Okay, this food adventure has been 3 years in the making. Yes, I've had Local Public Eatery in my back pocket for late night eats, especially after those really late hockey games on Friday. And really, 3 years is a long time! Think of it, we didn't have the HST (actually, we don't have that anymore), Lindsay Lohan was drunk (wait, she still is...) and Luongo was the Canucks' goalie (oh yeah, he's still here). Fine, nothing has changed. One thing that did transpire was the fact everyone agreed to go visit the Local Public Eatery. And despite the parking difficulties of the area, we all managed to find parking spots. We even scored a few in their tiny parking lot!
Much like its parent company, Joey Restaurant Group, the menu at Local Public Eatery has a little bit of everything for everyone. We started with the Baja Fish Tacos ($4.50) consisting of fried battered-fish, shredded lettuce and pico de gallo. The fish was crunchy while there was a hint of spice from the diced jalapenos. This was a decent taco, but we would've liked to see more fish. Next up were the Gyoza ($5.00) severed on sesame soy. We liked how there was a nice sear on the bottom of the dumpling, but since it was sitting on the plethora of sauce, it became a touch soggy (should've served it bottom up). Despite this, these were pretty decent for a non-Japanese restaurant. The dumpling skin was thin while the filling had a balance flavour and appealing texture. Not that we didn't like the sesame soy sauce, but it could've benefited from some acidity.
We also shared the Fully Loaded Nachos with pulled chicken, beans, sour cream, avocado, Jack cheese, olives and jalapenos. For $18.00, we found this far too expensive for the portion size. There was actually nothing amiss with the product as the chicken was really moist and flavourful while the rest of the components were good as well. Yet, there was not $18.00 worth of food here (taking into account for overhead, staff and all that jazz). Something that caught our eye was the Poutine ($4.00) with Quebec cheese curds and miso gravy. At first, I was not that impressed with the gravy, but as I dug into it, the flavours were actually impactful with a mild saltiness. Couldn't really determine how good the cheese curds were because they had all been melted. As for the fries, they were a bit too skinny.
In terms of the "bigger" dishes, the Mac n' Cheese ($12.00) with a mix of 4 cheese and panko crust was decent. The sauce was definitely creamy and cheesy (in a somewhat processed cheese way). The pasta was not too soft while the panko crust added a nice crunch. We found the Tuna Club ($16.00) to be rather interesting as it was served on crunchy grilled bread. Somewhat like a tuna melt except with lettuce, tomato, smoked bacon, avocado and cheddar, I found the bread to be so crunchy it overshadowed the soft, lightly seared tuna. I personally would've liked to see softer bread. Other than that, it was a good combination of ingredients. Lastly, the Deluxe Burger ($15.00) with smoked bacon and aged cheddar was fantastic. We liked the medium-rare hand made patty as it was moist and meaty. The bun poppy/sesame seed bun was soft, yet crunchy due to being grilled. Along with the smokey, crispy bacon and aged cheddar, this was a satisfying burger. In the end, we were had few complaints with the food at Local Public Eatery. Sure, there are elements of "chain restaurant" food, but it did the job for late night eats.
- All around decent non-threatening eats
- We got good service
- Lively atmosphere (which was just the right decibel)
- Despite the parking lot, parking in the area sucks
- Late night specials were priced right, but some of the other items were not