Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Review: The New PJ's Restaurant

PJ’s Restaurant & Dining Lounge in Arnprior was recently renovated with bigger windows, fresh paint, and beech furniture that have made it an unquestionably cheerier place - kind of like a Swiss Chalet in New Mexico. Acknowledging its past, the waterfall has been resurrected at the entrance, but gone are the dim yellow lighting, red spode china, and the 1960s era place mats. I had tears in my eyes when I opened the menu, expecting to find a quarter chicken dinner with a side of antojitos, and I was certain that I'd be giving my beloved PJ’s a “no-go” for the loss of its charm and character that made it such a fond Ottawa Valley memory. But my emotional descent was halted when I realized that PJ’s eclectic menu had survived and that no renovations could put an end to exchanges like this:

Grandma: I’ll have a turkey sandwich with extra mayonnaise and some cranberry sauce.
Waitress: Okie dokie.
Mom (flipping furiously through the menu): Where are the salads?
Waitress: At the front.
Mom: Shoot, they don’t have a small salad.
David: But you always have the turkey sandwich…
Mom (flipping through the menu again and pointing to “barbecued back ribs”): I’ll have the chicken salad.
Waitress: Okie dokie.
Mom (still pointing and looking at “barbecued ribs”): Does that come with fries?
Waitress (pensive): Sure…
David: Mom, you’re pointing at the ribs.
Grandma: Order the turkey sandwich.
Mom (closing the menu): I’ll have a hamburger.
Waitress: Okie dokie.
Beloved Great Aunt: And I’ll have a turkey sandwich with no butter and mayonnaise.
Waitress: Do you mean no butter and no mayonnaise?
Beloved Great Aunt: No butter and mayonnaise.
Grandma: The turkey sandwich is buttered?

With patience like this and the best buttered turkey sandwich in Ontario, I have no choice, on a go/no-go scale, but to give the new soulless PJ’s a “go”.

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