Sunday, February 21, 2010

Beaver And Bulldog Critique

Hi Everyone!
This week I went for lunch at a local place called The Beaver And Bulldog. First off I'd like to say this is my favourite place for wings. They are huge and come in 31 awesome flavours. I need not say more. Anyway, they got a new menu so I figured I'd check it out....

The restaurant is open concept with a bar in the middle and tables surrounding. LCD T.V.'s are hung everywhere as it is typically a sports bar. Music was 90's pop, but there is a juke box that you can put money into and choose your tunes.

Our server was a young girl, very friendly but not too knowledgeable. She was a little flustered it seemed but it was ok with me. The order was correct, the food arrived in a timely manner and she checked up and took care of our wishes. Thats all I expect. Good job.

The food was good! We started with Bruschetta, its hard to mess up I know but the pieces were substantial with lots of topping and that made me happy. The meals were the "Buckeye BBQ Pork" sandwich which was quite tasty. The pork was very good quality, (not boiled in a bag like some) cut thick and tender and smothered in a spicy bbq sauce and topped with field greens. The only problem here was that it was very messy to eat. The side was a spinach salad with bacon, egg, mushroom, onion, a lemon wedge and a sesame dressing. Very pleased. The other meal was a "Shanghai Sesame Stirfry" which consisted of a saucy ginger and sesame stirfry with mixed veg served over a bed of mixed grain rice and asian noodles. We were pleased with this dish. It was spicy sweet and quite filling. Pleasantly surprised for asian influence in a pub.

All in all lunch was enjoyable and ill probably be back on mon or tues for half price wings.

My Rating:

Atmosphere- 4/5
Service- 3/5
Food- 4/5

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Canyon Creek Chophouse Critique

Hello! It's your friendly neighbourhood restaurant critic here with a breakdown of another meal. This time around I went to a place I visit every now and again but this time I was not too impressed...Canyon Creek.

We sat ourselves in the bar area, cozy lounge style with lots of booths, dim candlelight lighting and a mix of mellow beats and soft jazz music.

After some time we were greeted by the bartender who took our order and eventually got drinks to our table. I noticed that she was a little busy with eight people at her bar, three tables of two and the responsibility of making drinks for everyone dining in the restaurant. One can expect service to be a bit slower in a busy pub or bar but I was disappointed to see that nobody stepped in to help her out, especially in a restaurant that caters to a slightly more sophisticated crowd. Unfortunately the service remained the same from start to finish. The appetizers took a long time to arrive, almost immediately followed by our luke warm mains that were dropped off by a food runner. This gave me the impression that we had been forgotten about. We finished our meals and we did not received a quality check. To top it off, I also had to go to the bar to ask for another beverage that had been empty since before that appetizers had arrived. After finishing our meals we stacked our plates at the end of the table waiting 10 mins before they were removed, again waited some time for the bill and after being so fed up with the waiting game, I went to the bar to swipe my debit card so we could finally leave.

The food was sub-par. The starter salads were good, a garden and a chop house (tomato with crumbled blue cheese and raspberry vinaigrette). Mains consisted of an ultimate cheeseburger which was a medley of smoked mozzarella, aged cheddar and asiago cheese with a horseradish mayo and dressed with all the regular burger garnish. The mayo was the prominent flavour of the dish and frankly left a lot to be desired from a gourmet burger. The other was a Chipotle Sirloin topped with a goat cheese butter paired with sour cream and chives mashed potatoes (when I go to Canyon Creek, this is usually what I eat). Except for being a little on the cold side I can't really complain about this one. My steak was cooked to my liking and I got what I expected.

Ultimately I usually enjoy my experiences at Canyon Creek and will return. It was just bad luck for me on this particular visit and bad luck for the restaurant that I was planning to write a review.

My Rating:
Atmosphere: 4/5
Service: 1/5
Food: 3/5

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Terroni Restaurant Critique

Upon searching for a nice Italian restaurant for dinner, I discovered some good reviews on a location called Terroni in downtown Toronto. Many people were fond of the food and good service which encouraged my decision to eat there. There are two locations downtown, the one I choose was the smaller location on Queen West. Upon arrival, the place was packed with a line outside the door. However, we were seated promptly, while being greeted by a friendly hostess. Our table was tucked in the corner proving a private atmosphere where we were able to people watch and comment on how quickly the servers were tending to their tables.

This restaurant was reminiscent of little Italy with classic European seating (tables are close where you are shoulder to shoulder with the guest beside you). Walls were lines with a variety of items available to purchase (such as jams, olive oils, preserves, biscuits and candies). Decor was large mirrors, old paintings, and chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. Music was 80s rock. Servers were dressed in their choice of casual clothing.

Our server was efficient and knowledgeable of specials. He was more than happy to suggest which items on the menu were better than others. He was prompt with ordering and bringing our drinks to the table. However because of being busy, he was unable to do a quality check of our meals until they were finished.

The menu was small but focusing on their specialty..Southern Italian consisting of cured meats, salads, pastas and pizza. Our first course was "Bresaola" which was pingue air cured beef with parmesan shavings, capers, extra virgin olive oil, and lemon. We were were satisfied with this dish. It was simple, but tasty. Our mains consisted of two pasta dishes. The "Papparelle Larghe al Sugo di Cinghiale", braised wild boar marinated in Sangiovese with parmesan. Very pleased with this dish, it was cooked to perfection. The sauce was very meaty and tender. The "Spaghetti in Canna a Mare" containing fresh clams, mussels, calamari, scallops, and shrimp in a light tomato sauce. This dish was a little disappointing as there wasn't an ample amount of seafood compared to pasta. Noodles were cooked "al dente" and the tomato sauce lacked flavour. Our meal was finished with a lovely "Tiramisu", however it was more heavy cream than wafer cake.

Overall, the meal was fairly priced coming to a grand total of $97.48 for an appetizer, two meals, a dessert and 4 alcoholic beverages. This is a place we will revisit in the future, and were happy with our dining experience.

My rating for this restaurant is:
Atmosphere- 4/5
Service- 3.5/5
Food- 3.5/5