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Johnny Malloy’s Offers Great Ribs and Pizzas, But Not Nachos

The Strongsville Gourmet is disappointed in the appetizer, but happy with the main course

Back during my quest for the best pizza in Strongsville, I had made a stop at to sample delicious pizza. I made a promise to return to Johnny Malloy’s to review their regular menu.

I’ve returned!

Hey, I’m a man of my word. Last time here I sampled the pepperoni pizza, which was great, and the Honey Bourbon sauce wings, which I loved. This time I wanted to try the ribs, which they’re also noted for, and a good old hamburger, a staple for all sports pubs.

First, I had to order my favorite appetizer: NACHOS!

Nachos and me go way back. I believe the first time I had them was at a restaurant called The Ground Round. (Remember that chain?) It was love at first sight.

I’ve had good and I’ve had bad nachos. Sadly, I’d have to place my Loaded Nachos here in the bad category. They certainly looked good when they were brought to the table. Covered in cheese sauce, they had a nice, traditional look to them. It’s a nice mix of ingredients too: ground beef, cheese, sour cream, black olives, green peppers, onions and pepper rings.

As I started to dive in and break through the cheese layer, I noticed my plate looked more like an afterthought than a delicious pile of heavenly nachos. Most of my round chips were broken into smaller pieces. Add to that, the onions are sliced insanely large, they’re several inches long instead of diced, and were way too big to fit on your typical chip, especially crunched up ones.

I didn’t eat very many nachos and that’s just not me. So, I can’t recommend getting them.

Happily, my ribs were fantastico! I knew they’d be great since I’ve gotten these at other Geppetto’s/Johnny Malloy’s. The ribs are soft, tender and wonderfully chewy. The sauce is ever so tasty and just plain yummy. If you’re into ribs, you will not be disappointed here.

The french fries are a great accompaniment. They’re skin on, nicely seasoned and soak up the extra serving of barbecue sauce perfectly. They so make up for the nachos.

For the burger, I tried the Classy Cheesy Burger with cheddar. You can also top it with Swiss, provolone or American cheese. My ½-pound burger was tasty and very juicy. No complaints there. Sadly, it didn’t come with anything else. No lettuce, tomato or pickle. Again I was bummed. At first I thought that maybe the cheeseburger is served plain. It was after I re-read the menu at home that I realized that wasn’t the case.

I have to give them minus points here. I was the only person in the restaurant and they shouldn’t be dropping the ball on such a basic item as a hamburger, or for that matter, a pile of broken chips.

I find their food specials, listed on the placemat, a little confusing but a great deal. First, you need to have a “two-drink minimum.” I thought that meant bar drinks, but it ended up two sodas work out just fine. Then there’s “no doggie bags on any special.” Really? I’ve already jumped through one hoop with the drinks, now I got to wolf my entire meal too? Still, the specials are pretty good and you’ll probably have no problem getting the whole thing down. Or, at least close to it.

I guess I got to give Johnny Malloy’s a .500 batting average. My ribs and, on my previous visit, pizza and wings were out of this world. The Loaded Nachos are a real disappointment and, despite a well-cooked burger patty, I felt stranded without my other toppings of lettuce, tomato and my pickle.

Would I go back? Absolutely. There’s plenty of great food to enjoy here, along with friendly service and a fun atmosphere. Just don’t order the nachos.

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