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John's of 12th Street-Just call me Tony Soprano

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So I'm at John's of 12th Street, my favorite red sauce Italian established in 1908, with my 8 year old daughter. The pork braciole was tender like butta. Then I asked for meatball parmigiana even though it wasn't on the menu. The waiter tells me and my daughter that the chef is in a particularly foul mood and would not take kindly to "special orders". I said tell the chef to come out. When he does, I pistol whip him, make him bite the curb at the base of the bar and stomp the back of his head until all of his teeth go flying...then my daughter tugs on my shirt and I snap out of my daydream just as the waiter brings me 3 meatballs, each the size of my head covered in mozzarella. What a great restaurant.

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  1. I've always wondered about this place. I've grown up one block away and never paid a visit. But seeing as I get cravings for redsauce Italian often, I'll have to consider this place. I know they may be completely different, but would you recommend this place over Cacio e Pepe or Bianca (my go-tos)?

    3 Replies
    1. re: janethepain

      Cacio is much more sophisticated. Never been to Bianca although I believe its the sister to Teodora in midtown, one of my favorites. John's is the Italian equivalent of what Jade Mountain (RIP) across the street was to Chinese food. Strictly American 50s style.

      1. re: janethepain

        Johns is not in the same league as Cacio or Bianca, which also happen to be my go-tos in that area. I had a family dinner at Johns last month and was not expecting much and got exactly what I expected. The service was almost non existent, however I will admit that the waiters were very nice and helpful when they did show up. The food was extremely mediocre although they had a terrific ravioli with truffle dish as a special that my daughter still raves about. The veal was very tough and stringy and the pasta was bland. There were 7 of us and I had a chance to sample a little bit of everything. Nothing memorable other than the ravioli.

        1. re: bobby06877

          Oh ok, this is what I wanted to know. I guess I'll stick with Cacio and Bianca then.

      2. Love this place. A favorite of my parents and I. The Pollo Mimosa and Avocado Bruschetta are amazing.

        2 Replies
        1. re: haleyjen

          We've been unimpressed with this restaurant. I've eaten there twice. Big portions but the food seemed very generic and not particularly flavorful. (maybe oneand a half steps up from Olive Garden). Just my opinion.

          1. re: haleyjen

            "Avocado Bruschetta" is an abomination on so many levels.

          2. Badda bing badda boom-fade to black....