Tucked into a strip of shops in ever-growing Dutchtown, John Michael’s Good Eats was hopping during Monday’s lunch hour.
Inside, the dé cor is pleasing and not overly done, with tan walls, iron art pieces and a chandelier, framed art and TVs at each end of the dining area. Hanging lights brighten the counter and an old-fashioned gumball machine adds a touch of whimsy.
In contrast to the eatery’s size, its menu is extensive, with a multitude of choices in sandwiches, po-boys, wraps, pastas and salads. Customers order and pay at the counter, and the food is delivered to the table. Despite all tables being filled, our orders were out promptly.
A guest’s turkey and avocado grilled wrap ($9.75) was neatly packed with braised turkey, thick slices of avocado, Swiss cheese, baby spinach and the perfect amount of chopped tomato. The delectable sandwich blend was tied together with a white balsamic Zinfandel vinaigrette dressing. Her choice of the sun-dried tomato tortilla (the other bread choices were plain and wheat), was flaky and crisp.
Her side dish, which comes with the wrap, was pasta salad. The cup of tricolored rotini was tossed in a delicious creamy dressing.
My semi-vegetarian friend ordered the eggplant parmigiana ($8.25) over angel hair pasta, declining the option of adding chicken, meatballs or shrimp to the dish for an extra charge.
This large portion was quite filling and satisfying, although it could have used more cheese. The thinly-sliced and breaded eggplant was nicely seasoned and the pasta cooked appropriately. The accompanying garlic bread was baked just right for the desired crunchy exterior and soft interior. According to the menu, John Michael’s makes its own bread and most of its dressings. The abundance of tomato sauce made for perfect bread dipping.
The pot roast po-boy ($9.50) brought back memories of my mother’s Sunday roast. Tender chunks of beef, Swiss cheese, lettuce and tomato filled and spilled from the pressed slices of fresh French bread. A side of gravy allowed me to add a little inside the sandwich and use the rest for, what else, dipping. The side dish of potato salad used more of a mashed potato whipped together with tiny bits of egg and pickle — a nice little surprise.
The orange passion sweet tea got a thumbs-up from my friends, but the unsweetened tea, no matter how much sweetener I added, was bitter and unenjoyable.
The service was cordial and efficient. We’ll surely return, as there’s still a lot of that menu to cover.