By JESSICA LANTHIER
In lieu of any dinner plans herself, my good friend Abby accompanied me for food and drinks at The Jane Bond on a rather dull Saturday night. The indie/retro hole-in-the-wall off of King Street happens to be a vegetarian restaurant in uptown Waterloo. I had heard of it, but never actually knew where it was. Abby has lived in the city her whole life and didn’t even know it existed.
After speaking to a wide range of Kitchener-Waterloo acquaintances, I realized that not very many people really know about the elusive Jane Bond.
As we walked off King and onto Princess, I’ll admit that I had misgivings.
When we walked through the doors, I noticed that I would be sharing the same air with a bunch of people in a very tight space.
“Good thing we don’t suffer from claustrophobia,” I muttered to Abby.
We peered around the restaurant and decided on a two-person table next to a brick wall. It was also the only table left. It was actually very comfortable and quaint. The entire atmosphere of the place is cool and quirky, with a lot of art and a lot of colour.
We were given our menus and ordered some drinks. I chose the Soho Tini and Abby had her heart set on the Mango Chi Chi Tini, mostly because of the adorable name. They were both mixed perfectly and went down smoothly.
As a relatively infrequent drinker, I can confidently say that the Soho Tini is a good choice for the delicate palate of those who don’t drink very often.
Although I was a little hesitant about the vegetarian menu at Jane Bond, after reading that they serve items such as quesadilla and ricotta lasagna, I decided that it might be better than expected.
After quite a long debate, I decided on antojitos and Mediterranean tapenades. Abby ordered crisp tofu fritters and the “Fat Ass Grilled Cheese.”
Although it is not extensive, the menu at The Jane Bond is reasonably diverse, as dishes range from Mexican to Italian. Prices are fair and nothing is higher than $12.
Our server was incredibly friendly. He took the time to share his favorite items and helped us choose what to order, as he knew that we were first-timers. When he noticed that our martinis were getting low, he promptly walked back to our table to ask if we wanted more or wanted to try something else (we stuck with our first choices).
It took about 15 minutes for our appetizers to arrive. They were, as our friendly waiter insisted, absolutely delicious. The tapenades were thick and not too salty, as many tapenades turn out to be. The pita chips were fresh and crispy. Abby also enjoyed her tofu fritters, commenting on how fresh and well balanced the brie tasted.
When our second courses arrived, we were both almost full from our appetizers. The antojitos are perfect little bite-sized tortilla rolls stuffed with cream cheese, peppers and jalapenos. They are divine with sour cream and salsa. The balance of the cream cheese with the jalapenos makes for a subtle hint of spice. Abby also thoroughly enjoyed her grilled cheese and said it was the perfect taste of fall, thanks to the apple-flavoured cheese.
The Jane Bond is cozy, but it’s a little too tight. If it were any busier, we probably wouldn’t have been seated for a while. However, it would have been well worth the wait.
After my first experience, all of my doubts were completely mollified and I relearned the timeless lesson on not judging a book by its cover.
Although The Jane Bond isn’t a new restaurant, it is off-the-map. However, it is worth finding because it is the perfect place to relax and enjoy some funky-flavored drinks and non-typical vegetarian pub food.
By JESSICA LANTHIER