Sunday, May 26, 2013

Johnny C's Knows How To Please A Kansas City Lunch Crowd

Johnny serves up fresh baked cookies
The combination of quality food, good service and reasonable prices is sometimes hard to find in a lunch spot, but Johnny C's Deli and Pasta in Kansas City offers just that.

Opened in 1992 by Johnny Caracci and inspired by wonderful memories of preparing and eating homemade Sicilian cuisine with family in his grandmother's kitchen, Johnny C. wants his customers to experience that same feeling of happiness when they eat at his place.

Entering Johnny C's
To be honest, I never would have known about this restaurant if a friend had not told me because the location I visited (there are actually two locations)  at approximately I-435 and Front St. was so nondescript.  Tucked into the middle of a commercial strip mall at the end of Universal Avenue, it is not in a place where you would normally ever drive by and see it.  

In fact, as I walked toward the front door of Johnny C's, I looked around and wondered, "Why have a deli here?  How many people are actually going to find it?"  Then I opened the restaurant door.  Surprise! The place was packed.  

The Muffaletta Sandwich
My next thought was, "Bummer, now I'm going to have a long wait,"  because there were approximately 15 people ahead of me in the order line.  However, just the opposite turned out to be true, and in less than five minutes, I was placing my order with Johnny C. himself.  Their operation was running like a well-oiled machine, plus they had both sides of the counter open to serve double the people.  

As far as lunch deals, on the day I was there, the menu included two specials.  The first included a serving of homemade lasagna, salad, bread and butter, and a medium drink for $8.99. The second special was a 1/2 sandwich (ham, beef or turkey), a cup of soup, chips, and a 22-ounce drink for $8.49. 

The dining room at Johnny C's
The rest of the menu included a variety of cold and hot sandwiches along with  spaghetti, garlic toast, soup, several types of salads, an option to "build your own sandwich," and yummy desserts like freshly baked Otis Spunkmeyer cookies and the "cake of the day." 


Cost wise, most of the sandwiches, pasta dishes and salads ranged in price from $5.99 - $7.99.  The sandwiches were served with chips, and the pasta came with salad plus bread and butter. I thought the Italian steak and chicken cordon bleu sandwiches sounded yummy, but in the end, I ordered a Swiss beef sandwich which included roast beef, Swiss cheese and barbeque sauce.

The Swiss Beef Sandwich
I then found a table in the dining area and waited for my order, which didn't take long either.  While I was sitting there, I noticed that the walls were covered with old family photos.  They were kind of interesting and gave an otherwise typical-looking restaurant a more unique and inviting vibe.  

Once the lunch rush died down a little, Johnny also came out from behind the counter to speak to his patrons, stopping by each table to say hi and check in with the customers.  It was a nice personal touch.

Johnny C. checking on customers

Overall, I found my eating experience at Johnny C's to be quite enjoyable, and if I worked in the vacinity of I-435 and Front St., I would eat there often.  It is such a better lunch choice than the fast food places around it, like McDonald's and Taco Bell, and if you're in a hurry, you can call in your order ahead of time, and they will have it ready for you when you get there.  

Johnny C's marinade and salad dressing
Keep in mind that both Johnny C's Deli & Pasta locations have limited hours and only serve lunch items, but they do offer catering services, including box lunches, deli trays and sandwich trays.  They also sell bottles of their own salad dressing and marinade. 
So, if you're ever in the area, give Johnny C's Deli and Pasta a try.  It's not fancy, but Johnny will make sure you leave full and happy.
Johnny C's Deli and Pasta

7012 Universal
Kansas City, MO
(816) 483-3354
Open Mon - Fri
9:00 a.m. -  4:30 p.m.

1113 North 5th
Kansas City, KS
(913) 281-3663
Open Mon - Fri
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Johnny C's Deli on Urbanspoon

No comments:

Post a Comment