Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Johnny's Marion Restaurant 3.8/5

Bacon Burger
Score: 3.8

Fat Boy
Score: 3.7

Cheese Burger
Score: 4.2

When we arrived at Johnny’s Marion Restaurant I was greeted with “Are you with the group? You guys are outside.” “Pardon me?”You’re outside” gesturing behind me. I didn’t think there was any more building behind me, but sure enough, when I turned around, there was a doorway into an addition – a long, narrow room just for us. I haven’t been to Johnny’s before and I was quite surprised at how big it was – there were tables as far as the eye could see!

Our server was quite efficient and she wasn’t about to be sidetracked by our unruly behavior. As we arrived one by one she took our drink orders, and once we were all gathered, took our food orders. There were ten different permutations of burger on the menu but no description of what came with what. Our waitress explained that the Marion was a double Fat Boy and the Meech was triple Fat Boy. As to what came with cheese or chili and the available condiments – that was a surprise. It wasn’t too long before she came back out balancing two or three plates at a time. We pretty much all got our burgers at once. There were a couple of notable stragglers though – not sure what happened there.

The double burger was held together with a frilly cocktail stick so bonus points for assembly and presentation. The beef patties themselves were hand formed, quite dense and fairly dry. It was a very filling burger with a nice beefy flavour. I really enjoyed the chili sauce as did most people who had it. Probably my favourite chili so far and the flavour worked well with the overall burger. Most people agreed that the bacon was cooked to perfection, but one slice just wasn’t enough. Some people got two slices so that might be the difference between ordering a bacon burger or a burger with bacon.

The processed cheese also got lots of comments – there was only half a slice! It looked like a little patch of cheese on the burger and brought back memories of Johnny G’s with its half slice of bacon placed on one side of the patty. We’re not sure if tiny cheese is what’s practiced in the French Quarter or if they were rationing it today. There was a big slab of fairly hard tomato – pretty much the same diameter as the patty – which added to the overall stature of the burger. I was hungry so I ordered a bacon double cheeseburger. It came with chili sauce, lettuce and tomato. My double burger had double everything – two patties, two halves of cheese, two slices of bacon and two slices of tomato. There was as much lettuce and tomato as patty. Where the whole assembly fell apart was the sesame seed bun. The comments were pretty consistent that the bun was crumbly and broke apart. It definitely wasn’t up to the job of containing my double burger.

I enjoy the lettuce and tomato but usually skip it on a big burger because it makes the whole assembly unwieldy. The burgers we’ve had usually come with one of three different lettuce variations: either a leaf of iceberg, a leaf of romaine, or chopped iceberg. I like the romaine - it’s nice and green, has some flavour - as long as it hasn’t gone bitter - and is fairly grippy. The iceberg is pretty tasteless – just green water – and makes the burger slippery especially if up against a tomato. Chopped lettuce is usually mixed with copious quantities of mayonnaise and although adding lots of moisture, it makes for a sloppy burger – Mrs. Mike's being the extreme example. Johnny’s employed the latter technique and it was messy! Karen observed “it started dripping on the first bite and self destructed before the cast couple of bites.”

Heard and seen around the table today:

April discovered relish on her burger and wouldn’t have been more traumatized if it was nuclear waste. I’m sure she would’ve been happier in a hazmat suit meticulously scraping off the offending green stuff with a napkin.

At one point I noticed the very faint background music was a funeral dirge – which seemed peculiar until someone reminded me that there was a church on the other side of the wall.

Another little idiosyncrasy of Johnny’s Marion, is that when Dani asked for a takeaway container for her burger leftovers, they gave her a piece of foil. It’s not like they didn’t have takeaway containers because other people got a Styrofoam one for their salad leftovers!

My horoscope in the Metro today was awesome: “Something will not work out the way you expected, but it really doesn’t matter.” Phew – I can relax now!

Tazz has lots of great ideas for t-shirts and thinks April would present them well.

Cary had vibrating pens for some of the lucky girls today. They got passed around - the girls went “Ooooh!” and the guys shrugged.

Johnnys Marion Restaurant on Urbanspoon


  1. Some mention should be made that the gravy was tasteless.

  2. http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/332/1444914/restaurant/St-James-Assiniboia/Olympia-Diner-Winnipeg

    You guys HAVE to checkout the burgers at this place (particularly the Greek Burger!). I went there yesterday for lunch and absolutely loved it (I'm a bit of a burger nut in my own right as well:).

    I'd love you hear what you guys think of that place.

  3. Thanks for the tip Scott. I've added Olympia Diner to our list of contenders: http://burgerclubwinnipeg.blogspot.com/p/burger-club-winnipeg-contenders.html

  4. Ok, so far I'm finding you guys so so as far as rating burgers go when comparing to my tastes. I can't believe you rated Johnny's so low. I find they have one of the best burgers in town. The burger is tasty and I love it sloppy... it's not a fatboy unless it's at least a bit messy to eat. On Friday, I was going to try Sonya's as I've never been before but Johnny's was more on the way home from work. And I wanted to see if their burgers had gone downhill or something as I hadn't been for a while. I still find it awesome. I'm not sure how you got crumbly buns but mine lasted the entire meal without breaking apart once. Their fries were good as always as well. Anyway, have to say thumbs down to you guys on this one. I'd have rated much higher. But that's me. I grew up on Dairi Wip and then Johnny's later on so I love burgers like this. Although I agree with you on Dairi Wip's placing as far as burgers go, as I love their hot dogs way better.


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