Good to Go is a column where our food writers explore Dallas’ restaurant scene through takeout orders, delivery boxes and reheated leftovers.
It feels like an eternity since Jonathon's Oak Cliff wasn't mentioned as the place to go for chicken and waffles in Dallas. Their perfectly seasoned fried chicken that sits on a fluffed waffle and served with peppery gravy — not that syrup nonsense.
Jonathon's is one of those places you might think of going on a Saturday (we're talking Normal Time, not COVID Time) but then figure it’s too busy, because the rest of Dallas knows the food's good and floods the dining room.
But now, the owners of Jonathon's Oak Cliff and Jonathon's Diner seem to be hustling even more, just like the other people keeping their restaurants open.
For that, we say thank you, Christine and Jonathon Erdeljac. We could all use some comfort food right now.
We already know those things, so this week when getting a meal curbside from the diner (this is the only location open right now), I went for the club, which Jonathon Erdeljac had previously posted about on Facebook. (Maybe it was yesterday, maybe it was last week. I don't know what day it is — do we still have names for them?)
This club — which would be precariously tall if someone dared stand it upright — is easily enough for two meals ($12). In fact, as I sit here writing after eating it, I'm considering it could've possibly been four. But as food at Jonathon's goes, there's plenty of it, and someone clearly took care in making flavors come together well.
It has the layers of bread you expect, with fillings that make the thing too big to really take a legitimate bite. You can do your best to squish the outer layers of sourdough to get the ham, turkey, bacon, Swiss cheese, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, avocado, egg, mayonnaise and red onion into a reasonable, mouth-tall size.
Yeah, it's a bit of a mess — especially the avocado, which lives on a sandwich mostly to find a way to slide out just when you think you're going to get the perfect bite. But let it go. In fact, any ingredient that follows suit proves good enough to snack on its own, especially the ham. The American cheese is melted in that smooth way that is the reason this type of cheese even exists. The egg is perfectly cooked. (Note: The staff at Jonathon's consistently pays attention to cooking eggs properly, a habit that deserves great praise.)
And that's where being at home, hunched over the plate or to-go container, reassembling ingredients with every bite and needing a second napkin to keep somewhat decent, is advantageous. No one needs to see me eat like this. But I certainly need this sandwich in my life.
Since I knew I was getting an oversized sandwich, I went for greens instead of macaroni and cheese, something I later regretted because those spicy greens are drowned in oil. Well, that and, as I learned, it's just plain dumb to order from a Jonathon's menu and not get the mac and cheese.
And this will be shocking news: The toast on the sandwich doesn't travel well. Particularly in Styrofoam. Particularly when going from North Oak Cliff to Lower Greenville. But that's not sourdough's fault. It's mine for being quarantined so far away from Jonathon's kitchen.
Jonathon's Diner, 1619 N. Beckley Ave. (North Oak Cliff). Call 214-782-9273 to order ahead; they'll bring it to your car.