Johnny D's Waffles and Bakery
3301 North Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach, S.C. 29577, (843) 448-6789
Jamie Saunders grew up in the restaurant business in New York where her father, John Daskalis, owned and operated four Johnny D’s locations.
She didn’t officially begin working for her father until she turned 15, but John Daskalis remembers her as an 8-year-old painting patron’s faces for a fee. She worked every job at the diner, starting as a cashier and moving on to become a waitress and eventually the manager. She studied at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY where she focused on baking and pastry arts.
Daskalis partially retired to Myrtle Beach about three years ago. In 2013, Saunders followed with her husband, Michael, both 30 and their and son, James.
The Saunders’ and Daskalis purchased the restaurant space formerly filled by Nibils that was vacated by the retiring of owner Jack Cahill, and opened a recreation of her father’s diner with Johnny D’s Waffles and Bakery in January 2014. A few classic Nibil’s recipes remain on the menu along with specialties of her own.
“Nibils was here so long,” Saunders said. “We didn’t want to take something away from people if it wasn’t necessary. They had good items and it was a good restaurant.”
A chipotle sauce, which is best featured on the chipotle chicken panini, is her favorite creation. The decadent cinnaroll waffles topped with cream cheese frosting and pound cake French toast are among customer favorites.
Saunders said fresh is her focus as a chef.
“I call it my fresh food movement,” she said. “Everything is made in house from the sauces, to the batters, and the breads. The cupcakes are made fresh daily. Everything is made to order and in small batches.”
Customers are part of the family at Johnny D’s, Saunders said, and can influence specials and new recipes with feedback or requests on the restaurant’s Facebook page, facebook.com/johnnydswafflesandbakery.
Cupcakes can be made to order and Saunders recently started offering catering services. For more information, visit JohnnyDsWafflesandBakery.com.