Sometimes simplicity is best, so whenever you want a simple lunch that’s both hot and tasty, look no further than John’s Place in Peru.
Open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and located just off Peoria Street at 1802 Fifth St., across the block from Vlastnik’s Menswear, John’s Place is perfect with its tagline “Nothing 2 Fancy, Just A Good Sandwich “. on the back wall.
The restaurant, which has a vibrant atmosphere reminiscent of the 1950s, is divided into a small dining room and a counter with stools. Drinks and soups were presented in plastic foam cups with lids, and sandwiches and fries in baskets lined with waxed paper.
There is, however, a fairly wide menu of regular and specialty burgers, sandwiches, wraps, soups and salads, as well as ice cream specialties that are sure to please not only any appetite, but to any wallet.
After finding a large parking lot on the north side of this block, my dining companions and I met on a weekday just before noon, which is the peak of the lunch rush. We were seated at a table and didn’t have to wait long for the waiter to take our drink orders, returning shortly after with the drinks in take-out cups, with an empty one on the side. That one was for the contents of a large metal shaker almost overflowing with a very tasty strawberry milkshake ($3.95).
I ordered a cup of lasagna soup, topped with soon-to-be-melted mozzarella, and Le Cubain ($4.25), a burger with the appropriate cheese, ham, pickles, mustard, and mayonnaise. garlic, served on a toasted bun. It came with lots of mayonnaise, making it a messy but delicious treat, and a perfect complement to the tangy cheese soup.
A companion of mine ordered the sloppy joe ($3.35), which came with other sandwiches like ham salad, tuna salad, egg salad and chicken salad, a BLT and even a sandwich with peanut butter and jelly (grape or strawberry). For one side they ordered the ravs and broth soup, served piping hot.
The next person chose The Chipotle ($3.75), a cheeseburger with pepper jack, grilled onions, jalapeños and chipotle mayo. Don’t let the spicy ingredient list put you off – the sandwich had a manageable low amount of heat that doesn’t require diners to gulp down water to extinguish a fiery aftertaste. She also added a cup of cheeseburger soup which was a highlight. Each spoonful of thick cream cheese soup was packed with ground beef and noodles.
The person with the milkshake ordered The Cowgirl ($3.75), a cheeseburger with pepper jack, bacon, grilled onions and barbecue sauce.
Also on the menu are wraps, served hot or cold with a choice of meat – chicken, ham or turkey – and with any combination of condiments, including cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato and ranch dressing.
There are also green vegetables: a side salad with cheese and tomatoes; a chef’s salad with these and either chicken, ham or turkey; and a taco salad, with seasoned ground beef, fries, and taco dressing.
And the ice cream dessert menu was extensive, including sundaes, shakes, malts, cones, and ice cream sodas.
For the four of us, each having a drink, soup and a sandwich, the bill came to a very reasonable $37.60. It’s easy to see why John’s Place draws a crowd every day.
The Mystery Diner is an employee of Shaw Media. The identity of the diner is not revealed to the restaurant staff before or during the meal. The Mystery Diner visits another restaurant and then reports on the experience. If the Mystery Diner cannot recommend the establishment, we will not post a story.
IF YOU ARE GOING TO
WHAT: At John’s
OR: 1802 Fifth St., Peru