Friday , March 16 2018

Pomona Restaurant Review “Johnny’s Famous Hamburgers” by John Clifford

 Follow Pomona resident John Clifford as he eats at EVERY restauarant on Garey Avenue, and writes about his experience. He started at In N Out on South Garey in January 2016

John Clifford

by Pomona Resident John Clifford President, Pomona Public Library Foundation | Member Save Our Pomona Public Library | Director, Historical Society of the Pomona Valley | Member, Pomona Christmas Parade Committee | Historic Consultant--Mayfair Hotel | Instructor--Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM)

Johnny’s Famous Hamburgers -- 2302 N Garey Ave Pomona, CA 91767 My Meal Cost: $25.41 for 2. Health Rating A. Yelp 3.5 stars

There are those times when we've been to meetings or out shopping, or doing whatever it is that we've been spending the day doing and we get home and neither of us really wants to cook but we're tired and don't want to slog off to a sit-down restaurant. That's when we start the discussion on what do you want? I dunno, what do you want? I don't care, anything? OK, how about Mexican (probably Lily's)? No it would be too spicy. OK, how about pizza? No it's just a bit too much. Eventually we get to Chinese (our go-to is Cachanilla on Holt/Palomares), and chicken (Donahoo's of course). But if none of those sound good we end up at burgers. Then it's In-N-Out or Johnny's.
Johnny's which is a little closer is where we often end up. Our usual orders are either patty melt or pastrami for me, and Johnny burger (burger, cheese, bacon, and avocado) for the Lovely Mrs. C. She really likes the onion rings and I opt for the fries and we end up sharing. Because this is a to go order, it's usually Placed at the drive thru window.
For this post, the Lovely Mrs. C and I decided to actually go inside and enjoy our meal in the dining room. On our arrival at about 11:45 am, the place was completely full and there was only seating at the counter. However, leaving Mrs. C to peruse the menu, while I ordered she was able to secure a booth before ordering was finished. This is a normal fast food type dining room with 8 booths and seating at a counter. The room is open and airy with windows surrounding three sides and the order counter on the fourth.
We both decided that it was time that we ordered something that we had not tried here before. I can already vouch for the pastrami (not quite to The Hat standards and well below Langers--OK, all other pastrami is below Langers) but very good, and I'm a fan of their patty melt. I'm not a fan of a lot of bread so the patty melt which is more of a grilled cheese with burger and grilled (very well caramelized) onions.
Mrs. C decided to try the steak sandwich as a combo with self-serve soft drink and (one of her favorites) onion rings. I opted for the Polish Sausage sandwich as a combo with drink and fries. The food was brought to our table with little delay. The server and the counter person were friendly and very pleasant.
The lovely Mrs. C. stated that the steak was tender and had good flavor. Probably her only complaint would have been that there was too much lettuce. The onion rings at Johnny's are always good with thick slices of onion in a good crispy batter. This is not one of those fried from frozen things that you often see, nor was it an overly puffy breading, but good light crisp batter. Not quite tempura, but a cousin.My sausage sandwich also had a lot of lettuce, but I didn't mind it. The sausage was grilled and cut in half and came on a soft roll with lettuce, tomato, and a very light smear of mayo. It was quite good with great snap when you bit into it (pretty good since it was sliced, which usually makes the skin not snap). My only complaint was that it was a little bland and needed mustard (which they were happy to give me on request). The fries are thick and were crispy on the outside and had a nice creaminess on the inside. I'm not a ketchup person so I only added a little salt to enjoy them. As we sat dining, we noticed that there was a continuous line of cars at the drive-thru. A good sign that business is booming at Johnny's.

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