Mr. Jones takes diner food up a sophisticated notch

The newly-opened Mr. Jones at Greenbelt 5 turns the classic diner into a dining destination.

standeenewEveryone loves a go-to place that churns out comfort food like burgers, omelettes and classic pancakes to perfection. Mr. Jones, the newly-opened restaurant in Greenbelt 5, is inspired by the 1960’s contemporary diner and takes comfort food a notch higher by mixing diner staples with house specialties. Up-market but unpretentious, Mr. Jones is a place where you can take your parents out to eat or ï¿½ lounge around with your friends.

Raintree Restaurants’ Martin and Andrej Wisniewski with chef Kalel Chan, the same group behind Chelsea, M Café, and MoMo, filled the menu with easy American favorites like � Inch Thick Double-Smoked Bacon and Eggs (P450) and Homemade Char-Grilled "Superman" Burger (P420) and mixed in dishes that border on "gourmet diner food" such as Melted "Old Bay" Crab & Dory Thermidor (P350). Breakfast meals are available all day while the health-conscious have salad and seafood choices. Desserts are also on the menu for those jonesing for a sugar fix.

Notable menu stand-outs include the Challah French Toast (P295), a tower of thick-sliced Challah bread, stuffed with nutella and raspberry preserves, caramelized bananas and served with bacon and orange slices; and the Garlic Portobello Steak ï¿½ and Eggs (P450), griddled beef tenderloin served with three eggs cooked any style, roasted rosemary breakfast potatoes topped with garlic-roasted Portobello mushrooms.

Menu stand-out: Challah French Toast (P295)
Menu stand-out: Challah French Toast (P295)

Old-fashioned milkshakes, flavored iced teas, bottled "Pop," classic cocktails and a good selection of gourmet brews like Flying Dog, Beck’s, Rogue and Stella Artois join the beverage list. Expat Americans have been pleasantly surprised to find out they serve egg creams.

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The diner’s interiors, designed by architect Noel Bernardo, also incorporates elements of Scandinavian design and "Austin Powers-style", with glazed sea-foam-colored vinyl diner chairs, fire-engine-red faux "sharkskin" booths, bronze Copenhagen pop walls and table surfaces, and kitschy tableware. The dwarf date palm trees dotting the al fresco dining area add a 1960’s Palm Springs/Miami feel to the Mr. Jones dining experience. An open kitchen right under the yellow Mr. Jones neon sign lets diners experience the cooking action. The cozy space seats 30 inside and 40 outside.

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But who is Mr. Jones? Andrej Wisniewski says it’s a throwback to the 1960s. "Mostly, we thought it was a cute name, but it also based on a couple of things from history. There are also a couple of songs that relate to it [Mr. Jones], but it’s also from a time when everyone addressed people formally with their titles or last names even if you knew each other well. It seemed like a 60’s thing," he adds.

Mr. Jones’ menu items skew a bit higher than your average diner bill but generous portions, food quality and a packed menu with a dizzying selection are reasons for the diner upgrade.

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SPOT.ph asked Martin Wisniewski a couple of things you should know about Mr. Jones:

Surprise hits on the menu: "So far, a lot of our guests have been raving about our French Toast. We use the real "Challah" Jewish bread. It’s quite tasty, loaded with all the goodies like bacon, nutella, berry compote and bananas. The green garden salad is also quite popular, as it is healthy and full of fun ingredients. The most popular item is the "Superman" Burger with all the fixins’. We top it off with double-smoked bacon."

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Dishes that one should try atleast once: "My personal favorites are the Truffled Mac n’ Cheese (P350), the Slow Roasted Southern Wagyu Beef Rib (P695), the Even Better Yankee Pot Roast (P450), the Bowl O’ Chili (P250), and of course, Miss Frenchie’s French Dip (P395).

Best time to go to Mr. Jones: Heading to Mr. Jones at 11 a.m. gives you the option to choose the best seats. "Peak hours are 3 p.m. onwards on weekends." Martin adds that Mr. Jones will be open for breakfast on weekends starting November 28, Saturday.

Mr. Jones is at the G/L Greenbelt 5, Makati City. Tel. No. (02)501-3682 to 83.

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Photos by Michael Wisniewski and Warren Espejo.

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