I literally woke up from deep slumber right now, even after taking copious amounts of sleeping pills. I guess once I must write, its come hell or high water.

It’s OK though, as I’m writing about one of my ultra-fave restos so far: Mr. Jones.

Do you remember that Counting Crows song with the same moniker? Shalalalalalalaaaah…. uhuhhh. Anyway, it was really catchy in the 90’s. They even had a movie with Richard Gere in it. Mr. Jones, the restaurant, is like the song, catchy with that ever present panache that draws your eyes to its exteriors.

Like a 50s diner turned al fresco dining spot, the outdoor setting is made even more adorable with the smattering of palm trees and its little bar which houses the yummy desserts they carry. PIES! Who does pies anymore? Anyway the outdoor section is so cute, I usually prefer to stay there whenever possible. During lunchtime though, FAIL! It’s a bit hot, and even their misters can’t keep up with my cold-hearted blood.

The interiors however, turn 180. Still diner-ish, with its exposed kitchen and open shelves of accoutrement (even the cash register), it gets a little spruced up by diagonal leather and glass wall panels, and a sophisticated lighting scheme. Very chic meets diner sleek.

It’s so nostalgic and on point, the visionary must be a true travel freak in order to conceptualize this kitschy take on the old school American dining establishment. Sorry Johnny Rockets, you lose. So-called visionary is none other than Sau Del Rosario, creative director for such gems as Chelsea and M Cafe. He’s worked everywhere, fromWestin to Edsa Shang, to New World, and off to Europe where he trained side by side with Jacques Divellec of LeDivellec fame. For mere mortals, Monsieur Divellec is a 2 Michelin Star chef. That’s the ultimate sign of achievement once you’re recognized by this peer. Anyway back to Chef Sau, whose travels also let him to come up with thesefantabulous, borderline insane concepts that, when executed, just work wonders!

I’m talking about the food here. Here’s what I’ve had so far… which is a lot, so don’t be alarmed. I am warning you ahead of time…

Their Frozen Margarita is absolutely refreshing. And being the indomitable alcoholic that I am, I appreciated the extra large tumbler in lieu of those froufy martini glasses. This, my lightweights, is how it should be done.

The Pink Lemonade. WOW. Succinct and straight up the best I’ve had. You can literally see the lemon part (which clearly isn’t much) sinking low to the pinky stuff. Once mixed together… Ahhhh refreshment galore!

Oh, but the highlight of the menu, in keeping true to form to the Diner aesthetic, are their milkshakes. MILKSHAKES! Hello! Conjuring up childhood memories, this one takes the cake for me! From the original Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry to the creative Cherry Almond Crunch, Butterfingers Cup and Blueberry Granola Slim Shake, there’s absolutely something for anyone. I tried the Classic Chocolate Malt which I swear, almost brought me back to childhood when McDonald’s used to serve out those thick shake, which were later discontinued and now back on the menu.

Next comes the food:

Now, you all know I love soup, and I couldn’t resist when the menu read Old Fashioned Grilled Cheese & Alphabet Tomato Soup. Alphabet noodles! First off, the roasted tomato and herb soup is light compared to the soups I’ve had lately. But it’s just like the old school tomato soups found in diners, so checkmate on that one. Then it’s even topped with Creme Fraiche to give it some creamy factor. But the motherload of it all is the triple deckergrilled cheese sammy on sourdough bread, which is, as American tradition, the “dunking factor”. Yes, you dip it in the soup, the cheese melts a little and the bread gets soggy, but it’s oh so delicious once it hits your stomach! I wished the sandwich was a little more generous though…

And, underneath the red river of soup, lies ALPHABET noodles. How Campbell’s Soup cute can you get? YUM!

Then they served A Bowl O’ Chili. And let me tell you, that bowl looked more like a helmet that a regular soup bowl. It was GINORMOUS. Sirloin chunks with some cumin and black beans are made dangerous with the addition of Monterey & Jack cheeses and sour cream. There’s chips on the side with Jalapenos and Salsa Fresca to make it more enticing. MUST TRY THIS.

Then come their so-called Big Plates, which I’m sure are for sharing, but when you’re with me, I build an invisible fence that says ‘order your own, bitches’:

Aahh… the proverbial Fish N’ Chips. Looked just like the ones I had in Dublin and London pubs. It’s beer battered and served with Fries. The usual Tartar, Cocktail Sauce and Malt vinegar appears next to some homemade coleslaw. Now, I’m starting to like coleslaw, probably because I promised myself I’d ingest more greens this 2010, but I really did enjoy their coleslaw. Something worth trying when craving for deep fried yummy fish!

This is the Reuben’s Diner Classic. Now, I won’t lie. It doesn’t compare to the Reuben’s I’ve had in the past, but this is actually a twist from the Classic. It still has the slow braised corned beef brisket, though not as generous as I’m used to (see below), Russian dressing, Chardonnay-soaked Sauerkraut + melted Gruyere and Emmenthalcheese on rye that absolutely spells original. But there’s some apple relish in the middle that gives it a surprising crunch and an interesting kick to it. I liked it, but not as much as this:

Pastrami Monster at Carnegie Deli in NY

Reuben Sandwich at the legendary Katz Deli

And, the motherload, the Pastrami, Corned Beef Reuben at Stage Deli…sigh.

Anyway back to Mr. Jones:
But there’s so much more to rave about! Starting with their U.S. Beef Ribcap “Tapa & Garlic Overload“. I’m not kidding you, that’s what it’s called and it lives up to its name. Heaps of crispy garlic chips, tapa, garlic fried rice topped with Atchara (relish) and 2 eggs your way. It’s breakfast heaven and garlic breath all at the same time! It’s so big you think you’ll share it, but I always end up ingesting the whole thing. The Tapa is so tender and thin, that you forget how salty it is and keep chomping it up with the garlic rice. UNBELIEVABLY good tapa. And it’s served all day. Woot!
Another All-day brekkie treat is their Eggs “Benny” 2 Ways. Did you remember my first ever blog post? About my utter commitment to the dish that is eggs benedict? Or what about my other post about Chelsea’s eggs ben? Sorry for the nasty pic. Couldn’t wait to dig in! Ok let’s talk 2 ways: There’s the Canadian double smoked bacon one, and the Norwegian smoked salmon one, each with a poached egg, wilted spinach and goobers of Hollandaise sauce. COME ON! Who wouldn’t salivate at this?! Plus it comes with Roasted rosemary brekkie potatoes on top of Texas toast. I don’t exactly know what Texas toast is, but let me tell you… it’s delish. I think I’ve met my Benny match!
There’s the Melted “Old Bay” Crab & Dory Thermidor that just races your heard with the mounds of hollandaise sauce that had a cheesy gooey consistency. It also has Mornay sauce, wilted spinach (which I absolutely love) and Herb Rice Pilaf. It’s super duper tasty.
The meatloaf… ah, total diner delight!. Big Mama’s Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf is filled with chorizo and other meaty wonders. My deal maker is that it is 1. wrapped in bacon, 2. served with Haricot Verts which I would die for, 3. Laden with a roasted herb tomato grave & tomato puree, and 4. It comes with an egg. Hello have I told you lately I love eggs?But I love cheese more… so here’s the one that takes the Blue Ribbon prize for me:
Wicked Truffled Mac n’ Cheese
Good Lord in heaven above… THANK you for such culinary delight! Baked mac with 3 types of macaroni (elbow, penne, and manicotti?) 4 cheeses (I’m guessing Gruyere, Parmesan, cheddar & swiss?) with chunky bits of Canadian double smoked bacon, Portobello mushrooms and green peas… then doused in Truffle Oil. TARTUFO! Goodness and heart attack in the devilish form of a childhood treat. Kraft Mac N’ Cheese, FAIL!
It was so delectable, and huge, that I allowed my friend N to take a heaping of it. Not that I could finish that monster myself. But the truffle completely sealed the deal, enhancing the distinct flavors of the mushrooms and saltiness of the bacon. And the cheese.. the FROMAGE!!!! I would be willing to get fat just to have this over and over again.
Of course, with an exposed dessert display, one couldn’t resist but indulge in something sweet to cleanse the palate from overwhelming flavors. We order the Cookie Dough Cheesecake. I LOVE cookie dough, and cheesecake. This is absolutely genius! Not too sweet but very cheesy, this comes off thick in your throat, just like a good old fashioned cheesecake should.
I must tell you, this gushing about Mr. Jones will not stop. EVER. I love you Mr. Jones, whoever you are. If you’re single please don’t forget, you have a total groupie in me.
Mr. Jones is located at the right wing of Greenbelt 5. You won’t miss the palm trees and Tiffany Blue diner’s chair. Call them at +632 501-3682 / +632 501-3683

If you salivated at the other Reubens I posted click on the FF NY links!
Carnegie Deli
The Legendary Katz’ Deli
I personally like Stage Deli