Pagliacci’s Restaurant has been a downtown Victoria restaurant staple for more than 30 years. A big part of the appeal of Pagliacci’s is their delicious focaccia bread that is served with their dinners. Pagliacci’s also offers brunch one day per week, on Sundays. Similar to their dinner seatings, you are likely to encounter a line up for tables, so be prepared to get there early or wait in line.
After being seated at your table, a basket of freshly toasted bagels is served with dishes of cream cheese and strawberry jam – the equivalent of their free focaccia bread during lunch and dinners! Be warned though, just like the focaccia bread, it is very easy to fill up on these bagels and not have much of an appetite left over for your actual meal. We went with a large group (11 people – this will become important later on) and we ordered the Harpo Omelette special ($12.50) and the Eggs Benedict Arnold ($12.50).
The Harpo Omelette on this day (it changes each week) was made with italian sausage, bell peppers, red onion, roasted garlic and cheddar, and served with a side of homestyle potatoes and fresh fruit. The omelette itself was huge, stuffed full with all the ingredients. It was tasty, but after snacking on the bagels, was tough to finish. The homestyle potatoes were your regular homestyle potatoes, nothing special added that makes them stand out from the crowd. The eggs benny has two poached eggs with ham and a thick hollandaise sauce served on an English muffin, and with a side of homestyle potatoes. Pagliacci’s version of this breakfast favourite will not disappoint; the sauce is thick and creamy, the eggs just runny enough, the english muffin crisp, and the ham tastes just right.
Now onto the problem they had with our group of 11 people. All the bills are done by hand. Our server said the restaurant doesn’t have a computer, so to make it easier for him, we were told to buddy up with people to reduce the number of bills he had to write. As patrons, it was just as inconvenient for us to pair up and pay in groups (and have to arrange repayment among friends) especially in the day and age of credit and debit cards. In our opinion, using a computerized billing system will not diminish the charm of Pagliacci’s, if anything it will make eating there (especially in a large group) more appealing!
Pag’s (as it is known by locals) can generate strong opinions depending on who you ask. It is either described as having amazing food in a great atmosphere and ambiance, or just average food in a cramped, eccentric setting that was fun and unique when it first opened in the late 1970’s. Our experience at the Sunday brunch was the latter.
1011 Broad Street