It doesn’t look like much from the outside: There’s a little dining area out front and a pizza baker riding a whale painted on the window. It’s cute, but nothing signifies the gustatory satisfaction you’re about to find inside Jonah’s on Johnston in Forsyth.
Our friends -- locals who come here often -- recommended the Artichoke Dip, served with toasted points of multi-grained homemade bread, and made with fresh artichokes, roasted peppers and shaved Parmesan.
We also tried the Fire Sticks, a turn on the usual bread sticks served in pizza joints. The bread (actually pizza crust) was good, but the hot sauce was just too much, even with the sesame seeds on top and after being dipped in the accompanying marinara with goat cheese. Our waitress cheerfully replaced them with their delicious original bread sticks and we were happy again.
The salads we chose could be meals in themselves. The new Fruit, Nut and Berry Salad is fresh and charming, topped with cantaloupe, strawberries, blueberries, honeydew, walnuts and pecans. The Greek Salad is loaded with kalamata olives and feta cheese. They also offer a Caprese and a Spicy Chicken Salad, so carb counters will be pleased with their options.
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Then, la piece de resistance, the pizza. First, we tried the Mike Angelo, made with white sauce, smoked gouda, spinach, red onion and bacon. Oh, smoked gouda on pizza is lovely, and bacon only makes it better. The other we ordered was the Lasagna Pizza, because I believe you cannot know a pizza maker’s heart until you’ve tried his sausage. Red sauce, Italian sausage, black olives, ricotta and Italian cheeses create a delightful flavor mélange in your mouth.
Next time we will try any pizza with the pesto sauce (made with fresh basil, garlic and olive oil) and the blush sauce (a mix of their red and white sauces) and we will design our own toppings. Other combinations include the Rhode Island Red, with grilled chicken and fresh roasted red peppers, and the interestingly named Cheese Ortenburger, covered in all of their meats.
In addition to this smorgasbord, we also had the pizza rolls, little tumbleweeds of dough wrapped around pepperoni, bacon and provolone. The sandwich we tried was one of the most fantastic sandwiches ever, with gooey provolone melted over chicken on homemade focaccia, served open-faced.
There are so many other options, like the calzones and the phazonies, but we were stuffed so you will have to try those on your own.
Finally, the desserts. Jonah’s chefs have earned the reputation of being great bakers, with their cinnamon rolls becoming the toast of the town. We had cheesecake brownies, pecan bars, peanut butter bars, and oatmeal, chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies. We also had their famous pralines and our friend -- from New Orleans, mind you -- said they were the best he’d ever had. After coffee made by the trained baristas, we practically rolled out of the place.
All of this, plus live music Fridays and Saturdays, a friendly atmosphere and decent prices, make Jonah’s on Johnston worth the short trip to Forsyth.
Jonah’s on Johnston
Address: 26 E. Johnston St., Forsyth
Phone: (478) 994-8844
Hours: 4-8 p.m. Sundays-Mondays; 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesdays-Wednesdays; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays
Payment: Cash, credit
Kids Menu: Yes
Noise Level: Medium
Health Rating: 100
Price range: $6-$10
Rating: 3 stars