered the Salami Breakfast Plate. Thats right, Salami breakfast. I was trying to decide between that and an omelette, so I asked the guy running the place “Johny” (turns out he is Johny Jr.). He was friendly and gave great service, but sorta gruff-im-in-a-rush and all business at the same time. Kinda hard to explain, but its a very busy little restaurant with plenty of take out and delivery going on as well as folks sitting at the bar.
so when it was my turn to order I asked Johny “im trying to decide between a few things… I was thinking between the Salami Breakfast Plate and the..” and he immediately interrupted me right there and said in the most confident tone “get it, its delicious, no question a great choice”
it had not one, not two but 6 pieces of Salami, covered in scrambled eggs, swiss cheese with potatoes. The Salami was grilled until it curled up, sorta like the classic pepperoni on a Buffalo style pizza. It was, in fact, delicious.
While I waited for my plate to come up, I observed the following:
Two out of towners sitting to my right at the bar said “holy crap, Yelp is awesome isnt it? “
George, the cook working his magic on the grill. He was a one man show and clearly not his first day on the job at Johny’s. It seems that his primary language is Spanish, and many of the regulars spanish speaking or not greeted him in Spanish when they came in and some placed their orders in spanish (most of them apparently not spanish speakers at all)
Johny and George knew about 80% of the customers first names and also knew exactly what they wanted to order “the yooosh Jerry ?” As in “you want the usual breakfast sandwich Jerry”
Most folks getting take out were getting a simple breakfast sandwich. A nice looking hard roll, eggs and maybe a piece of cheese. Just a few bucks. Simple and tasty looking.
Interestingly enough they make a point on the menu to let you know they are happy to just make any plate with egg white only. There were even a few “healthy” choices on the menu.
A few times when someone ordered oatmeal, Johny senior would make an appearance. To my suprise, Johny Jr spoke pretty good Spanish. I was suprised because he and Johny Sr. didnt appear like the Spanish speaking type at all. If anything, I’d expect Johny Sr. to be saying something in old world Italian.
But Johny Jr spoke in a free form mix of very well executed Spanish mixed with a new york accent English when speaking to George behind the counter and especially with a new delivery guy that Johny Jr was training this morning. Johny Jr was a suprisingly helpful, patient and kind mentor to the new delivery / dishwasher guy.
For a short time, things slowed down at the counter and Johny Jr came by to get me some more coffee and ask me about my breakfast. Noticing that I had completely destroyed everything the plate and the toast he said: “you see ? Alot of people are skeptical about Salami for breakfast, but not you. And not me. I make mine with the Salami almost burnt so it just breaks into 1000 pieces. Its my favorite”
ahh… big city livin’