Food

VIDEO: Pimentos at Devon House

Thursday, December 06, 2018

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Kingston got an early Christmas present with the recent opening of Pimentos in the Devon House courtyard. The sleek, well-branded and tastefully decorated nook pumps out an array of delicious soups, sandwiches, burgers, desserts and drinks. The fast-casual restaurant takes an artisanal approach to its menu items; apart from the soups, desserts and drinks, everything is done to order to ensure ultimate freshness, taste and quality.

For avid travellers, the Pimentos model may feel familiar. If you've visited Wichcraft in New York, B.Good in Toronto, LEON in London or Shake Shack pretty much anywhere, Pimentos' sleek branding, top-shelf ingredients and carefully made deliciousness are evocative of these well-respected fast-casual restaurants. And true to fast-casual form, the orders at Pimentos may take between 12 and 20 minutes to arrive. This wait time is typical for a traditional dine-in restaurant but there are those who may be thrown by paying before you eat and the casualness of the place, thinking that this is another fast-food joint. It is not. Customers are given a pager which will buzz and beep when orders are ready should they want to grab coffee or pastries next door at the Devon House Bakery or peruse the shops along the courtyard's perimeter.

Thursday Food visited during a weekday lunchtime and is glad to report that there was a steady stream of customers. Ah, the power of new! The staff seemed to have a bottomless well from which they drew smiles and genuine warm greetings. For the duration of the lunch rush their energy and spirits did not wane. Bravo! From the over two dozen menu items, Thursday Food opted to try the boneless smoked pork chop sandwich, the black bean and ackee (BBA) burger, the blue salad topped with grilled shrimp and the chicken pumpkin soup.

The wait was under 20 minutes and was honestly worth it. The blue salad is Pimentos' take on a Waldorf salad. Mixed salad greens, grape tomatoes, candied almonds, cucumber, grapes and blue cheese are combined with a creamy house dressing (on the side, of course) to make for a delicious and flavourful salad. The sweetness of the candied almonds perfectly accentuated the creaminess of the blue cheese and the brightness of fresh fruits and veggies balanced its richness. The shrimps were plump and delicious. The chicken pumpkin soup, chock-full of meat and provisions, was also delicious.

Pimentos bakes all its own bread and as a result, the sandwiches and burgers are elevated to next-level status. The boneless smoked pork chop sandwich with its grilled pineapple, sliced tomatoes and crisp lettuce and pillowy roll make for a delicious sandwich. What surprised our team, however, was the BBA burger. Thursday Food enjoys opting for the vegan or vegetarian option to test a restaurant's mettle. Pimentos did not disappoint. Perfectly seasoned black beans are combined with ackee and hand-shaped into a burger patty before hitting the griddle. The burger, served on a whole wheat bun, is topped with lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles and fried ripe plantain. Even for meat lovers, this burger hits the spot.

According to Pimentos staff, the most popular salad is the pineapple cranberry salad — crispy bacon and pineapple on a bed of salad greens with candied walnuts and dried cranberries. And the best-selling burger, the Pimentos prime burger — a six-ounce freshly made beef patty filled with aged cheddar cheese, bacon, sautéed onions and bell peppers sandwiched in a house-made bun schmeared with Pimentos home-made aioli.

How is it that Thursday Food's four-item lunch had no misses, you ask? Well, that's because the Pimentos culinary team spent over 10 months in research and development and recipe testing. This is uncommon for many new restaurants entering the market; however, Pimentos is fortunate to be under the Mother's umbrella and this will ensure that patrons can depend on certain levels of quality and brand longevity.

From branding to restaurant design to packaging to the well-appointed al fresco dining area, the restaurant has excelled. Pimentos is a welcomed addition to Kingston's culinary landscape and to the Devon House gastronomy hub.

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