Friday, January 12, 2007

Everything I Love: PJ's Restaurant

The red roof of PJ's restaurant in Arnprior, Ontario, has greeted travellers and locals on old Highway 17 for the better part of a half century. It's an Ottawa Valley institution as memorable for its retro styling as for its diverse cuisine. A throw-back to the dark dining lounges of the 50s and 60s, its heavy leather chairs, red china, and Cutty Sark Scotch Whisky offer an atmosphere that's been in short supply in most places since around 1972. It's always been a place where you're as welcome in your Sunday church clothes as you are soaking wet after forked lightning has stranded you on the third green at the Madawaska Golf Club.

My mother tells me that PJ's is closed this month for renovations. One can only assume that the remnants of its long-dry waterfall and stream will be gone as will the anonymity of its dim corners. I have no doubt, however, that it will remain the best place in eastern Ontario to warm up over a steaming bowl of tomato macaroni soup, a classic clubhouse sandwich, and the Valley's biggest slice of coconut cream pie.

Read my review of the newly renovated PJ's here.

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