Monday, December 15, 2008

J J Morgan Family Restaurant, 1520 McKenzie Avenue, Victoria B.C -- (250) 721-2188

Snow Day 2008 kicked off with a blast. We planned on going to Cowichan Bay to visit a 150 item hotel brunch buffet, we even had reservations, but vehicle complications and a shitty Malahat denied us the opportunity. So we had to settle on a long time Victoria favorite, the JJ Morgan Sunday Brunch Buffet. Long revered for its quality to price ratio, the JJ Morgan experience is one usually enjoyed by the plethora of senior citizens who call the Shelbourne/McKenzie area their home. However, being the frigid day that Dec. 14 was, many of our blue-haired friends decided to stay home and order meals on wheels and play crib, rather than trekking through the cold, wintery weather. They chose a good day to stay home because this buffet was shite. 

The chicken was good, I give them that. I always loved their sweet BBQ skinned chicken, thats always moist and tender, with the perfect balance of seasoning. But the roast beef was fuckin' off man. It could have been overcooked, or just a bad roast, because it was so tough to eat. Even though it looked like it was cooked well, I could stab the meat without even piercing it. It was way to tough to consume. I don't understand how a senior citizen could eat this stuff.

The scalloped potatoes were alright, the croissants were delightfully extra crispy, and the bacon was terribly old and burnt. Sausages were small, average at best, but the potato salads and cold pasta salads were very good as far as cold salad entrees go. Really, this buffet was lacking a serious entree dish like a pasta, or some sort of serious meat dish. There were eggs benedict for all of you people who would kill for your sunday morning bennies.  They were served on little pancakes instead of english muffins.

This is the third or fourth time I've been here, and this is easily the most disappointing visit, but for the price of $12.99, it won't hurt you're feelings to badly. 


Like a nervous mother, JJ Morgan's tends to overcook their food. Blackened bacon and crusty croissants are a major disappointment; no matter how cheap your buffet is. A lack of berry compote for the pancakes, and no jam for the croissants only furthered my distaste for this buffet. Scalloped potatoes lifted my spirits for a fleeting moment, but I was brought back down to earth after dry heaving on an eggs benedict. 

I suppose you get what you pay for, but J.J. Morgans ended up being a little cheaper than I had hoped for.  Too many standard items were missing, and too many other items were overcooked or under-palatable. If only the food was as exciting and playful as the bizarre "snow" blowing plastic christmas tree in their dining room.

ED SUM CHIMES THE FUCK IN !!!! !!!!!!!!!!

Okay, I have an iron gut. There are certain foods which can be burnt and still taste good. While it may not reflect well on the chef's part, burnt bacon is a must on top of eggs, and on salads; it just adds to the crunch and taste. That was the part of enjoying Snow Day 2008 with the guys. 

After feasting on the veggies, it was time to dive in on the meats. The chicken was okay but was a touch on the drier side than saucier. The roast beef was okay too, but it wasn't bloody enough to be classified as rare. It was more like medium rare, and when topped with heaping amounts of gravy and horse-radish, it was good. On its own, it'll take some convincing to finish off the plate, but I did.


If it wasn't for the vicious trek in the snow, I don't think the food would have tasted as good as it did, and that is not to say that they tasted good.

OK, JJ Morgans does have its highlight item, namely the eggs benny and the BBQ'd chicken; and a few rounds later I was loading up myself with potato salads and egg salads of sorts, which was when I realized all of these are appetizer items. Like, where's the damn entree? I guess that slab of roasted meat at the end of the line is supposed to be the entree, but the look of that meat just doesn't seem so appetizing. Skip!

On the other hand, I was delightfully surprised by the desserts menu. I mean, they have enough desserts here to keep Guy happy, and that in itself is no small accomplishment. Although a bite into the watermelon tells a different story, that of a bland fruit nobody wanted to pick up at the market, somehow making its way to the kitchen for little or no cost, and somehow end up on a buffet plate and into the growling mouth of a bunch of hungry students with millions of taste buds crying out loud for some mercy...and the millions of taste buds have once again been ignored...

Overall it wasn't such a bad meal, although leaving a pitcher of water on our table or giving us actually glasses to drink out of wouldn't be a bad gesture either. For the kind of food and service I received, I wouldn't pay anymore than 9 bucks for this.

Price For Sunday Brunch(11am-2pm): $12.95


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