Flatiron Lunch: Johny’s Luncheonette will pile anything on a hero
I heard about Johny’s from my Flatiron Lunch Predecessor, Jason. It had been on his radar, but he wasn’t so into it on his first visit. When I looked at the menu, I had a little trepidation myself. Johny’s apparently takes what seem like the most random of ingredients and pack them into heroes, wraps and sandwiches.
It definitely sounds interesting, but is it good?
Johny’s has a lot of old school appeal. The old lunch counters are few and far between these days. After my trip to Eisenberg’s, I had hopes for an egg cream, but no such luck here. They do have a pretty good lemonade, but it’s not the same thing. In the corner daytime television talks to seemingly no one, melodramatic soaps provide the sound track, but no one’s really paying attention to it.
The Sloppy Johny ($7.25) represents either the best or the worst of the original items here, depending on your perspective. Grilled chicken topped with a pile of coleslaw, bacon and onions on a hero with half-melted slices of American cheese. The combination is definitely weird and if that’s not your thing, a lot of the interesting parts of the menu won’t do much for you. I for one was uncertain about it, but liked it much more than I expected to, although the dripping juices of the slaw was a bit messier than I’d have liked.
If I was on the fence about ordering the Sloppy Johny on my first visit, I was all in for the El Greco ($7.25) on my second visit. Grilled chicken topped with griddled hot salami, roasted red peppers and mozzarella cheese on a hero made for a great sandwich. Both heroes came on a crusty on the outside, chewy on the inside roll that, with all respect to Chris H., beats the hell out of the gummy mess at Subway.
There’s plenty more odd creations on the menu that sound like they are worth a try. At the top of my list is the “Do Me an Ava” with pastrami, swiss, bacon and russian dressing on a hero. There are also a selection of wraps, which just don’t quite seem right at an old school counter spot, but may be very good. In other words, I’d certainly go back to try the cheesesteak wrap.
The + (What somebody who likes this place would say)
- I love old lunch counters.
- I want Breakfast all day.
- The best lunch is the one made with the most random ingredients.
The – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- I don’t want to try sandwiches I can’t get everywhere else.
- Listening to soaps reminds me of lunches with grandma.
- Semi-melted slices of American cheese don’t have any business on my sandwich.
Johny’s Luncheonette, 124 W. 25th Street (btw. 6+7th), 212-243-6230