Restaurant Review: Johnny Mañana’s? More Like Johnny Nunca’s…*

Johnny Mañana’s is a Mexican restaurant not far from where I live in Northeast Philadelphia. I love Mexican food. It’s spicy and flavorful. So on a rare free night, DF and I went there for dinner. We’d been there for lunch a while back and remembered good food and great service…

We sat down to mismatched plates and complimentary drinks in mismatched glasses. I thought it was a theme…We ordered an appetizer and two entrees, sipped our free drinks and like any other nosey couple eavesdropped on the other patrons. That’s when we started to pick up on all the signals…It also didn’t help that we were sitting near the open air kitchen/grill area and could hear the cooks and wait staff bitching and complaining.

It turns out that the mismatched plates and glasses weren’t part of a new theme. They just didn’t have enough plates and glasses for all of their customers and so were scrounging around using whatever they could find. Even the complimentary drinks were a fakeout — they were free because the restaurant didn’t have a liquor license.

While we waited for our food I noticed a number of plates being returned to the kitchen. My guess is that people got tired of waiting for their food and left, which is what happened at the tables to our left and right. There were a lot of complaints and the manager/owner type person apologized by saying that “they had just recently reopened.” I guess he got tired of dealing with complaints because a few minutes later I saw him slip out a side door and drive away, never to be seen again….

What happened, Johnny? What happened to that nice place I remember? I guess its gone…Oh well, life goes on…And, for all of you budding restauranteurs out there — do not open if you’re not ready to serve customers. Free drinks will only carry you so far…

 Just so this review isn’t 100% negative, know this — the homemade chips, salsa and gaucamole are incredible (and available for purchase). 

*translation: “Johnny Tomorrow’s? More like Johnny Never’s”


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