PO Box 1192
PO Box 1192 is a snack bar from the folks behind Baby Huey -- Mike Homewood and Nolan Lynch. They're hoping to replicate the success of their Ossington bar on the east side.
Expect dim lighting, old school hip hop pumpinp on the speakers, and an affordable menu meant to tempt Leslievillers into letting loose.
Formerly an outpost of Rock Lobster , the 65-seat interior retains the same floorplan and many of the reclaimed wood and powder coated red furnishings as before. The chalkboard menu is a focal point and it changes frequently to offer something fresh to taste in the event of multiple visits.
While the offerings are always in flux, the price points are what's consistent. Snacks are served for $5, mains for $10, sides for $3.
Chef Nick Lachcik puts out plates of jerk chicken nachos ($10) built with a pile of warm, freshly fried tortilla chips. It's loaded with jerk-spiced green beans, peppers, tomatoes and chicken and finished with a blend of shredded provolone and old cheddar. Commendably, this dish packs some serious heat that'll make you want to chug your $7 draught beer.
Tall cans and mixed drinks are sold for $7 too, while classic cocktails like Manhattans and Caesars hover around the $12 mark. Wines by the glass go for $8.
To go with the next round, there's butternut squash gnocchi ($5), featuring delicate little pillows of squash with cream cheese and mascarpone, lightly pan fried 'til browned and finished with onion rings, fried sage, and parmesan cheese.
Pizza fries ($10), or more accurately wedges, are the perfect poutine-like mash-up of junk foods for when you can't decide between indulgences. Served in a sizzling skillet, these chunky potato wedges come topped with marinara, gooey cheeses, pepperoni and sprinkling of oregano.
If you're sharing, there's the option to enjoy a trio of sliders ($10). The smoked bacon burger ($10), on the other hand, is the type of thing you'll want to handle solo.
It starts with an egg bun from Silverstein's and is loaded with a juicy six ounce patty composed of brisket and chuck. Bacon, onion jam, lettuce, tomato and chimichurri dress it up, and it's finished with torched slice of smoked provolone before it hits the table.
Desserts are not forgotten, and for $5 the decadent choices include housemade apple cider ice cream, or a brick of warm dark chocolate fudge over deep fried, pull-apart puff pastry dusted with cinnamon sugar, drizzled with salted caramel and crushed pecans.
While PO Box 1192 is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 6 p.m., on Sundays the venue will host daytime dance parties from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. featuring DJs and $5 draught beers and vodka.
It's a concept that hasn't really caught on in Toronto, but one that I thoroughly enjoyed when visiting San Francisco. The premises is to get day drunk then go home and sleep it off early to wake perfectly refreshed for Monday morning.
Photos by Jesse Milns