Do you like Mexican food? Are you tired of the same old crusty quesadillas from Taco Bell? Maybe it’s time to venture off campus and hop on the R-6 train to East Falls to experience some of the area’s most authentic south-of-the-border fare.
The huge chili pepper mounted on the roof of Johnny Mañana’s makes the reputable restaurant and bar stand out among the cozy row homes of East Falls. Before you step inside its old-fashioned saloon doors, you can tell that you are in for a unique evening of food and fun.
Johnny Mañana’s has an up beat, laid-back mood further accentuated by its festive decor. Quaint outdoor seating gives diners a view of Kelly Drive and the glistening waters of the Schuyklkill River. Inside and out, the walls are adorned with colorful Mexican tapestries and authentic masks.
Diners can enjoy live music several nights of the week or sit back and watch the game on television. On Thursdays, guests can participate in the weekly bingo night while dining or enjoying cocktails.
This brings us to the most important part of Johnny Mañana’s: the food. The menu has a wide variety of options, everything from snacks to soups to delicious entrees. If the big pepper was not enough of a clue for you, you will quickly see on the menu that Johnny’s entrees pack a punch. With flavor combinations that you would not normally expect, you may be surprised with each bite.
Try the Chicken Mole. It is marinated and roasted chicken in a mild chocolate nut sauce served with traditional rice and beans. Another tantalizing choice is the shrimp in creamy garlic tequila sauce. Johnny’s is big on sauces.
If you would like a more hands-on meal, all of your favorite Mexican staples can be found on the menu too. From tacos to chalupas your taste buds will forget all about Taco Bell.
With all those spices, sauces and salsas you will need something to wash it all down. Nothing goes better with a good mexican meal than a bottle of Corona. Nothing except maybe one of Johnny’s signature margaritas. With drinks as creative as their entrees, Johnny’s has a list of different varieties of margaritas-they are all delicious. Try the Frozen Cactus Margarita made with pineapple, coconut, triple sec, sour mix and one of their 30 varieties of tequilla. They also feature drink and entree specials daily and have a wide variety of beer on tap.
Johnny’s serves dinner until 11p.m. on weekends and last call is around 2 a.m., so there is plenty of time to waste away in margaritaville. It’s okay if you are under 21, the food alone is worth the train fare. Prices range from $12 to $20 per entree, but portions are big so don’t fill up on chips and salsa.
Next time you are in the mood for some “real” Mexican food, remember Johnny Mañana’s. It’s located at 4201 Ridge Ave., East Falls. Just look for the giant chili pepper. Call 215-843-0499 to find out more.
Milli Protheroe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.