By Bite of the Best regional correspondent, Stephanie Amsel
John’s slogan is “Just Good Food” – no gimmicks, no pretensions, just an old-fashioned neighborhood family business owned by John Spyropoulus, who never misses a chance to look up from the grill and catch your eye as you walk to the front counter. There is an art to eating at John’s, something I know since I’ve crossed the one dozen visit mark in just 4 short months. You don’t sit at a table when you walk in; instead you first walk, or saunter, always looking like you’ve done this before, up to the counter to order your food before finding a table.
The breakfast special ($5.95) is for 2 eggs, toast or biscuit, bacon or sausage, and hash browns. You can — and should — order onions on the hash browns: they are crispy brown, curled and soft, slightly caramelized ones that smother the crunchy outside, yet velvety smooth inside, layer of hash-browned yumminess. Always, and I mean always, order a biscuit instead of the toast with of course a side of cream gravy ($0.75) that works well as a dipping sauce for the biscuit, and adds a certain oomphness to the scrambled eggs, too. (I always get my eggs over easy, because they never turn out just right at home, but at John’s they are eggs perfection.) What I get is all salty and savory, ready to start my weekend.
There’s a sweeter, fluffier side of John’s, too. I’m usually not one for pancakes or waffles (although the Sunday chicken and waffles at Eatzies on Oak Lawn is hard to beat, but that‘s another story), but John’s pancake batter is light, fluffy, not too sweet, and the pancakes turn out crunchy, yes, crunchy on the outside and airy and creamy on the inside. I didn’t like them, I loved them. I would have eaten them without syrup, they were that good, but a drizzle of syrup made them honey-sweet.
Oh, and speaking of honey, John’s Greek background guarantees that the baklava at the front of the counter is authentically made with crisp phyllo sheets, honey and pistachios, ooh so yummy. Just don’t make the mistake of waiting to order a piece after you eat. Grab it when you see it before the rest of the regulars beat you. Also, when you pour yourself some coffee, but sure to walk around the tables and offer it to everyone else. That’s the regular routine – friendly, isn’t it? There is so much more to John’s, cheeseburgers with heirloom tomatoes from his own garden for starters, but for a great breakfast and a community connection that makes you feel proud to be part of Lower Greenville in East Dallas John’s Café is the best. John’s commitment to fresh food proves that “just good food” comes from the garden as well as the heart.
John’s Café 1733 Greenville Avenue Dallas, TX 214-874-0800
7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Mon-Sat 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Sun