The first clue into the vibe at John's Place is its name, which, quite simply, originated from owner John Manilow wanting a down-home restaurant to call his own. A handful of menu items feature John's mother's original recipes, while others are adorned with personal suggestions from the owner himself (he recommends adding chorizo to the breakfast burrito). The dining areas could also be mistaken for a personal dining room (albeit quite a bit larger) with lofty ceilings, wide-open spaces and local artwork.
John's Place is best known for its weekend brunch, which includes an ample smattering of sweets and savories. The pumpkin pie pancakes, spiced pumpkin cakes sweetened with brown sugar and served with cinnamon butter, are a yummy reminder of autumn offered all year long. For something lighter, the chilaquiles, eggs scrambled with corn tortillas, pico de gallo, Chihuahua cheese and topped with tomatillo-avocado salsa, are a wonderful choice. Dishes range from $4.50 to $8.95. Brunch runs until 3 p.m., and a shortened lunch menu is also served after 11 a.m.
The dinner menu features a wide variety of familiar and internationally-tinged items, ranging from burgers and sandwiches to chopped salads and fish tacos. John's Place is kid-friendly, with a separate kids menu and one dining area unofficially designated the "kids room" so as to satisfy both families and adults looking for a quiet dinner. If you fall in the latter category, stop by on Tuesday or Thursday nights, when the entire wine list is half off. John's Place's lovely sidewalk seating accommodates nearly 60 guests.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Laura Brown