Johnson Family Restaurant offers ‘family-friendly’ food

Date Published: 
August 9, 2013

Mary Johnson has just opened her first restaurant, but she’s no stranger to cooking for a crowd. Between raising 12 children and hosting bi-weekly church dinners, the Johnson Family Restaurant’s founder has been cooking up a storm for years.

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Pancakes, two eggs over-easy, sausage, toast and coffee at Johnson Family Restaurant in Selbyville. The new establishment aims to bring a comfortable, family friendly atmosphere to dining out.Coastal Point • Laura Walter
Pancakes, two eggs over-easy, sausage, toast and coffee at Johnson Family Restaurant in Selbyville. The new establishment aims to bring a comfortable, family friendly atmosphere to dining out.

As a lifelong resident of Selbyville, Johnson’s image can now be found painted on the sign above the restaurant, located in southern Selbyville on northbound Route 113.

Johnson said she enjoys cooking “for a multitude of people — I guess because I’ve done it so much!” After cooking countless bi-weekly dinners at the Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ all year, except during summers, Johnson said people had encouraged her to open a restaurant.

Her family came along for the ride, too. Most of her adult children work at the restaurant, plus nieces and nephews. She called the restaurant “family friendly,” with “fresh, good, wholesome food.”

“Pretty much, we want people to feel comfortable, kind of a home setting,” said Johnson, adding that the cooks often come out to talk with the customers. “It’s really our characteristic, not just because it’s our restaurant — this is just how we are. Never meet a stranger. We talk to people.”

After opening in May, the restaurant already has regular customers and newcomers each day, lured by classic homestyle dishes, some with a twist. The menu offers all the basics, but also includes a cheesesteak omelet, breakfast pigs in a blanket (sausage in pancakes), coconut pancakes and banana-nut waffles. Fried bologna and scrapple accompany the familiar bacon and sausage as breakfast sides.

Tubs of fried chicken — that Sussex County classic — can fill hungry stomachs, while hot and cold subs make for a hearty lunch. The Johnson Family Restaurant also offers more than 20 dinner entrées, including lobster tails, deep-fried rockfish, sautéed beef tips, ahi tuna teriyaki, crabcakes, pork tenderloin with gravy and more.

Johnson said people may enjoy her recipe for collard greens, enhanced with bacon and seasoning. Meals are made to order, for eat-in or carry-out. Near the register, chips, sodas and slices of cake and pie are also available for diners in a hurry.

The restaurant is located in the shopping center at 38555 Dupont Boulevard in Selbyville. For more information, check out the Johnson Family Restaurant on Facebook or call (302) 436-5600.