Serving (unofficially) as “Main St. Ontairo” it would go on to be included in the Guiness Book of Records as the longest street in the world (1,178 mi) when Hwy 11 was amalgamated into Yonge St. In the late 20th Century realignments, bypasses and political shuffling have led the partial dismantling of Yonge St. and loss of its record.
If Canada sprouted along the St. Lawrence River and Lower Great Lakes then Ontario grew up along Yonge St. A string of small towns would pop up at most major crossroads along the route. One such town to sprout up is Aurora. The small burg about 15 miles north of Toronto began life at the crossroad of Wellington and quickly became an important industrial center. Led by the Fleury Plow Works.
It would later be the childhood home of Lester B. Pearson (Prime Minister 1963 – 68) and where I currently call home.
In 1880 a small family home was built on Yonge Street just south of Wellington. The house served as a family dwelling for nearly a century until it was converted to a business. Several in fact. Mostly though, it’s lived the last couple decades as a bar and grill. In the early 90’s it was almost razed to the ground by fire. Determined to rebuild and restore reclaimed building materials were used to help maintain it’s century charm.
It’s current incarnation is Jersey’s Bar and Grill. Jersey’s boasts one of the best bar menus you’ll find. Just about everything is made in house. No boil in bag here. Fish and other items are hand battered. Pizzas are made on site and the daily specials board punches well above it’s weight class.
The exposed brick, beams and large fireplace give the feel of a 19th century single room house. The wooden furniture is unfortunately not the most comfortable but bearable and lend to the charm.Make no mistake though, Jersey’s is best enjoyed during Summer on the patio. The large Walnut (I believe) tree covers the whole area and provides beautiful shade on hot summer days. While is proximity to such a busy street makes it a little noisier than one would like the wooden fence does a nice job holding the sound down enough that you can speak comfortably with your guests.So let’s see what’s to drink.
From the bar you’ll find a great version Mrs. Sippi’s favourite cocktail, the Bloody Caesar. Loosely speaking a Bloody Mary with clamato juice instead of tomato. A nice helping of horseradish gives it a good bit of zing. As does Tabasco sauce.There is a nice selection of local beers such as this crisp cream ale from Muskoka Cottage Brewery. A little ways up Yonge St. in Bracebridge.Alright, let’s see what they’ve got in the kitchen. I’ve compiled a few different items from various visits here.
In the appetizer department you’ll find cheese balls. Tempura battered and deep fried balls of cheddar. Very nice but a swap out of dipping sauces was in order. We ended up with the Southwest sauce and it was a perfect fit.Mrs. Sippi often orders the fish on Friday night. The hand battered halibut usually comes with fries but on this occasion she subbed onion rings. The rings are one of the few things they don’t make themselves unfortunately. It also comes with a nice slaw.They also make a great pizza It’s completely build your own from size to toppings. The crust is thin and has a good fresh taste to it. Pepperoni, mushroom and bacon is what is shown here and it was devoured.A nice lunch option is the curry chicken wrap. Curried chicken and rice wrapped in a tortilla. I found the curry a little too mild for my liking. I like a more robust and spicy curry and found this one rather tame. I’d probably ask for extra gravy next time.I swapped out a “Greek” salad for the fries with my wrap. As Greek salads go it was rather lacking. If you just took it as a salad with feta and cucumbers it was pretty tasty.As much as anything though, Jersey’s is known for it’s wings. These stay crisp all the way through consumption which is nice. They come in a variety of standard sauces (unlike Wild Wing and their crazy concoctions) but hot with honey garlic is their bread and butter. They’re certainly in the conversation for the best wings in the area.
One thing lacking at this place, and it's something they are constantly thinking of fixing is the lack of desert. They don't serve it. Period.
You can find Jersey’s right in the heart of Aurora at 14987 Yonge St.
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Well that’s all for now folk. Catch ya next time in the food court.
Please note. Jersey's has undergone and restaurant makeover and is now an upscale Italian restaurant. Still owned by the Badali family a terrific Italian experience can be found.