Food Porn: John & Mary’s (Getzville)

While they don’t spend the advertising dollars that Mighty Taco or Jim’s Steakout do, John & Mary’s have locations in almost every suburb and are one of the most popular restaurant chains in Buffalo. The business started in 1951 with John and Mary Guida in Cheektowaga and has steadily increased over time as new generations of the family have taken over. Currently there are 11 John & Mary’s open in Western New York and they are spread out from Alden to Lockport.

Even though most of the locations have a similar look and design, I was never 100% sure they were all connected and assumed they were all operated on their own. The fact that there are four different websites for various locations doesn’t help either. Either way, now that I work up in the northtowns, I have frequented their Getzville locations enough times to warrant a quick review.

Quick Info: 

As someone who has lived in WNY all my life, I’ve visited several of the locations over the years. Every experience has been nearly identical; a relatively dive-y restaurant with a large back-lit menu featuring a variety of subs and typical Buffalo comfort cuisine (chicken wings/fingers, french fries, hot dogs). Their Chicken Finger Sub (below, top) is arguably their most popular menu item and I actually consider one of better of its kind in Buffalo. On my first trip to John & Mary’s I decided to order a half Chicken Finger along with a half Italian Sub (gallery).

The Chicken Finger Sub was exactly what you thought it would be, a pile of good sized chicken fingers that were tossed in some medium sauce with some shredded lettuce, cheese, tomato and oil (no, I don’t like blue cheese directly on my sub). It really hit the spot, the roll was toasted very nicely and the medium sauce was right on. This wasn’t a mind opening moment but just some Buffalo comfort food done right. The Italian sub wasn’t so great, the two sausage patties were covered in a marinara sauce that was almost too spicy to enjoy. The sausage patties were cut in half and didn’t really have any flavor or at least any that came through the sauce.

On my second visit I decided to try and taste two more subs and ordered a half of a Hamburger Sub (gallery) and a half Steak Sub (above, bottom). They both ended up being pretty similar and in retrospect I probably should have ordered something else to have a bigger sampling of their menu. The Hamburger Sub had some thin burger patties and the normal sub toppings of lettuce, tomato and cheese. I probably should have ordered the cheese burger or grabbed some ketchup because the sub was a little dry and not that exciting on it’s own. A good Steak Sub is one of my favorite drunken meals and I was curious to see how John & Mary’s version matched up to Jim’s Steakout’s, turns out they are very similar. They don’t skimp on the steak (or cheese) and I was happy to eat the whole thing.

If you’ve been to a John & Mary’s, I’m sure you’ve had a similar meal of simple food served in a no frills location for a very affordable price. The subs ranged from really good (Chicken Finger, Steak) to just alright (Hamburger, Italian). This particular location was packed for lunch on a Friday but nearly empty on a Wednesday but on both days the food came really fast (under 5 minutes). John & Mary’s was exactly what I remember from my childhood and whenever I’m in the meal for a sub that’s probably not that healthy for me, I’ll be sure to hit them up.

Photo Gallery:

John & Mary's on Urbanspoon

5 thoughts on “Food Porn: John & Mary’s (Getzville)

  1. thumbs71

    We ordered a whole Salami, a whole Stinger, and an order or pizza logs from their Niagara Falls Boulevard location. We didn’t have a menu and they no longer have one available online, so we asked them to throw one in the bag. It ended up costing $32. The Stinger was $14 and it didn’t even have real steak. Just they crappy frozen minute steaks. Not worth it at all. Delivery kid shows up with barely enough change for a $50… and no menu. Very disappointed.

  2. One of my limitations is that I am not a hot sub fan, but their assorted cold was for years my favorite in Buffalo and a staple of my diet (along with Rooties wings) while dorming at UB during the Pleistocene Epoch. Supplanted by Wegmans for a variety of reasons.

  3. Joe Blow

    Never understood why they stay in business. I think it’s mostly nostalgia of going there when you were a kid. The prices are higher than average for subs and the ingredients often seem cheap. Not a fan of the non-shredded lettuce on a sub, either but that’s just a personal preference.

    I remember having good pizza there years ago but almost every corner pizzeria has subs that are just as good if not better and usually costing less.

  4. Mac

    I went here on a lunch field trip as a kid one summer when I went to day camp around the corner. I was prob 8 years old. I asked them if John and Mary were working that day. The employee told me very bluntly that John was dead and Mary worked at another location. As for the food, I don’t know, I prob got a slice of cheese.

    • Don Burtless

      This might be comment of the year.

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