The Midpoint on West Queen West has been kicking around for at least five years, having several incarnations as pizza parlour, bar and club. Seems like it's finally settled into itself, even though owner Eric Macedo still has hopes for brunch and a patio at some (mid) point.
The floor is pretty empty, left open for the inevitable dancing that comes from the revolving roster of old and new school hip-hop DJ's and consumption of their cheap bar rail and beer specials pre-midnight. If you are looking to score a seat there is a black and grey banquette and tables along the east wall, and some high stools and tables at the front window, or the bar itself on the west wall has stools for you to perch on.
This place touts a lack of pretension, and it's true, there are no pretensions here. That means no fussy cocktails, and believe me, I asked, not even a Caesar. The bartender said no one orders them and he found himself throwing out the spoiled Clamato. There is some premier spirits, and the bar rail for some simple mixed shots or drinks- but I was fine with my big cheap pint of Pabst ($5 a pint or $10 pitchers before 11pm).
Macedo has been organizing some pop-up food for Midpoint, including Tocino Boys on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 6pm till late. When I arrived, John from Tocino Boys greeted me and offered up some tacos right away (two for $5). He was funny and generous and enthusiastic, a real highlight to the visit. His speciality is sweet bacon, a (Filipino-food-inspired) sugar and pineapple juice marinated pork, that he does up several ways, inside tacos and on top of poutine.
There's also chicken, chorizo and that evening, avocado, with toppings like fried onions, pork crackling and shredded iceberg lettuce and a drizzle of mustard mayo.The chicken was pretty good, cubed and juicy. I found the sweet bacon also tasty but oh so sweet, it could have used some acid or a sour addition to contrast.
But I mean, what are we talking about here? Clearly the purpose of these tacos isn't to dramatically elevate the palate or redefine tacos but to cut through the presumable swath of alcohol imbibed on Midpoint premises, thus prolonging your stay on the dance floor. Having food like Tocino Boys in close proximity to the beer taps lets you hang around listening to the music instead of having to leave to satiate the inevitable drunken hunger. Tocino Boys is perfect for that- sloppy, sweet, hot and a little greasy, over the top flavour that punches down your intoxication to respectable levels (let's hope).
Midpoint doesn't dazzle at any level, but it does serve the basics properly, and with Tocino Boys upping it a notch, finds itself holding strong on West Queen West five years in.
- Beers on Tap:
- Alexander Keiths, Sapporo, PBR, Okanagan Spring Pale Ale, Stella, Rolling Rock
- Signature Drink:
- That'd be the beer
- Bar Snacks:
- Food courtesy of Tocino Boys
- Old and new school hip hop, DJs
- Live Music:
- Who Goes There:
- Anti-clubbers who want to dance, those looking for cheap drinks
- Wed-Saturday, 6pm-2am