Note: It’s come to our attention that Journeymen has changed their setup - we’ll be updating the review shortly.
When you hear that a restaurant is “order-at-the-counter,” certain associations come to mind: cheap, quick, and ideal for your lame lunch hour. Oh, and there’s no doubt a damp chicken wrap involved. But Journeymen isn’t like other order-at-the-counter places. It’s a pintxo and tapas bar that’s one of the coolest dinner spots on the Eastside, and also happens to be one where you order everything from a cash register.
To be clear, the process at Journeymen isn’t some insane, existential experience. You’re just ordering food right when you walk in and then going to find a seat. The difference is once you do find your seat, you’re greeted by a member of the waitstaff and your full-service experience commences. Does it feel awkward ordering rabbit terrine and a whole striped bass from a cash register? Definitely. But Journeymen gets away with it because everyone here is so helpful that all potential questions you have are answered before you even open your mouth. And once the food starts arriving you could care less how it was ordered.
Journeymen’s menu is tapas style, though mostly made up of non-Spanish food. The small dishes are all based around the fresh vegetables and produce that come with living in a city where 65 degrees is a cold snap. The eggplant relish with goat cheese, the heirloom corn with leeks, and the grilled okra are all simple, but hearty. There’s a daily pinxto sampler (small, finger food) that usually involves housemade salami and bread, and you’re going to want to order that as well. Bigger dishes like the mackerel, the hangar steak, and the whole bass are all fantastic, but we’d recommend choosing only one or two of those and focusing instead on the smaller dishes. If at any point you want to add to or subtract from your original order, just make a mark on the dim sum-style ticket they give you at the counter and the waitstaff will happily make adjustments to your tapas party.
On paper, Journeymen seems like a place still figuring out what it wants to be. But in reality, they already know - this is an easy going spot with seriously good food perfect for everything from a first date to a 9pm glass of wine and some finger food with your neighbor. No damp chicken wraps included.
Pintxos rotate daily at Journeymen, but whatever it is that day, get it. It’s going to involve salami and some cheese and their housemade bread, and you’re going to regret eating it so quickly.
This isn’t really anything more than eggplant and goat cheese, but it might be the best thing on the menu. Just simple, high-quality ingredients and more of that house-made bread.
This dish doesn’t just pass the eye test when it hits the table, it also tastes ridiculously good. If anything, this proves once and for all that corn and cheese will always taste great together.
Grilled okra is great, but grilled okra with a fried egg on top is even better.
If you’re looking to throw some meat on the table and not fill you up before the bigger dishes arrive, order this. The pickled cherries on this side give it that ideal sweet and savory combination.
Of all the big plates, this is our favorite. The fish itself basically dissolves in your mouth and there’s a pimento garlic salsa on top that will change you.
Save room and order this. It’s light and fresh and the passionfruit seeds on top means it’s healthy. Right?