Not only does this restaurant have great food but the atmosphere is second to none. It’s located downtown right across from the Aquarium. It's a little pricey but well worth it if you are a burger fan. This place will make you wonder how Red Robin stays in business. The decor is right out of the 50's. Everything you want in an old fashioned malt shop. From malts to cherry or vanilla cokes, you'll find something you'll love. Even the kids’ meals are served in a "57 Chevy box". They have so many different toppings and ways to make a burger you have to love them or it's your own fault for not making it better. Fries are OK but don’t waste your time on them when you could be eating their onion "Frings". Hot, homemade and out of this world. Dozens of different flavors of ice cream for shakes and malts await you. Their burgers come in all sizes from a 1/4 pound all the way up to a one pound for the adventurous which will get your picture on the wall if you finish it. If your 12 or under you can make the wall of fame by finishing a 1/2 pounder. For the average person their 1/3 pound "Serious" burger is a full meal especially with some "Frings" and a malt. Service has always been very timely and the staff has been very pleasant. The management has been very cooperative when we have a group in from out of town for reservations, very accommodative and helpful. And they will always go out of their way for a birthday! This place is a burger lover’s delight. Whether it's something simple like mayo, pickles, and American cheese or more adventurous like jalapenos, black olives, spicy mustard and Blue cheese, you'll find something you'll love. The food is a little greasy but it's burgers, fries, and onion rings. Aren't they supposed to be greasy? If you’re looking for a wide variety menu you'll probably enjoy Tuesday's or Fridays better. If you want ribs downtown you go to "Sticky Fingers". If you want a burger, this is the place! I've eaten at several other burgers places in town including the old diner at the top of the hill overlooking down town and Cheeburger Cheeburger is the best. Oh yeah, all their burgers come with cheese but they will leave it off if you ask.
When I say my favorite restaurant, I mean it. On my last visit.... While we waited for our first course, we were treated to small bowls of chilled tomato soup with grilled shrimp and ramp Crème fraiche. After the first taste, my husband and I smiled at each other and settled into our seats knowing were in for a few hours of pure culinary bliss. For our first course I ordered the quail and arugula salad with radicchio, honeybells and maple glaze, sprinkled with edible flowers. Potato and ramp soup with butter poached main lobster and black truffle oil. Mouth watering yet? I always get the quail at St. Johns. It's delectable no matter how it's prepared. Wondering what a ramp is? It's an incredibly rare wild leek that only grows in the Appalachian Mountains for three weeks. It has a wonderful garlic taste and for the next while can be found throughout the St. Johns menu. I decided to be adventurous and try the leg of venison while my husband picked out a Buffalo steak. Mine was served with a gouda cornmeal souffle and marinated beets that perfectly complemented the gamey meat. The buffalo steak was absolutely divine paired with a scrumptious Béarnaise sauce. The highlight of the meal was (of course) the dessert. As soon as I knew we were going to St. Johns, all I could think was....Chocolate Pudding. Chocolate pudding at a five star restaurant? Oh, you have no idea how good this dish is. Served warm with carmel ice cream, it may be the most divine dessert I've ever tasted. I could eat at St. John's every night. Our server Catherine was wonderful, and the chef, Daniel Lindley, is pure genius. By the way, if you want to enjoy St. Johns quality food in a more casual atmosphere (and less expensive), check out The Meeting Place. I've never been, but I plan to try it out...very soon.
Have you ever fallen so in love that you are left speechless? That is how I feel sitting down to write this review. This is the second time I have been to Market 212, and it was like having another chance with a Craigslist "Missed Connections" crush: I knew we had something going before, I just needed one more chance in order to be sure. I am sure now. The first time I visited Market 212 was for their Thanksgiving meal, and such a meal it was. Cider glazed pork loin with jalapeno mashed sweet potatoes and apple cabbage slaw, with chocolate truffle cake for dessert, changed my view of what Thanksgiving could be. While I am not certain that this was the traditional meal of the Pilgrims, I think it could be held up as an example of just how far America has come in 400 years. Go progress! On this second visit, I chose to simplify, getting the roasted beet and orange salad with chicken, and sharing my mother's apple-mustard glazed pork with grilled sweet potatoes and bacon braised red cabbage. Both were fantastic. Both chicken and pork were tender, and came in generous portions, and the vegetables were fresh and crisp. I have never been a huge fan of red cabbage, but apparently even boring vegetables can gain life when braised with bacon, because my mother's cabbage was delicious. The only disappointment of the trip was when I went to order the supposedly gluten-free (shameful secret here: I can no longer eat gluten, one of the eternal sadnesses of my life) pesto chicken, and discovered that they had run out of stuffing and thus had decided to stuff it with bread. Go figure. It is very nice, however, that Market 212 goes to the effort of labeling all its gluten-free options on the menu.