Johnny Mango
 Cleveland, Ohio        Date of Visit  09/30/12

We had traveled to Cleveland to hit a store and had just watched a show on the Food Channel which put ideas in our heads for a possible double header, lunch and dinner. Well, it turns out lunch is not open on Sunday’s, contrary to the website. I did go back to check the website to make sure it wasn’t me and it seems to have disappeared. Our in between destination ended up being so far back towards home we decided just to head there instead. Hopefully the missing website means they are making some corrections instead of just plain gone but we will likely try both soon.



Each End Of Bar Serves Light Or Dark Side Of The Force

Sitting at the curb in Ohio City in front of the dark Palookaville Chili we punched up the restaurant layer on the GPS and found several options. There’s a place with a fun name we had walked past a couple of times on our way to Momocho or other places so we decided to give them a try…they were open. Johnny Mango’s sits on an odd pointed street corner and is absolutely hopping for brunch. All sorts of people are clustered around shaky tables in a whimsical dining room with a large bar and tiny kitchen. The bar has a sort of heaven/hell divide as the same bartender is obliterating bins of fresh fruit in an industrial juicer to provide healthy concoctions for health minded patrons and on the other side she is sending out adult libations so  your liver might need a fresh smoothie in the future. While we were going over the menu Steph spotted the ground fruit/veggie mix of the day and thought “I” ought to have one. Kale with apple, cucumber, ginger and lemon. Yum! Actually it was pretty good. We both liked it and it wasn’t long until the glass contained only ice and frothy green residue like pond scum.


What Do You Mean KALE-Aid?!?

Ohhhhh. That's What You Mean

It All Went Down. Surprisingly Tasty

Flank n Feta Omelet

Everyone seemed to be devouring brunch and we went the same route. Steph ordered a flank steak and feta omelet and I went with a Vietnamese rice crepe. The kitchen was a little slow, but given it is two guys working in a closet for a full room, no surprise. Steph’s omelet was wrapped in thick fluffy eggs and stuffed with steak and feta. There was a lack of seasoning all the way through the mix but there were enough condiments available to alter that on your own. That mix of healthy and less than again. The potatoes were redskins and they were loaded with shallots and onions. Great for me but not for Steph. It also came with a rectangle of corn bread which was moving towards pretty good but just didn’t make the mark. It had a nice crunch but was lacking serious corniness or a hint of sweet and definitely could have used a spike of moisture.


Looked Stuffed From the End

Was All Way Through. Needed Seasoning, Lotsa Seasoning

Oniony Taters Were Fine For Me

Good Start To Cornbread, Still Needs Something And Moisture

The Vietnamese crepe. My least favorite part was the actual crepe. Thumpy, like sautéed paste, it tasted very drab. A little better inside the wrapper contained seriously overcooked shrimp and much better mushrooms and sprouts. I’m starting to think this place might be run by a cult of über-healthy hippies that lure people in with alcohol and meat in a effort to seduce them into the ways of bark, nuts, berries and kale juice. Might not be a bad thing.

Vietnamese Rice Crepe. I'll Stick To French Version

Shrimp Were Disaster But Veggies Were Great...Hippie Cult At Work?

In addition to the shrooms and sprouts the crepe came with a sweet and sour dipping sauce which made up for all of the other shortcomings. Imagine a thinner, clearer version of the pineapple laden Styrofoam stuff that comes with your Chinese delivery and add a stiff clout of spicy pepper seeds. Sweet, sour and hot all together made even the rice crepe swallowable. Add that to the same potatoes and cornbread that rode alongside the omelet and you have a functional brunch.

Johnny Mango’s might have a slight case of DID (formerly multiple personality disorder). It might be healthier than I typically seek out. Not everything they put on a plate is tasty. But some of it is and they allow you the ability to reduce the health content of your meal. Our server and the others working where we could see seemed friendly, matter of fact and unapologetic. Just like the place, everything there is loud but relaxed, friendly and wacky, could well be worth another trip. The menu is a little off and certainly seems worth exploring...even if I might find myself hugging trees and turning down free bacon.

This Stuff Was Awesome



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