It was a pre-holiday Sunday morning so almost nothing was open on our way down to NAIAS. Honest John's appeared to be an interesting option. Beer for breakfast anyone?
APPEARANCE & NOSE
From the outside, the restaurant resembled a big box. Literally, a rectangular prism with long, white side walls and a small red question mark painted in the middle. With bare landscape around it, the cubism of this one-story building was only further highlighted. The front facade had a short, black awning which served as their signage - Honest John’s written in white slab serif letters and also placed inside a burger as a patty. There were also a few neon signs on their windows. Upon entering, one had to go through a small wooden double flip door. Felt like we are entering a scene in a Western movie. It was a cold day so the additional barrier for chilly air was quite appreciated by the clients sitting next to the door. The interior was dim, a very much a pub setting, but the place was full at 10am. We had some creative folks with their macbooks next to us, a big family, a friends gathering nearby and couples - very diverse clientele was out to enjoy Sunday breakfast. The restaurant had unique iron coat hangers all around which seemed to be nature inspired. The warmth was further enhanced by the wood cladding the walls half way. Want to play pool or have a drink at the bar? All is functioning at 10am.
SWIRL & PALATE
Their menu was well organized with the breakfast section available on Sunday 9am -5pm. We went for their Big "O" (a suggestive name) with tomatoes, spinach, onion, zucchini green pepper, mushroom, broccoli and swiss. Lots of ingredients for an omelet, yet we did not find it to be too flavorful. The Swiss Cheese was adding some extra oomph here. It was a rather simple meal despite of the name and we only added some ketchup and mustard. Filling and wholesome, but, in our opinion, misnamed. The second meal was called Grace - a classic diner fare. Smothered hash browns grilled with two extra items and a cheese of our choice. We picked spinach and tomato with feta. Our eggs were ordered medium with a rye toast. When it was all in front of us, we realized that the egg was not done medium, but instead well. Not sure why we were given a choice. The dish was a bit salty but we both still really enjoyed it. The hash browns were torn apart so, in reality, we had something closer to grated and fried potatoes. A special note for the diner blend coffee - it smelled ok, did not have much substance to it - it was like very dark water. Hot water that is, which was plentiful (as an additional bonus) truly bottomless. Ma Cherie opted from their freshly squeezed orange juice, which was pulpy and worthwhile.
Honest John's is…honest for a lack of a better word. It is a true classic pub with a bit of a twist and a loyal following in the community. We would not have probably made a trip there for the sake of it, but the restaurant worked well to satisfy our breakfast needs.
Take a trip to their washrooms, for a nostalgic high school experience consisting of hormones and markers.