John’s Mexican Restaurant's food a little south of expectations

jburk@macon.comFebruary 17, 2012 

John’s Mexican Restaurant has interested me for a while now.

Located on First Street across from Robins Air Force Base, the restaurant with the green overhang always looked packed at lunch, so it seemed like a good place to try.

As with most Mexican restaurants, the first things brought to your table are chips and salsa. The thin yellow corn tortilla chips are accompanied by a small carafe of salsa and small bowls to pour it in. The multiple bowls are nice for when you are eating with a notorious double-dipper or a husband who likes to hog the salsa.

There are three dips you can order for your chips: Mexicali dip, guacamole dip and cheese dip. I tried the Mexicali and cheese dips. The Mexicali dip is made with refried beans, sour cream, white cheese and black olives. The dip was smooth and rich in flavor. The cheese dip was the melted white cheese typical at Mexican restaurants. It was creamy goodness, and I could not get enough.

While I did not try the guacamole dip, some of my dining companions did. They said it was more like a paste than the chunky guacamole they were used to; however, both agreed the flavor was rich and good.

I wasn’t so impressed with the rest of the meal, though. On different trips, I tried the chicken quesadilla, beef burrito, beef enchilada and chile relleno. The chicken quesadilla was grilled with bell peppers and onions in a white flour tortilla topped with melted cheese.

Overall, it was dry and a little bland. I was disappointed that the cheese melted on top seemed to be a shredded Mexican cheese blend, rather than the white cheese dip. Others also said they wished their meals had the white cheese instead of the mix.

The burrito, enchilada and chile relleno could have been interchangeable. They all pretty much tasted the same and were all topped with a runny brownish red sauce.

One of my dining companions spoke highly of the flauta, which was her go-to meal at John’s. Another who ordered a chimichanga said it was good, but tasted like a rolled up fajita.

Another was satisfied finishing off his plate of arroz con pollo, which was strips of chicken grilled with bell pepper, onion and tomato served on top of rice and covered in white cheese sauce (finally) and jalapeños.

The portions at John’s are huge, and the prices are very affordable (just about everything is less than $10). And if a train rolls by, someone spins the wheel at the front of the restaurant, and if your table number comes up, you get 20 percent off.

There is a “sandwiches” section of the menu, consisting of things such as burgers and fries, for those who don’t like food from south of the border.

John’s Mexican Restaurant

Address: 312 S. First St., Warner Robins

Phone: (478) 329-0638

Hours: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturdays, closed Sundays

Payment: Cash, credit

Smoking: No

Alcohol: Beer

Kids menu: Yes

Noise level: Medium

Wheelchair accessible: Yes

Health rating: 95

Price range: $1.99-$21.99 (for a family pack)

Rating: 2 ½ stars

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