723 Pandora Ave.
[This guest review is by Naomi DeBruyn of Void Girl. She was the former editor of Linear Reflections E-Magazine. In her last visit to Victoria, BC, sometimes visiting old establishments is not perfect. She was with friends in this outing ….]
Touted as ‘The place to eat in Victoria!’ I found this dining experience to one of the most pathetic I’ve ever endured. Yes, endured. It was more than an experience, it was an agonizing waste of time.
Having only two hours before our movie started, we decided on ‘John’s Place’ for our dinner. It was virtually empty, even with the addition of the three of us, the customers were still under ten in number. We were awaiting a fourth, but decided to order anyhow. A good thing we did, believe me!
There were multiple staff and the place was decorated with ‘star personalities’ who had eaten there, and old time sports memorabilia. Well, lucky those stars were who they are as I’m betting it influenced the service.
It took forever to get menus and glasses of water. We’d pretty much decided on our meals by the time our waitress showed up at the table again. At first I felt perhaps she was busy with other duties, but over the course of the teeth grinding visit I realized that the service just plain sucked!
Let’s just say, it took us 40 bloody minutes to get our food. We didn’t order anything that would have had to have been transported on the slow boat from China, or freighted in from the UK, either! We were dry as the bloody Sahara by the time refills on the water came around. I wanted a coffee, but the eyes were on the clock for that movie.
The calamari appetizer was delicious, I will give them that. However, thank you so much for advertising the fact that there were also small pieces of deep fried hot peppers in the mix. I cannot do spicy anymore after having had GERD for many years. A sad fact I live with daily. This could have ruined the whole evening for me if I hadn’t of just been plain rude and spat it out.
When the half size of bangers and mash finally arrived, I was almost drooling in anticipation. I was hungry, the clock was quickly winding down, and our fourth had just shown up. Upon learning how long it took to get food, he intelligently opted for another restaurant and would meet us at the movie.
Back to the important part — the food! Okay, so there’s deep brown gravy surrounding the bangers and mash, the kind you just know is going to be good by the appearance. I took a small bite of the sausage with gravy and a little mash. I wanted to spit it back out too! It was bitter!
Another 20 minutes went by before we saw any sign of the waitress again. I asked for a box, figuring I’d try again in the morning. Perhaps, it was just my taste buds being thrown off by the pepper… (NO, it wasn’t as a later bite told me…)
Amazingly, the waitress seemed upset at the lack of a tip. Perhaps she was a sloth in a former life? All together we wasted 90 minutes at John’s Place, over food I wouldn’t even serve to my dog. Good thing the theatre was a quick walk away!
‘John’s Place’ was nothing but a HUGE disappointment, and it’s quite obvious to me why the second restaurant in the Western Communities didn’t last. I’m surprised this one is still open for business… they must do something right for breakfast!
It is THE place to eat in Victoria if you have loads of time to kill and don’t mind lousy service and food.
No way will I be returning there, I’d rather spend my money on somewhere I know the food is decent and the service is fast. Even McDonald’s scores higher on my list than this establishment.
0 Blokes out of 5