The Junction Kitchen and Bar

Posted on June 13, 2014

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Yesterday, my curiousity got the better of me and I went to The Junction Kitchen and Bar upon their invitation. Located at Victoria Park and Steeles Avenue E, it’s a little more north than where I usually eat but I often drive past Victoria Park and Finch each week. I just could not visualize how could I miss what seems to me as a massive sports bar in the area.

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But unlike most sports bars in Toronto, this sports bar doesn’t scream hockey. What you get is a massive mural of World Cup football superstars. Soon as you walk in the restaurant, it is the first thing that would grab your attention as mural soars up to the ceiling. All around the restaurant were flags of every nation participating in 2014 FIFA World Cup. I just read on their feature magazine that once a country is eliminated, their flag would be removed from display.

I introduced myself to Philip Dantas and after a few quick snapshots of the restaurant, he got me acquainted with their feature Brazilian menu. For the night I started with a Caipirinha for drinks. This one could easily be a favorite as I love anything that is citrusy in my drink. Caipirinha is a classic Brazilian cocktail of Cachaca (spirit made from sugar cane) and lime. For my meal, I selected the grilled vegetable and meat platter, grilled sea salt crusted flank steak with Chimchurri sauce and the Brazilian flan.

When the platter arrived, I was half-embarrased of its size as it could easily be shared by 2 or 3 people. I must say the grilled cinnamon pineapple is my favorite in the whole platter and was glad that even my main flank steak also came with grilled pineapples on the side. I could totally relate with their generous use of pineapple as I came from a country that does the same. The flank steak was as garlicky as it could go, making me really happy. There is that comfort of eating simple, straightforward food. That nostalgic feeling was heightened when I got to dessert as the Brazilian flan is exactly like the leche flan we have from home. Same smooth custard that had the right balance of richness and sweetness. I do like that restraint of not making it too sugary.

As I was licking spoon with the caramel from the flan, the crowd around me erupted. The roar was because of a third goal that seals the victory of the Brazilians over the Croatians, 3 – 1. Maybe just like hockey, I should begin getting myself acquainted with soccer or what my Columbian friend, Catalina, corrected me as football. It would surely be fun to share the energy of the crowd as the team they are rooting for wins. Mental note is now stuck to my head.

Thank you for the invitation Philip! I hope your team wins!

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