(Johndi’s has close to open a catering business)
I am fond of BBQ, especially when it is smoked, falling off the bone and the sauce is just right, but when your favorite BBQ restaurant has other delightful treats that have become our family favorites…all the better. Such a place in our neighborhood is Johndhi’s.
We have been using Johndhi’s as an excuse not to cook, over and over again, for the last 20 or more years. I am not sure exactly how long they have been in business, but that’s how long we have been eating at Johndi’s, formerly named Geezamboni’s. This is a small, family owned eating establishment that has a formula for success. The success started at The Quarters BBQ, a 40+ year institution in Albuquerque, over on Yale Blvd SE, and Johndhi’s, a family offshoot created by John Nellos, is on it’s way to becoming just as much an Albuquerque fixture at his dad’s Quarters is. Maybe more so, at least here in the North Valley. There are now a few Quarters in Albuquerque…but only one Johndhi’s. With fabulous service, tasty food, real beer on tap, nice out of the ordinary wines, a very relaxing atmosphere – all the essentials – Johndi’s has it all.
In the summer months we like to dine on the back patio – which is an interesting mix of fun and funk, from the door to nowhere with the buddha knocker to the surfboards, funky pond and pretty potted flowers. If you can’t relax and enjoy yourself at Johndhi’s you need to see a specialist soon.
We don’t always order a smoked entree, but because we love ’em we kind of have to order a rib on the side every time we go, well…just because we can! On this trip I ordered a favorite of mine, (being a girl from Jersey), the Back East Sandwich. The Back East is corned beef, turkey, swiss cheese and home made coleslaw atop a nice NY type light rye with a dressing. This sandwich is not for a light eater unless you want to make two meals of it. I chose the homemade potato salad for a side. It has an unusual and delightful taste that I can only describe as potato salad with hint of dill and hint of maybe…curry? I don’t know for sure what the ingredients are, but that’s one damn good potato salad.
My husband ordered one of his favs – the Blue Burger – yes – they can’t spell, but they sure can cook! The picture of his burger tells it all. You may choose from two sizes – 1/4 or 1/2 lb. My husband had the good sense to order the smaller one, and just look at it…a huge grilled beef burger piled high with delectable bleu cheese, a bit of green chili and nice thick bacon, (the “build your own” burger option). The usual suspects of lettuce, onion pickle spear and tomato on the side finish off a perfect burger. I think my husband has created the most un-Kosher item on the menu. So wrong – yet so perfectly right! His side was the homemade cole slaw, just the same and just as good as what was on my Back East. They do slaw right! Not too wet, not too dry, with a perfect seasoning of undetermined nature – a true slaw secret! My mouth is watering now. Damn…I already have dinner thawed and I gotta cook it. Can’t do Johndhi’s again tonight. Maybe tomorrow.
You can’t go wrong at Johndhi’s, folks. Just don’t show up on Sunday because John gives his hard working staff the well deserved day off. The atmosphere is completely laid back. Fancy clothes are acceptable, but we’ll all look at you funny. Best to show up in shorts or jeans and a t-shirt – but be careful to wear dark colors if you are having bbq – you WILL wear it – with wreckless abandon!
Lunch – Mon – Fri, 11am – 2pm
Dinner – Mon – Sat, 5 – 9pm
Johndhi’s – They’ve been smokin’ the good stuff for a long time now, so go check it out. Here’s where to find them.
3851 Rio Grande Blvd NW (SW corner of Rio Grande and Griegos)
Please tell ’em Sarah at Adobe Nido Bed and Breakfast sent you! It is a sure-to-please thing to eat here folks, so we tell all our Albuquerque Bed and Breakfast guests about Johndhi’s. Makes us happy – makes them Happy. Everybody’s happy.
I can’t give you a link to their website, because there isn’t a website for Johndhi’s yet. They are too busy smokin, grillin n thrillin! But there are lots of reviews online, just in case you don’t want to take my word on it. If you would like to look over a Johndhi’s menu, click on the thumbnail pictures at the end of this post for a large version.
I know the best things to do in Albuquerque!
Sarah Dolk, Adobe Nido Bed & Breakfast
Expert on Destination Albuquerque and Central New Mexico!