Pacific Junction Hotel 416.508.3466 http://pacificjunctionhotel.com/ mon to thurs 12-12, fri 12-2, sat 5-2
The name is confusing. I had no idea what I was in store for when I found the place. Is it a Hotel? Is it a restaurant? Actually, now it’s one of my favorite spots in the city. Inside the space reminds me of a Caribbean bar one finds while vacationing down south; this place makes you happy just stepping through the door. Its funky, fun and just what the doctor ordered for those of us who haven’t had a vacation in a while (ya, that’s me). And just when you think it can’t get any better our server informs us the restaurant does not provide cutlery, only simple wooden forks. Easy peasy just relax man.
The tropical colour scheme nicely matches the refreshing 2 ounce Pacific margaritas ($9.30). To satisfy the neighborhood locals, there is a short menu of filling snacks. They’re really tasty but not mind blowing. Starting out with popcorn oysters ($17) soaked in buttermilk dusted with corn flour, fried and served with a no-so-needed buffalo sauce. Servers here claim the artichoke dip ($10.50)is the best in the city and they could be right. Served piping hot, surrounded by salty coloured corn chips this gooey dip sizzles and pops with flavour. Refined it is not but I love it none the less.
Whenever I order fish tacos its normally a letdown but I seem to keep ordering them. Cajun spiced tilapia fish tacos ($13) seem simple but surface satisfying memories of a taco cart in Cozumel I used to frequent after a night partying. A large portion of sweet potato fries ($6) arrives alongside freakishly hot chipotle mayo – yikes. A dry PJH burger ($14) is the only letdown blending beef with Monterey jack cheese and a mild (more like hot) jerk spice, piled with lettuce, sliced tomato and pineapple.
The vibe just lifts you up – worth a visit.