3-244 Weber St. North
Waterloo, Ontario, N2J 3H4
A couple of days ago a colleague insisted on going to this new place he previously remembered driving by. Of course, he didn't know the name of the place nor the type of food it served, but at least he knew where it was (corner of University and Weber). Turns out it was Johnny Fresco, which about two months ago took over the space where Donut Queen used to be. We did a brief drive by and it looked safe enough so we ventured in for lunch.
The space is bright and airy, but almost a little too sparse and empty. The menu is mostly fast food oriented, with burgers, pitas, fries, and other pick up and bite items. The set up is reminiscent of Harvey's where you order at the counter, a tray is set up and passed along the counter where toppings are placed on your cooked to order burger. The burgers are thick 6oz deals, which take a few minutes longer than the average fast food joint to cook. I ordered the only somewhat different item on the menu, the Greco Pita. This turned out to be a pita with a burger patty cut up and stuffed inside. It was a little dry and a little too full of burger meat for my tastes, even after I loaded it up with toppings, including tzatziki sauce, mushrooms, pineapple, hot peppers, plus the typical lettuce, tomato, cucumber. It came with a side and can of pop, the side being a choice of fries, garden, or caesar salad. Trying to be somewhat healthy, I choose the garden salad. It was served "Subway" style which means the same toppings that go on a sandwich/burger go into a plastic container to make the "salad". I tried some of my colleague's fries but they were not noteworthy (so why am I making a note of them?)
Overall, the food was about average, slightly above Harvey's but slightly below The Grill at University plaza. Most of the clientele seemed to be foot traffic from the local high school. It didn't seem like there was enough volume to support the place but I'm not a restaurateur. However, it was a cold and snowy day so perhaps it was down from the normal levels. Perhaps they were trying to cut costs because it felt like the only heat in the place was coming from the grill. It was freezing inside, and having bare metal chairs didn't help at all. I see no reason to return. The last thing this town needs is another copycat burger/greek fast food place.
Lunch items were $4-6, plus $1.50 for a combo or another $1 for a double burger (far too much meat for the average person).
Wednesday, January 24, 2007