J J Morgan Family Restaurant
1520 McKenzie Ave
This corner restaurant by McKenzie and Cedar Hill was once a favourite of mine during my youth. Back then, it was known as Pizza Patio and yes, while I’m dating myself, the memories are oh so pleasant. When birthdays were held here, kids were allowed to head back to the kitchen and make a pizza just the way they wanted it. They could pile the ingredients on high, slather tons of cheese or spread tons of sauce on it and make the product look like a sloppy joe.
Since then, it has become one or two other restaurants before settling as J J Morgan, a traditional restaurant with western flavours than anything else. They have a reasonable Sunday buffet and I went there with buddies a long time ago to chime in about how they fared back then. What they offered did not convince me to return. Fast forward to now, well, it seems the tastes have not changed by much. At least the service is always friendly.
I had a basic ham and cheese with bacon sandwich, and honestly there was nothing spectacular to rave about. It was a snack. The orange garnish was a nice touch, and the fries were surprisingly decent. Everything about this dish tasted like it was put together from processed meats. I could have made better if I decided to go home to make a sandwich than to wait around for my medicine from a nearby drugstore to be prepared. Even Quizno’s would’ve made for a better meal. I like the smells coming from the kitchen when I’m outside, waiting at the corner to cross the street to the Greater Victoria Public Library, and perhaps I should have ordered a cooked dish than a cold one.
The swine might have had more flavour if it was brined, but I suspect this place is more for the apartment residents who just want a place nearby to eat at when they’re too lazy to cook. At least my experiences here are not always terrible. I remember another visit where I ordered a shrimp cocktail, and it was certainly well presented and delightful to taste. However, my spidey senses told me that they were most likely sourced from Save-On-Foods (the nearby grocery store) than from a sea.
J J Morgan really has to up the ante if they want to draw me back in. At least back in the days when it was a pizza operation, I’d be here in a heartbeat. Now, not even a bear can convince me to run in here if I had nowhere to hide.
2½ Blokes out of 5