Big Plans From the Tiny Kitchen at Jonathon's Oak Cliff

A young chef ditched a local institution to find his own way. It may just be your new got-to.

Eggs Benedict aren't as wholesome, showcasing a fried instead of poached egg, shaved ham, and plenty of lemony hollandaise. That meat-sicle shouldn't fool your inner nutritionist either. Dubbed the breakfast kebob, the starter laces a bacon strip between chunks of smoked sausage, slathered with the same glaze that adorns Rosie's pork chop. The bacon exposed directly to heat is sweet and crisp, but sections sandwiched between sausage are rubbery and underdone. Erdlejac says he intentionally cooks them this way, for a play on textures, but it doesn't quite work unless you're a fan of flaccid bacon. Not like the Danger Dogs do. These small turkey sausages, dipped in pancake batter and deep-fried, get a light dusting of powdered sugar and chile powder. It sounds odd, but the sweet chile heat works.

During Sunday's brunch, the dining room hums and the chef cranks out dishes from the postage stamp of a kitchen, at what seems like full capacity. Sit at the bar and you'll see him, barely. The red-haired chef, topped in a black cap, stands, just tall enough to peek over the pass and into a dinning room that's bustling with a mix of customers.

There are the young and hungover (hi, chef), hoping a heavy meal and a Bloody Mary, fashioned from a mix-your-own bar, will right the previous evening's excess. There's a family in the corner enjoying a Sunday meal with their kids. Older couples, too, one trying to concentrate on a newspaper at their table. It's urban diner meets country cooking in a gentrified hood, all of us served from a kitchen that's not even 200 square feet.

Sara Kerens

Location Info

Map

Jonathon's Oak Cliff

1111 N. Beckley Ave.
Dallas, TX 75203

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Oak Cliff & South Dallas

Details

Jonathon’s Oak Cliff Danger Dogs $6.50 Burger $10 Rosie’s Special $13 Chicken and waffles $10.50 Migas $9 Brunch kabob $7

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The kitchen's capacity will be tested soon. While the patio lies fallow in triple-digit heat, the 50 table settings will undoubtedly fill as soon as the mercury falls. The space effectively doubles potential demand for a kitchen that has no room to grow.

Most chefs are ambitious if anything, and Erdlejac claims he can handle the increased load. He's training extra cooks and honing his steel. He's keeping one eye on his menu and the other on those empty tables. He may be new to running his own show, but he's a veteran when it comes to pushing out plates in the weeds. He picked up those skills while working at Bread Winners and he brought them here, along with a lot of his old staff.

Jonathon's, of course, is far less than an institution. It's still too new. But with fair prices, a warm, memorable atmosphere and competent cooking, the young start-up stands a shot.

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16 comments
Theresa Witt
Theresa Witt

Just so proud of my nephew Jonathon and so happy that his customers are enjoying his food. I know his Aunt Theresa and Uncle Frank in West Virginia would be satifying their taste buds if only we lived closer. Much Love to both of you Jon and Christine keep up the hard work I know it will all pay off...xoxoxoxo

josef
josef

We visited today for the first time. We had a senior citizen with us and were awaiting for one party member. Even though they had tables available, some prancing waiter in no such words sent us packing outside in the 100 degree weather... I can't remember when was the last time we were treated in such a rude fashion. It was embarrassing, it was demeaning, and their oh-so-much-cooler-than-thou waiter is oblivious to the power of the Internet and social media...

AlexAdam90209
AlexAdam90209

I just p a i d $21.87 for an i P a d 2-64GB and my boyfriend loves his Panasonîc Lumîx GF 1 Camera that we got for $38.76 there arriving tomorrow by UPS.I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $657 which only cost me $62.81 to buy.Here is the website we use to get it all from,http://bit.ly/Bid1st

NOW 100% WORKING

Jbailey214
Jbailey214

We have become huge fans, going twice a week. Some of the most amazing dishes show great range. He makes the BEST eggs benedict I've ever had. The chicken and waffles and club sandwich are decadent treats that are amazing. On the lighter side, he does some awesome salads.

Jana D
Jana D

Great artcle Scott. I'm looking forward to trying that chicken pot pie you should've ordered once the cooler months start trickling in.

And I agree with the other poster....you've been asking the wrong people for recommendations. Come talk to me, I have a few hidden gems that may be able to handle you.

ts
ts

I really like Jonathon's and was just there this last Sunday. The only criticism I would have is that the portions are actually too large. I realize that probably sounds like a weird criticism, but it's something that puts me off personally.

Pinchejefe
Pinchejefe

If the best recommendations you're getting are fuel city and wingfield's, youre not asking the right people...

Tahini
Tahini

Why does everyone who carries dale's carry those three and miss their two best offerings (G'Knight and Gubna)?

doppelstranger
doppelstranger

I know they have a policy against seating anyone before the entire party has arrived during Saturday and Sunday brunch due to incomplete parties being seated and then taking half an hour or more for the rest of the party to arrive all while an entire party waits for a table. However I doubt you were told you HAD to wait outside. I was there today as well and I know they were on a wait and one of the waiters told a party they couldn't have a table because there were two parties ahead of them and no one was told they had to wait outside. Both of the other parties found a place to wait inside.

They're still working out the kinks in the system and despite the negative experience you had today it would certainly be unfair for you to think the owners Christine and Jonathon are anything less than wonderfully nice people who want to make every one of their customer or potential customers happy.

Sparkysales
Sparkysales

Why did the prancing waiter make you wait outside?

Scott Reitz
Scott Reitz

I almost wrote about all the left over containers I watched people carry out the front door.

Jana D
Jana D

You're forgetting Ten FIdy! Never has motor oil tasted so good!

Jonathon
Jonathon

Because Gubna and G'Knight are seasonal, but I agree Gubna is def my favorite of the bunch!

doppelstranger
doppelstranger

I highly recommend the breakfast tacos and the club sandwich.

Tahini
Tahini

Both G'knight and Gubna are year-round releases. Gubna has only been year-round since 2010, though.

 
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