Junkyard, anything but Junk…

Chicho and I were invited to try the new brunch menu of Junkyard Pub Restaurant … the sun was shining… it was a beautiful day, we arrived at noon as specified…

Made out of Junk, old containers, paint buckets, old stuff, but arranged with taste, the Junkyard is a unique venue in Mar Mkhayel, it looked different, it sounded different and it tasted different from all other surrounding pubs, tackling even a bit those gourmet restaurants around…

We took a seat on stools facing old barrels made as tables… we asked for water and were served in nice looking green glasses that turned out to be old Almaza bottles cut in half… yes… Junk used in smart unique way…

We were one of the first to arrive, and we were almost alone… of course we all know Lebanese never arrive on time… we all know how rude it is to arrive on time, et puis c’est pas chic… non mais…

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We hung around chatting with the staff: nice young people, smiley and active… except maybe for one of them who sounded sleepy, and when I asked him what was wrong he replied: “ba3edne bel takhet man” … okay… right… moving on… Another waiter approached us full of good intentions and meaning to help us with our choices, commendable, professional… until he said: “Listen guys, order sharing as much as you can because el matabakh ma bi la77i2”… awkward silence… ok then, now we know we shouldn’t expect much of the kitchen… and you know what? On a certain level, it was true… (We later were told by friends on another table that their waiter told them the same thing…)

We did listen though to his advice and ordered the Smashed Avocado on toast with Salmon as an addition, the Sausage frittata with bacon and the Steak and Egg… The barman recommended the Bloody Mary and I agreed, Chicho had a freshly squeezed orange juice… healthy but boring…

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The Bloody Mary was great, perfectly mixed and presented in a very nice way… the shrimp was the cherry on top… gorgeously delicious… feeling not shared by our friend Haru San , who had never tasted a Bloody Mary before, you see, Japanese prefer apples to tomatoes. He joined us, and ordered an Ultimate Grass Fed Beef Burger…

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While waiting, un gentil pecheur looking man approached us holding over his waist 2 buckets, one of them containing fresh Oysters, Joie! I love Oysters… It did seem a little out of place at Junkyard, over a brunch or lunch, but I loved the idea… the Oysters where delicious (with Lemon) and the pecheur, nice and courteous…

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Beautifully presented were the smashed avocado on toast, especially with the Salmon on top… it also was absolutely delicious… the little onions that were in the avocado were the perfect link that bind the Salmon to the dish… however, when you think of it… without the Salmon… that plate would have been a boring regular item on the menu… the salmon was its highlight, it was what made its glory… I devoured almost 2 toasts on my own… (Selfishly)…

Both the frittata and the steak arrived and I was ready to dig in…

I had ordered my steak to be rare, however it got on the table medium well… not a problem, I was hungry and it was after all a pub, not a fine dining restaurant… it was also by now completely full with a nice band playing live popular hits… a really nice atmosphere…

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The steak was enjoyable, tender and juicy with nice flavors, living up to what should be served here… the egg lacked a bit of seasoning but was cooked perfectly keeping the yolk liquid and appetizing…

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The frittata, was beautifully… served in a skillet, it looked like a wild flower… C’est une omelette Español  you see… it was open faced and had potatoes, peppers, pork sausages, onion and cheddar cheese… It was really a délice, however I didn’t really feel the melted cheddar in each bite, it was only in the middle of it… and you couldn’t make out the pork sausages from the mix… It definitely has the potential to be better, despite being really good…

  • Hello, said our friends from Popcorn961… did you try the Lobster Roll?
  • No, I replied, is it any good?
  • It’s not bad, do you want to taste? It’s a big portion…
  • Sure, I’d have more to say for my review, I replied with a grin…

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It was a good looking roll, and though I’m sure others might love it… I thought I was a bit sweet to my taste… and the flavor of the sea was very strong in it… not really sure why… a good addition to the menu nevertheless…

I suddenly noticed that the order of Haru San didn’t make it, and he was starting to get nervous about it… (Japanese Yakuzas have short tempers and i was worried) we asked a waiter with a blond goatee (this guy is a pro) who promised to check and get back to us…  Two minutes later, he informed us that it got a bit delayed and will come shortly (we understood that he placed the order again because either it was handed out to somebody else, or it wasn’t made to begin with…) It took another 20 min to receive it… the Kitchen really sounded like not being up to the task (friends on other tables told us they got delays, order missing and orders coming in double) anyhow… I tasted that burger:

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Was it worth the wait? Not really, was it really good by itself? Sure, it was a good burger, with the right mix of ingredients and juicy thick beef patty… not bad at all…

We were recommended the pancakes and the “It’s not a chocolate brownie”…

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The pancakes were ok, but just regular pancakes bathing in maple syrup topped with (not enough) strawberry slices and a pincée of sugar ice… they did compliment the brunch idea though and did make sense in the menu…

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As for the not a chocolate brownie, I wasn’t a fan… but that’s just me, a personal opinion because I don’t really like dark chocolate… so I will refrain from criticizing… conflict of interest oblige…

To conclude my review, I would like to say that, contrairement aux apparences (of a pub not restaurant), the Junkyard is a very nice place to have a brunch and lunch at, with friends, dates, or family, for small and large groups… the food is really good, despite some service hickups, you would sincerely have a fun joyful time…

Gaston Le Junkman

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