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Sep 3, 2006 12:44 PM

Johny Banana - disappointed

Tried this new spot yesterday - pro's: fresh, clean and stylish interior, ingreditents were also very fresh.
Cons: smallish, waiter felt as though he was constantly staring at you as he watched us eat from 4 feet away, condiments are way too small and no more were offered. Delicious picco de galo (sp), tasty yet watery salsa and fresh nacho chips. Too bad the chips out numbered the fixin's 10 to 1. For the main course, the breakfast burriot's were terrible - 90% rice, no flavour and a huge amount of tortilla. Again, no salsa or even salt/pepper were brought out to add any flavour. Finally, the prices are steep for what you get. Had the flavour and quantities been there, I would have been more likelky to return. The extensive lists of 'shake' type drinks was indeed exhaustive, but for $5.50 a pop, you'd be full before you ate anything. Too bad this place did not have more 'positives'. I have been looking for good mexican for some time now.

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  1. Aw, thats too bad you didnt enjoy it. I will definetly agree with you on the creepy waitor issue, and the fact that they only give you a tiny bit of salsa (I had to order extra which they charged for), but the meal I had (pork n roll) was really good in my opinion. I did find it really fresh though and fresh ingredients are my top priority. If I ever go back though, I'll be sure not to have the breakfast burrito.

    1. I was also really disappointed - the food wasn't very authentic to me, although I did think the traditional drinks were delicious. But the food was pretty much the same as that burrito place in Kensington, ie Tex Mex.

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        1. I'm Mexican and I will have to disagree with aaaaallll these postings, Canadians and Americans have a misundertood concept of Mexican food, they keep saying "tamale" instead of tamal (singular) or tamales (plural), they think we eat burritos!!! When burritos were created by Taco Bell and I really think Jalapeño, Johny Banana and Milagro are a really close example of what Mexican food is.

          Of course don ́t ask them to have NO Tex-Mex food when there ́s not a full understanding of Mexican food and when only serious foodies are the ones interested in trying the authentic stuff while most of the people stay in their comfort zone. Only because people go to a small town during their vacations and have a nice quesadilla (not empanadas as so many think, we don ́t eat empanadas those are Argentinean, Chilean, and Colombian but not Mexican) in a market they come back to their country considering themselves real Mexican food conoisseurs thinking that Mexican food has to be cheap, simple and dirty.

          1. re: mexicanfoodie

            As I have never been to Mexico, I happily take your word on this.

            I do know that Toronto is sadly void of awesome Mexican. Jalepeno on King is the only resto I know that serves consistent and wonderful mexican flavours and combinations. It is far and away above any other attempt in the city that I am aware of.

            I know this by being fortunate enough to have enjoyed some fabulous restos in Chicago, such as Topolobampo, Frontera Grill. Also in Chicago there are small street fairs with awesome mexican 'road food'. Some of our very best mexican meals were in San Fran at Guayamas and Panchita's. In Austin I was blown away by Fonda San Miguel. Phoenix has the best little taco shops!

            With the enormous Mexican population in these States mentioned, they are of course at a great advantage. So I wonder if Toronto even stands a chance??? New York City is in the same boat as us...weak Mexican offerings.

            I look forward to trying Johny Banana and Milagro despite the 'reviews'.

            1. re: bestandworst

              It might not be authentic, but I did enjoy my meal at Johnny Banana. It was fresh, pretty flavourful and didnt leave me with that 'grease filled' feeling.

            2. re: mexicanfoodie

              Decrying others ignorance of Mexican food and then implying burritos were invented by Taco Bell is ironic. While Mexican immigration and thus any representation of authentic Mexican food is relatively new here in Canada, it is not south of the border.

              Long time Mexican influences on local cusine can not only be seen in California, Texas and the southwest, but in the places like Mississippi where the tamale (as it is called there) was introduced by Mexican cotton pickers a hundred years ago. Now with the accelerated immigration to other centers like Chicago, the lesson appears to be after the local taquerias/taco stands appear, eventually comes the other and higher end stuff. With a place like Milagro it seems to be starting. Let's hope that holds true here.

          2. Yes, i definetly didnt find it authentic, however, I dont think you can really go there to expect authentic Mexican. In fact, it wasnt even very tex-mex style. I would call it mexican inspired.

            1. I've been to different places in Mexico about twenty times, so I think I know a bit about Mexican food. The food in Mexico is as varied as its people. While there are certain things that are staples of the Mexican food experience - taco soup,
              chiles rellenos, chiles en nogada, fresh guacamole, etc. -
              the Mexicans eat much of the same food that we do. They have fresh fish quite often, the eat steak as well...all prepared in their special way. The people who own Johny Banana and Milagros are MEXICAN, and they are cooking Mexican food in their own way. Who are we to judge what is and is NOT authentic? There are many different recipes and many different interpretations of various Mexican dishes, just as there are for my Hungarian cabbage rolls! If you go to either of these restaurants and are unhappy with the quality of the ingredients, or the the freshness of them, so be it. But don't say that they're not MEXICAN! How insulting.