Portelli's Joe N' Dough Cafe is located at 66 Central Avenue, the former location of Johny's Diner. They've kept much of the original inside, including the seating.
Brian and I first visited on their opening day, for breakfast. After some discussion, we decided to postpone a review until a second visit. Typically, first days can be nerve racking with a lot of staff on hand and the process not in motion yet. So we waited a few weeks, before returning again for breakfast.
When we walked in, at 10AM, we were the very first customers. The place was empty. The two people on staff were very courteous, which is always a plus. However, the friendly service was the only plus about this experience.
Brian and I ordered a dozen of the Pigs in a Blanket; which were mini hot dogs, wrapped in phyllo dough, and deep fried. We also ordered 6 of their specialty doughnuts: The Bailey's; The Stiglmonkey, topped with Nutella & banana; R. G.'s Craving, which is cookie butter frosted; The Tropical Splendor, which is topped with a mango buttercream and diced banana; The Sundae Donut, topped with hot fudge, a cherry dressing, and whipped cream; and a spcialty for today which was the R.G. also topped with Reeses' Pieces.
To start with, after taking our food order, it took the staff an additional 10 minutes or so to ask us if we wanted something to drink. Brian ordered a regular Coke, I ordered a Diet Coke. If you're familiar with the layout of the old Johny's the soda machine is in open view, which made it easy enough to see that our sever filled both cups with Diet.
Following that, the overall theme of the meal was grease. The Pigs in a Blanket lacked any type of flavor. The hot dogs were just too small to be expected to carry flavor on their own. When you bit into it all you could taste was grease. Plus, almost half of the phyllo wrapping unraveled from the mini dogs. We were offered ketchup and mustard. When Brian went to put ketchup on on one of the dogs, the ketchup bottle basically exploded. It turned out, the top was not securely placed on the bottle.
Next, our donuts arrived. Four out of the six had been pre-made earlier that morning. The rest were made fresh. That said, they were all cold by the time we were served, and had clearly not been drained of their grease first. The donuts were crunchy, tough, overcooked, and laden with oil. They did not have the consistency one would expect a fresh donut to be (soft, warm, etc). I'm not sure if it was the recipe, the cook time, or both, but everything about the donut, save for the toppings, was off putting and unpleasant. Then there was the matter of one of our donuts not being what we ordered. The best we can tell is that what was supposed to be the Tropical Splendor donut, was replaced by the toppings of the Erika.
The experience was disappointing, and not worth a return. The donuts were actually fresher and tastier on opening day than they were on our second visit. It was so bad that it actually took hours for our stomachs to settle.
|R. G.'s Craving (top), Erika (middle), Sundae (bottom)
Pigs in a Blanket
Bailey's (top), Reeses' (bottom)