John G's Restaurant
Name: Terry Brown
Occupation: Town Commissioner
Lives In: Ocean Ridge, Palm Beach County
Restaurant Pick: John G’s
Reviewed John G’s: January 2nd, 2009
This is a unique family-run operations, and one of those hard-to-find remnants of the relaxed beach life-style we like to associate with Florida living. A nice touch: the M&M after-meal mints are in an old-fashioned gumball machine, with a plate of pennies.
I would recommend this restaurant to all. The total experience: food, service and atmosphere was great. It is an especially good place to bring out-of-town visitors.
It was easy finding a parking space, We were seated and served without any delay. We were delighted with the food, the ocean view, and the great value. This is the best breakfast in this part of the state.
Name: Alice Saltzman
Occupation: Yoga Instructor/Actress
Lives In: Hypoluxo
Restaurant Pick: Little Moir’s Food Shack
Reviewed John G’s Restaurant: January 4th, 2009
John G’s is a good, local place for breakfast and lunch. They serve a straightforward menu at good prices. Come down for any number of delicious breakfast items or the fish and chips and the friendly service.
Who doesn’t love going out for lunch on a Sunday?? I know I do and John G’s is a good place to get it done. The line was long as we pulled up so my husband jumped out to claim his place on line while I looked and looked and looked for a spot. Once that was accomplished and my quarters had been deposited I met my husband in line. The wait was about a half an hour. The restaurant has a coffee urn outside for free coffee while you wait and a busboy brought out chocolate covered pineapple so no one passes out while they wait in line. Once inside we are quickly greeted by our server and place our order. Because it is after noon we cannot get breakfast which is mildly disappointing but I am not in charge. The food arrives quickly and for the most part is very good. Everything appears to be homemade (soup, tartar sauce, cole slaw) and a few misses aside, is high quality and delicious. The portions are very generous and the prices are reasonable. My iced tea was always kept full and service is very attentive. Everyone is very nice. Considering how busy this place is and the sheer number of plates they put out on a Sunday, the wait staff and kitchen are doing a heck of a job. Overall, John G’s is a good solid place to come for breakfast or lunch.
Name: Alex Rendon
Occupation: Music Editor
Lives In: Coconut Creek
Restaurant Pick: Chops Lobster
Reviewed John G’s Restaurant: January 10th, 2009
Although the size of the line on the weekend was rather intimidating, John G’s lived up to the hype. Not only did the staff treat me like family (this Lake Worth breakfast institution is family owned), but my tummy was delighted with the generous portions of the fluffiest eggs and the most delectable tower of French toast. Washing it all down with a freshly brewed American cup o’ Joe was uniquely satisfying, kept a smile on my face all day long.
When you drive up the knoll that leads up to the strip of Ocean Drive where John G’s is located, you’ll feel like you just time warped into 1950. Lake Worth Beach, with its pier, boardwalk and art deco colored benches has that kind of old time feel. That feeling extends to the Lake Worth breakfast institution, where the line on the Saturday morning was almost curving around the block. Anchoring what is now a dilapidated strip mall, John G’s is a legendary spot for breakfast amongst tourist and locals alike.
After dropping my wife off so that she could wait for us in line, I drove around the block and luckily noted that an elderly man in a beat up Lincoln Town Car was pulling out. (The parking beach side is rather limited.) After placing my parking receipt on the dashboard, I walked past the community pool and various t shirt and gift shop locales that made up the rundown mall, and was pleased to discover that my wife had already been seated. She had taken a seat on the counter, although not as funky as the schooner style main dining room, it was all too impressive to be seated so quickly. We were on an empty stomach mind you!
Within minutes our courteous waitress appeared and asked if we would like any coffee. Of course! She brought an entire pot over rapidly. The freshly brewed coffee was nothing fancy, but it was comforting to sip a regular, no frills American cup of Joe. (No need to speak a foreign language here when ordering your coffee.)
As for the main course, I had come with my mind set on the French toast. And although the Italian omelet, filled with Sausage, Pepperoni, Green Peppers, Cheesee, Onions & Mushrooms, caught my eye, I stuck to my guns and had the “Original” cinnamon-nut French Toast. It was thickly sliced and tasted homemade, just like grandma use to make. (If my grandma had been from somewhere like Georgia). The toast was coated with crunchy almonds and a slight dash of cinnamon. It wasn’t as sweet as you would think. I actually was expecting the cinnamon and almond combo to be more sugary, but nonetheless, adding generous amounts of fresh tasting warm maple syrup satisfied my sweet tooth. I ordered the French toast with a side of bacon. Yeah, forget the diet today! The crispy bacon was so voluminous that it could have possibly been enough to feed a family of four on its own. (Don’t forget to bring the Lipitor). Actually it wasn’t so bad; the plate also brought a couple of pieces of lettuce, ripe tomatoes and grapefruit to balance out the nutritional value.
My wife went with the stuffed croissant with scrambled eggs, chopped ham, and cheese sauce. Forget about the microwaved grease sponge you get at Dunkin’ Donuts, this flaky and toasty croissant is the real deal. Filled with scrumptious, perfectly fluffy scrambled eggs and tender pieces of ham, this croissant was a dream. My wife complimented this scrambled perfection with a side of hash browns, which were also quite toasty. Her plate brought some healthy side items like grapefruit and lettuce, but we left them untouched.
Also, cannot forget to mention the spectacular glass of orange juice we had. If I could change one thing about my John G breakfast experience it would have the small size I ordered of this succulent, citric ambrosia. The teeny 8oz glass of this freshly squeezed O.J. was not enough.
Leaving the lively yet welcoming restaurant, I couldn’t help but think that John G’s would be a perfect candidate for the Food Network’s hit show, Diner, Drive-ins and Dives. It is a uniquely home town establishment that, although being only miles away from Palm Beach, is far from being pretentious. Ample portions of hearty comfort breakfasts are served to patrons happily willing to endure long lines. There is something so simple, pure and authentic about John G’s. Can’t wait to go back.
Location: Plaza Del Mar, 264 So. Ocean Blvd., Manalapan, FL
Phone: : 561-585-9860
Restaurant Owners: Jay and Kay Giragos, Wendy Yarbrough
Type of Cuisine: American
Meals Served: Breakfast and Lunch
Accommodations for Children: Yes