Having been the willing (and yes, at times unwilling) member of a pub crawl, I learned that, no matter where you start out or which clubs you visit, the experienced pub-goer always ends his crawl by calming his overworked innards with some good and nourishing food. Downtown Johnson City’s night owl pub-goers have invariably sought out the Mid-City Grill, staffed with kind-faced employees serving properly nourishing, soothing post-pub crawl food. Because of Mid-City Grill’s late night hours of operation (5 p.m. to 4 a.m.), those of us needing one of their Classic Cheeseburgers at lunchtime were out of luck.
That is, until owner Teresa Garrett decided to bring Mid-City Grill into the light of day.
Mid-City Grill has been an active part of Downtown Johnson City as long as I can remember. Its location at South Commerce Street makes it a quiet eddy just off Downtown Johnson City’s surging and ebbing club and bar action. Teresa Garrett has made some much-needed renovations to Mid-City’s entry. You still have to walk past the kitchen to get to the dining room, but it’s a pleasant journey, you won’t get run over by fast-moving wait staff and you do get to linger over lighted display cases holding dessert items. The dining area has seating for 50 or so, and the restrooms are nearby.
Brunch Special/Biscuit & gravy w/ 2 eggs scrambled, bacon, egg & cheese biscuit: Having heard that Mid-City Grill was opening for business at 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., I prevailed upon my dining partner to join me for our mid-day meal. Our server Chandler conducted us to our table, and provided us with the Mid-City Grill’s updated lunch menu. I flipped the menu over and discovered that Mid-City Grill served brunch items as well. I decided breakfast fare was what I needed, and ordered their biscuit & gravy with 2 eggs Breakfast Special ($3.99), along with a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit, adding the bacon and American cheese food groups to my daily nutrition requirements. Garrett‘s expertise at the stove was exemplary, as both portions of my order were in the kitchen’s pass-through window double-quick. The biscuit was excellent; crisp and crunchy outside, hot and fluffy inside, and even better when smothered in Mid-City Grill’s scratch-made gravy. My two eggs made a nicely-balanced accompaniment to the biscuit and gravy. I added some crumbled and broken-up pieces of my bacon, egg and cheese biscuit a little at a time, savoring the flavors and textures imparted by biscuit, egg, bacon, cheese and especially gravy.
Lunch Special/Half pork dip sandwich & loaded potato soup: Though I had opted for brunch, my dining partner chose to order her mid-day meal from the lunch portion of Mid-City Grill’s menu, choosing a Lunch Special of half a sandwich with some soup of the day ($6.99); the half-sandwich being a Mid-City Grill pork dip sandwich, paired with some of their loaded potato soup. The pork dip sandwich is a particular favorite of mine; thin-sliced lean roasted pork loin, loaded into a six-inch baguette and topped with provolone and grilled onions, sided with Mid-City Grill’s au jus laced with the right amount of their proprietary vinegar-based barbecue sauce. The loaded potato soup has plenty of melted cheese and smoky bacon crumbles in the soup and on top of it. The soup is thick enough to stick to your ribs, and just the thing to keep you warm on a cold afternoon.
And for dessert: After discussing our dessert options, Chandler stated that her favorite dessert had to be the white chocolate Kit-Kat cheesecake and recommended my dining partner and I share a slice ($3.99) with two forks. We did, and I was pleasantly surprised how light the cheesecake portion was. My dining partner especially liked the chopped and crumbled white chocolate Kit-Kat bar topping; though she wanted some of the Kit-Kat bar crumbles in the pie crust instead of just sprinkled on top.
The bottom line: Adding lunch service to Mid-City Grill’s current supper and late night schedule is a good move. Owner Teresa Garrett is to be commended for bringing her signature Johnson City eatery into the light of day, and is certain to pick up a whole new clientele of hungry lunchtime patrons. Mid-City Grill still has its supper menu offerings and still cooks breakfast from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., keeping the night owls and pub-goers happy.
With food this good and at such a good value, Mid-City Grill should be on your list of “Things to Do” and “Places to Be.”
106 South Commerce St.
Downtown Johnson City
Tue-Sat 11 a.m. -3 p.m., 5 p.m. – 4 a.m.
Closed Sun & Mon
(Holiday hours may differ)
Available on Facebook
Credit cards accepted.