I Survived Tha' Nooner at Jonathon's

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Each week, Justin Bitner goes hunting for DFW's most interesting sandwiches. Have a sandwich suggestion? Leave it in the comments and he'll check it out.

Venue: Jonathon's Oak Cliff

Sandwich: Tha' Nooner ($11)

Bread: Impeccably blistered bun

Toppings: Half pound beef patty, handful of ham, swiss, thick-cut bacon, american cheese, tomato, mayo and a fried egg PLUS a huge side of fries

The Case: A couple weeks ago, you'll no doubt remember ol' Reitzy lobbed this tiny grenade onto my lap (or rather my gut) on our little blog. Charged with the task of covering the giant burger pictured just above, I made a stone-faced vow to Scott and my other fellow bloggers to not only try this piece, but to take it down -- or die trying.

Making my way down to Jonathon's on a bleary weekend afternoon, I spotted the sun throwing thin rays through ebullient rainclouds. Featherweight drops of rain followed me along the sidewalk and up the staircase, creating delicate applause with their synchronized patter.

My first step into the old house that Jonathon's occupies was cozy. The restaurant's dining room and bar take up what I'm assuming used to be the living room and dining area of the house. The space certainly wasn't large, but it didn't feel cramped either, even at the height of the brunch rush. I was seated at the bar, in the very stool that I was later told once held my esteemed colleague and sandwich-dare issuer.

I scanned through the menu, half expecting my chosen concoction to be printed with a warning label. Not finding it, I surreptitiously whispered to my server Christine, co-owner and wife of Jonathon, that I was there for the famed Nooner. She gave me a quick once over, attempting to instantly judge my intestinal capacity, then resumed taking my order.

After she finished punching up my ticket, I asked her if anybody had ever finished the cardiac combo I had just requested. She responded that nobody had, but that if she were to adopt the art of meat-eating again, she could conquer it with ease. Now I not only had to prove my clout to my blogger cohorts, but I even had a leaf eater taunting me.

As soon as I saw my order appear in the tiny kitchen window, I felt my arteries firm up in anticipation. There was no turning back as Christine brought my plate around the bar and set it down right in front of me. It looked like the cautionary poster child for an anti-obesity campaign. This was Man vs. the Animal Kingdom, on a bun. Without taking another instant to size-up the burger, I took a huge bite.

The first chomp brought a wave of elation across my palate. Not only was the burger giant, it was incredibly good. The burger itself was cooked perfectly, but it blended into the background as the dual saline attack of the bacon and ham leaped out. The creamy trio of the American, Swiss and mayo gave another subtle layer of delicious saltiness. The egg, fried to a precise balancing point, displayed a gorgeous yolk that streamed over the edges of the other toppings. Toting the weight of this protein-intensive mass was a toasted bun, which tasted great on its own and held the moist toppings without breaking down.

A little past the halfway point of the burger, my seemingly insatiable appetite started to appear fallible. If there was one thing that couldn't happen, it was failure. Not only would I have received a pouty-faced pat on the head from Christine, but I would have been fired. First rule of sandwich correspondence: No sandwich left behind.

Shaking off the feeble advances of self-doubt, I buckled down and plowed through the rest of the sandwich, making sure to even finish all the non-nub fries to prove my mettle. It was hard to tell which was more satisfying, the excellent taste of the burger or actually finishing it, so I headed home and grabbed a nine-hour nap to think it over.

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Never had a chance.
The Verdict: Clear your plans for the day and hit Jonathon's for Tha' Nooner, it's a delicious prelude to meat-induced slumber.

Follow @cityofate and @j_bitner on twitter.

More 'Wich Trials:
The Fried Oyster Po' Boy at Po' Melvin's
The Sizzling Steak at Captain Nemo's
The Falafel Pita at Milk and Honey
The Doc Brown at Pecan Lodge Smokehouse
The Challah French Toast at Coffee House Cafe


Location Info

Jonathon's Oak Cliff

1111 N. Beckley Ave., Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant


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10 comments
Ryan Bauer
Ryan Bauer

Frankie's on McKinney has their gargantuan, 3-lb. "Yokozuna" burger with a heap o' fries that costs $29.99, unless you finish it in 30 minutes or less. Now that's a challenge! 

Ralphy
Ralphy

Dude, this isn't the high school paper.  How about doing some actual food reporting.

What kind of beef grind are they using?Is it ground fresh on site, or bought from the Sysco, Sams's, etc.Are the spuds fresh, frozen?  Double fried in duck fat?

Why do you completely ignore the quality/sourcing of food in your reports.  BTW, which is mostly over descrptive verbage of interior resturant design (or un-design as the case may be).

Well you get the idea, maybe not.

Justin B.
Justin B.

Ralphy,

I appreciate the comments as always.  I've been working on including more details about food sourcing, as they've been included more frequently in some of my recent posts.  With today's, I wanted to talk more to the angle of taking down the huge sandwich and the challenge that lay before me. 

My intent in these posts it to entertain, inform and hopefully amuse by taking things beyond the basic facts and adding a little color to the scene.  If my "over descrptive verbage" offends your sensibilities, then I apologize.  Perhaps if I find out whether the restaurant makes their own tables, I'll be able to earn your praise. 

Thanks for reading and keep up the comments. 

Prerube
Prerube

Ralphy the food-snob dork. Who give's a damn. Did the man say it tasted good? Spare me all the metaphors and just tell me if it's worth visiting or not.  I was actually impressed to finally read an Observer review that did not use the words 'fuck', 'shit' or 'holy'. The cussing was 'cute' for awhile, but has grown rather annoying.

Jon Daniel
Jon Daniel

@Ralphy -

@b940c2ef18ec3680a7835143dc63a070:disqus  JB is getting better, for sure!  Look - he even went south of Beltine!  But be careful asking for too much - or you get attacked by the trailer park trash left over from Sportatorium

Ralphy
Ralphy

Hey JB; stand up for responding.   I actually like that you cover these kind of budget outta the way places.   And would follow your recommendations if you just got a little deeper in the weeds on the food prep.

Fugetabout the table construction.  But napkin quality and ketpsup brand would be most helpful.

Coleman
Coleman

 to offset the lack of swearing in the article, I'm going to have to ask you to not be such a fuckin' pussy.

Ralphy
Ralphy

Prerube we agree on nixing the bad language; but in all honesty "worth the visit"?

BTW, I don't consider myself to be a food snob.  But I do appreciate knowing where my food comes from.  Is it too much to tell me the burgers are frozen patties; fresh ground? 

I don't think that is being a food snob.  But if it is count me in.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Did we offend thee, my Lord of Prickenton?

Skyler Seamans
Skyler Seamans

It's my understanding that Jonathon's has no freezer. That being said, I'm pretty sure the meat is fresh and that the fries are made in house.

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