Bankrupt Social Spot (read as student budget haven) opens its doors officially on Saturday, October 1 as a food-primary licensed establishment, but November 1 is when the real party starts. November 1 they switch to a liquor-primary licence, allowing them to have live bands and entertainment, stay open past their current midnight close, and their pool table will be open for business for $2 per game. Inspired by The Hastings Warehouse in Vancouver known for its $4.95 menu, Bankrupt Social Spot aims to produce restaurant quality food with fast food prices.
I need to start with $1 tacos. Every Tuesday, the restaurant serves unlimited chicken and beef tacos for $1 each. The beef and chicken tacos aren’t life changing for their taste — they are still pretty stellar — but for their price that might just be a possibility. They also serve two mouthwatering, market-fresh battered cod fish tacos with a side of fries or salad as a regular entrée which I have returned for twice. On Wednesdays, they serve 25¢ wings and any day of the week any of their entrées or appies are $5.95 each. What you pay for is not what you can expect.
According to our news editor, Joel, their poutine rivals that which he had in Montreal: the motherland of all that is cheese curds and warm gravy. The fries are the key to its goodness, thick cut and well cooked with a blend of mellow spices. They don’t feel as greasy and artery clogging as some fries do (I’m looking at you Costco food court) and for $6 the portion that you receive feels like a stellar deal.
Any place that ever expects to attract students must have a decent plate of nachos to hold them down once they get in the door. In Bankrupt’s nachos, the chips are only a vehicle for the abundance of toppings. The small $6 plate is enough to feed four people easy, and they even offer a larger size that is advertised to serve four, which makes me nervous. You likely won’t come here for the just nachos, they’re a little dry, and they serve them on wax paper on a plate — a no-no according to Joel — but they are definitely a bonus considering the price.
Our former opinion editor, Alex Rake took a stab at the burger, which according to him, tastes like something you’d eat at your friend’s house that was made by their mom. Again, $6 for a burger and fries that tastes homemade is a pretty sweet deal.
As for the calamari (another student staple), Joel notes that they include deep fried banana peppers in the mix with a great result. I tried the calamari myself and it actually has flavour. Most deep fried squid retains the same chewy, tasteless texture, relying on the batter to give it shape, but this squid is somewhat doughy and is huge for its portion size.
As of yet, Bankrupt has no vegan or gluten-free options, and the only veggie burger according to our current opinion editor, Panku Sharma, is not something he will be returning for. In general, the food is quite tasty. There are a few menu items that aren’t superb, but when you pay $6 for them any complaints you might have fade away. Their tagline is: “We’re #goingbankrupt so you don’t have to,” an attempt at bringing their brand to social media. And whether or not you plan to advertise them on your social accounts the idea is definitely easy to agree with.