Okay! So, I was skeptical about this "Guy Fieri" restaurant for a few reasons:
- Chain. Need I say more? (But, I am no food-elitist. Remember, I love Chevy's).
- Guy Fieri. Not a fan. Not an anti-fan; just not a fan.
- Had a less-than-stellar meal at The Lady and Sons (Paula Deen's restaurant). I love Paula Deen, but when we were in Savannah, we had a much better meal at The Old Pink House. So, going into Johnny Garlic's, I was prepared for a potential Paula Deenesque experience. Well, I figured those tv chefs might just all have nothing-special going on in their restaurants.
Sitting at a high-top table at the bar, checking out the diggs, I'd call it mildly upscale-burger-casual. Kitchen looks very clean. Place is crowded. Servers and hostess are very friendly.
Sheeeeeet, that stuff is goooood. Right out of the oven: light, airy, toasted with onions and garlic on top. I don't even like onions. Glad they only gave us four pieces, 'cuz I coulda downed about ten.
I order the American Kobe Flank Steak (Half-Grill).
Server says, "Oh, did they leave the lunch menu in there? We only have half-grill at lunch. But you can get the whole one."
No. Too big.
"Well, since the lunch menu was left in there, I'm just gonna do that for you."
Ten points for her. She was really nice about it.
Meanwhile, table-neighbor's dinner arrives and it is looking great. As a matter of fact, seated in full-view of the kitchen, everything coming out looks great. They are clearly conscious here about plating; the presentation is quite nice. I don't like seafood, but I saw a lovely seared-ahi, skewered atop a bed of rice, drive by. Mmmm, surprising.
My dinner arrives: a beautiful, darkly-marinated and grilled piece of meat, laid across a generous helping of Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, surrounded by crisp, whole green beans, served on white rectangular plate drizzled with the Kobe glaze.
Honest to god, I finished my dinner in about ten minutes. I have a terrible "wolfing" problem sometimes. It was really, really delicious.
Well, that was fun!
This particular Johnny Garlic's was in Santa Rosa. I noticed that it received a higher Yelp rating than other Johnny Garlics. Who knows, maybe they just got it goin' on in Santa Rosa.
Either way, I'll be giving Johnny Garlic's another try.