Justamere Cafe & Bistro

The Spaniard

For weeks now there has been whispers, rumblings and, dare I say, even some hubbub surrounding changes at the Justamere Cafe and Bistro. Weekly Friday night buffets featuring cuisine from around the world… a prime rib special every Saturday night… new desserts and menu items that I can’t even pronounce… what in the name of coconut cream pie and quesadilla’s is going on down there?!

Well, you can finally quit your head scratching and hubbubbing, because I’m here to answer your most burning questions and to introduce you to the new Chef in town, Daniel Ortiz. We’re beyond proud to call him ours.

malaga-map

First, some back ground – Born in Malaga Spain, “the most beautiful place in the world“, Daniel always knew that he wanted to work in a kitchen one day. While most of us were dreaming of a day when we’d be allowed to wear blue eye shadow and walk downtown by ourselves, or wishing we were as cool as DJ from full house (or was that just me?), Daniel began working in his father’s restaurant. At 14 he started peeling potatoes and washing dishes, working his way up the ranks. Over the next 20 years he worked at numerous restaurants and in cities that I can’t pronounce. Solandalosi… Cerrado Del Abuila… Mijas…. Spanish words. He spent years and years at award winning restaurants, ranked as the best in the world, learning and working as head chef. By 34 he found himself in Alberta working in a sports restaurant in order to fulfill a work permit and eventually obtain Canadian citizenship. An opportunity last year brought him to Antigonish and we’re so thankful that it did, and although he’s only been working at the Justamere for six weeks, it’s clear that the wealth of knowledge he has brought with him will be a welcome addition to our little town.

Now, the fun stuff! Your most burning questions will be answered and you can learn a little bit more about the mysterious Chef Ortiz.

** For best results we recommend you read his answers with a passionate Spanish accent**

Favourite thing about working at the Justamere?
The potential. There is a lot of opportunity here with the kitchen, restaurant and banquet rooms.

Favourite thing about Antigonish?
The weather, I love when I get stuck in the snow… (at this moment, my mind forgot what sarcasm was and I thought he was insane… but pressed on) No, no.. the beautiful town – a nice community that is similar to where I was born. It’s a town that has everything you want – the beach or mountains. I grew up near the beach and it’s important for me to live near one. It alleviates my stress.

Is it Malaga or Antigonish? I can't even tell!

Is it Malaga or Antigonish? Who can even tell!

Favourite TV Show?
The Sopranos or Breaking Bad

Favourite Movie?
The Miserables

Favourite Song?
Dreams by the Cranberries

Mmm, cranberries.

Mmm, cranberries.

Favourite Meal?
Spanish Paella

Favourite Drink?
Coke, coffee, beer, whiskey and ginger ale (separately though, not all mixed together. Gross)

Least Favourite Food?
Cans of Tuna (he’s very passionate about this one. I on the other hand, used the opportunity to talk about an amazing tuna sandwich I recently had. Seriously, so good. His loss)

Tuna juice is the only currency my cats understand

Tuna juice is the only currency my cats understand

Who would play you in a movie?
Johnny Depp, because he can be crazy and funny.

Pet Peeves?
People coming to work late, or when people try to tell you about something that they know nothing about. I hate this kind of “expert”. 

What are your goals for the Justamere?
I want all of the banquet rooms full – with weddings and events. And I’d like to have a little shop in the restaurant where you can buy products we make here – like salad dressings and pastries. I want to use these opportunities to be the best restaurant in town.

A lot of these questions were silly, and we are aware that they will have no influence on where you decide to eat a meal… but interwoven with the silliness is the message we’re trying to convey – there is opportunity here for us and for you. There is the opportunity for the Justamere to grow, and get better… for us to introduce you to new flavours and improve old classics, there’s opportunities for weddings, shows and parties, and there are new ambitions that pour from our kitchen everyday. There is the opportunity to put ourselves out there, to try hard and create new traditions in this town. And while Daniel may be new to Antigonish and to our restaurant, his aspirations align with what ours have always been… fresh food, exciting flavours and quality products – and after ten years we are still thankful for the opportunity to bring that to you.

 

danielortiz

Buffet, Sans Barb!

This isn’t the first time that the Justamere Café and Bistro has taken a stigmatized concept and turned it on it’s head (the stigma of the hotel restaurant), and you can bet your next roll up the rim that it won’t be the last time they do it either.

 I don’t know about you, but buffets bring to mind cold food, sneeze guards, and women with suspiciously large purses that conjure up images of buttery rolls tucked safely away for later. THAT’S NOT HOW THIS WORKS, BARB.

rolls

However, like I said, once again the Jmere has taken a concept that some may consider tired and cooked new life into it.

This new weekly tradition kicked off three weeks ago, with an Indian buffet. There was immediate excitement from both sides as reservation requests rolled in and restaurant staff busily prepared food, music and drinks that fit the theme.

Indianbuffet

 The food was prepared and restocked fresh, and guests helped themselves to a spread of chickpea salad, garden salad & couscous salad, curry chicken, lamb skewers, fish Kerala, tandoori chicken, curry vegetables, rice, and house made naan bread.

 Our new Chef, Daniel Ortiz, was certainly flexing his culinary muscles that night and gave guests just a small taste of some of the excitement to come for the Justamere Café.

 Last week’s theme was Mexican, and while sombrero’s were briefly considered as essential wait staff wear, the idea was scrapped for efficiency sake – there were margarita’s and sangria to whisk off to laughing tables, and no time to keep our hats at a festive angle.

 puppy

The spread was incredible – fresh guacamole, home made corn chips, meat chill, veggie Chili, Mexican vegetable soup, corn salad, jalapeño salad, garden salad, chicken tacos, beef tacos, beef burritos, and chicken burritos … But I’ve just got five words for you. All. You. Can. Eat. Quesadillas. How many times have you come to the Justamere and ordered a quesadilla and thought, “I could eat these things for hours”… well last Friday evening was your chance. How many quesadilla triangles are too many quesadilla triangles, you ask? Impossible to say – that’s a personal choice that you will not be judged for. You do you.

 Justamere_083

Tonight we continue our culinary tour around the globe, stopping in Italy! Come join us for all you can eat pasta salad, capresse salad, garden salad, pizza, pasta carbonara, lasagna, chicken Parmesan, risotto, assorted breads, and more!

 ItalianBuffet

And remember, just because it’s a buffet doesn’t mean our quality suffers – the Justamere believes in producing real and fresh food, and that’s not going to change! We’ve got our amazing kitchen staff behind those double doors keeping the food coming hot all evening long.

So call us at 902-735-3353 to reserve your table tonight. The buffet runs from 5 to 9pm. Bring your friends, bring your appetite, just don’t bring Barb.

Dinner with Jennah Barry

Jennah Barry

Join us at the Justamere Café and Bistro on Saturday May 31st, 2014 for an evening of delicious food and sweet music from singer, songwriter and musician, Jennah Barry.

With a sound described as “dance[ing] the spectrum between folk and indie rock” (The Coast (Tara Thorne)), Jennah Barry’s repertoire has something for everyone. From slow and smooth to upbeat and lively tracks, Jennah and her band have the perfect sound to welcome in the summer.

Enjoy a three course meal cooked by the Justamere’s own Chef Mark Curry while you listen to Jennah in our relaxed dining room. Dinner includes a Panko Breaded Fishcake on a bed of greens topped with mango salsa, followed by BBQ Chicken and Ribs – or – Vegetarian skewers. To finish off the meal a fresh lemon meringue pie tart will be served with coffee or tea. What better way to usher in the summer months than with BBQ and the tang of lemon meringue!

Tickets my be purchased in person at the Justamere Café & Bistro or over the phone by
calling 735-3353.
*Cancellations made before 6:00 pm May 30th will receive a full refund.*

Doors open @ 6:30pm
Dinner & Show @ 7pm – 9pm
Tickets are $50 all inclusive per person

“With a folk guitar, a slide guitar and a voice as sweet as honey, Jennah Barry’s first album Young Men is “a lot of juicy gossip,” she says, drawing on a string of loves lost and won between the South Shore and Toronto. Recorded at the Old Confidence Lodge in Riverport over the past year, Barry says producer Diego Medina gave the 11 tracks their moonlit magic, along with a few banjo licks by Old Man Luedecke. Her songs have the maturity of an old-hand at romance, tough to let go of and so easy to love.” – The Coast (Adria Young)

“…The songs on Young Men flow with ease and confidence, graced with melodies that are sweet and addictive without becoming cloying…” – Chronicle Herald (Stephan Cooke)