The northeast is a barren wasteland in terms of food and dining options. I live right at the north cusp of city border limits, so I reserve the right to poke fun at it. With more development, hopefully it will get better, but unfortunately for now, we'll have to live with fast food establishments and generic chains.
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not against chains; they serve their purpose by selling predictable food that appeals to all tastes (cc: Earls, Joey's, Moxie's, and the like). But they can get pretty boring after a while.
Original Joe's have several locations throughout the city, but the Hollick Kenyon branch is my neighbourhood OJ's. It can get pretty busy during peak times, especially during the summer when the patio is open. That's because there are literally no other options in the area.
The restaurant/bar hybrid has many high-tops but I don't particularly enjoy eating my meals at such elevated heights, so we settled in at a booth near the corner of the restaurant. I've been here a couple of times with friends when looking for something close and convenient, and OJ's certainly fits the bill considering it's only a 2 minute drive away from my house.
This visit was probably from 2 months ago when ST and I planned an impromptu hang-out session, but all of my experiences at this OJ's have been pretty much the same: okay food at decent prices, a loud bar-like atmosphere, and friendly and cheery service.
Lighting was a bit of a buzzkill so sorry if the photos look like they're blanketed in darkness. ST had just come from a workout so she was craving meat, and lots of it. She ended up choosing the Carolina pulled pork sandwich ($13.75): tender pork, cooked low and slow, mopped in their peppered bbq sauce, and topped with honey slaw on a fresh white bun. What I appreciate about OJ's is that you actually have a choice of two sides when ordering any of their burgers or sandwiches, and there's more than just fries and salad to choose from. ST ended up getting homecut fries with gravy and garlic mashed potatoes. Carbs on carbs, she's my kind of friend.
The menu isn't all that enticing to me, so I usually get the applewood salmon club ($15.00, see the first picture): oven roasted applewood salmon, served on a toasted brioche bun with roasted red pepper aioli, lettuce, tomato, peppered bacon and fresh avocado. For my sides, I chose the honey slaw as well as upgraded to sweet potato fries for an extra $2.00. I tell myself it's healthier than getting a burger, but it's pretty much the same thing. The salmon could be a touch dry but overall, it's still a tasty sandwich.
Solid eats, convenient location, but there's just so much more to explore rather than settling for OJ's. Oh, the places you'll go!