The "J" Page
Last updated: 2000.8.31
Jade Dragon Restaurant
Visited: Sunday, December 5, 7-8:30pm.
Jade Dragon, occupying a corner spot in the Pioneer Plaza strip mall, is a perfectly pleasant, reasonably priced restaurant serving decent Chinese food. (Although you have to ask for chopsticks, their menu does offer more than the typical chicken balls in transmission fluid schlock).
Beyond that, there's nothing much to say. None of the dishes stuck out as being particularly good or particularly bad. If I lived in the area, I'd probably go again because it was close. As it is, living in Waterloo, I've no compelling reason to return.
On a dark and rainy night this restaurant was a bit hard to spot. From the main entrance drive straight to the back of the large and rather empty Pioneer Park Mall.
The Jade Dragon is an end unit which gives it the advantage of lots of window space. Seats about 40. The decor is rather charming. The kind that whispers chinese restaurant, rather than shouting it.
They're open every day except Monday. Their menu offers Cantonese and Szechuan style dishes (with a few Canadian items tossed in to appease the typical mall eater).
I had great hopes for the food, having spotted 7 or 8 dishes that offered squid as an ingredient. The one our group selected was Shee Gyp Squid (tender fresh squid blended with garlic, black bean and oyster sauce). What we got was chewy squid buried in sauce and greens. Not the worst I've had, but nowhere near the best.
The spicy shrimp dish was rated the best of the lot. Most of the vegetable dishes seemed to specialize in one variety of vegetable. However, this could have been a case of running low on supplies, since it was Sunday night and they don't reopen until Tuesday.
Our meal cost the 5 of us (Jonathan, Nora, Annette, David and myself) $60 with tax and tip.
This is a middle of the pack restaurant. The food wasn't bad, but neither was it inspired.
J C Diner
684 King Street West, Kitchener. 578-1935
Visited: September 10, 1999, 6:00pm
J D's Eatery
Visited: August 6, 1999
Jack Astor's Bar & Grill
Visited: September 1, 1999
Janet Lynn's Bistro
Visited: September 18, 1999
Frederick Street Mall, Kitchener, 742-6782.
Visited: Thursday, August 19, 1999, 5:30pm.
May 31/2000 was the last day for Jean's Hamburgers
under the ownership of Nick. After 3 years of
running the place, he's sold it and plans on trying
is hand at a non-food enterprise.
July/2000 saw Delites by Zeb in action. The interior has been made over and an ice cream area has been added. For the time being, they have no evening hours.
Jia Jia Lok Chinese Restaurant
255 King Street North, Waterloo, 888-9926.
Visited: Saturday, October 16, 1999, 6pm.
Visited: Saturday, November 27, 1999, noon.
From the look of the place, Jimmy's Lunch and it's staff have been around since the coal yard across the way was a going concern. The coal yard has long since disappeared. Jimmy's Lunch remains, an artifact out of the time warp.
Nora, Annette, David and Dennis made this outing for the club and were pleasantly surprised. See David's review for more details.
For a meal in the $4-6 range with a 1940's/1950's/1960's feel, Jimmy's Lunch is the place to go.
Jimmy's Lunch is obviously an institution along the lines of the Harmony Lunch. It's quite clearly been there forever, it's a neighbourhood hangout, and the food is pretty good.
The first thing that you notice when you go into Jimmy's is that it has character. By that I mean it completely lacks the planned and lifeless atmosphere of your typical strip mall eatery. I believe that Jimmy's was accumulated rather than built. The first hint is the presence of five, count 'em, five, OPEN signs in the window. Some are faded and tattered, and others newer, but you know Jimmy's is open for business! (Nobody goes out and deliberately buys five OPEN signs, you just accumulate them). Only one of the two pop machines at the entrance works, but rather than fix or remove the first, you just put a sign on it telling customers to use the second one. The calender behind the counter of what used to be (still is?) a convenience store section is stuck at 1989. It has one of those windows behind which a clerk doles out the goods you request from the shelves. We didn't see anyone actually buy anything, but they seemed to specialize in Clorex bleach, tins of tuna, large cans of cooking oil, and cutting keys. This is character! (Too bad Jonathan wasn't with us that day - I would have been fascinated by an archaeologist's perspective on the place.)
The staff were well suited, none of them appeared to be under seventy years of age. They were friendly and competent, but it was hard to tell just how many of them were actually working there. I guessed at five. However, that number could be thrown off by the presence of regular customers who walked in, greeted some of the staff by name, and helped themselves to food and drink from behind the counter. That's a neighbourhood place! After we sat down, one of the staff rang out, "Just make a noise when ya wanna order, eh?" The menu is scattered amongst boards mounted on the wall, surrounded by cartoon characters popular in the 50s and 60s.
The food was filling, cheap, and good. Our bill for four was $25. Nora had a Western sandwich that was the equal of the best that she'd ever had. She noted that there was just enough egg to hold the ham and onion together. The french fries, although not home made, were perfectly done - golden brown without a trace of grease (I guess miracles do happen!). Annette's hamburger was very nice, not perhaps a Sonny's burger (assuming you like Sonny's), but close. The only disappointments were Dennis' fish and chips and my hot hamburger sandwich. The fish was standard industrial fish. My hot hamburger was far from bad, but it wasn't great by any means. The best part of my meal was the milkshake. Not only did it taste good, but they brought it to the table in the metal mixing cup! A few retro nouveau (to coin a phrase) places do that now, but very few still do it with the authenticity of Jimmy's.
Next time (and there will be a next time), I'm having the Western sandwich.
Joey's Only Seafood Restaurants
Visited: September 24, 1999
Jolene's Family Restaurant
725 Ottawa St South (plaza near Strasburg), Kitchener, 578-6080.
Visited: Thursday, November 19, 1999, 7pm.
Jonathan's Family Restaurant & Bar
Visited: October 1, 1999
Jose's Noodle Factory
Visited: October 7, 1999
Jovana's Terrace Restaurant
Visited: October 29, 1999.