gracecheung604 | write on time: DineOut - Day One

Monday, April 26, 2010

DineOut - Day One

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A group of us headed out to a friend's birthday dinner at the Granville Island Keg. I was actually surprised that a chain restaurant would participate in DineOut. Back in my Toronto years, they would never be part of Summerlicious or Winterlicious. To decide if I find a restaurant DineOut worthy, I do a quick mental calculation of what I normally spend in that place for a meal, and then see if the price point they set is worth it.

The Keg actually has two DineOut versions, a $28 and a $38 one. The appetizers and the dessert selection are the same, but you do get your choice of two desserts with the $38. The major variation between the two is the main course selections. At a glance, the $28 is strictly your basic meat and potato entrées, and the $38 is more of a surf and turf type deal, where it is still meat and potatoes, but with a pile of seafood either scooped on top, or tucked on the side. Since I like my meat straight up, I knew I’d be going with the $28 version. Their steaks run $20+ and their French Onion Soup (my favourite) is about $7. Seemed like a worthwhile endeavor.

The table they showed us to was a small semi-circular banquette. It was meant for five people (there were seven of us), so we asked if there was a way to move us to a larger table. There was nothing our waiter could do, but I place the blame was more on the hostess/reservationist. Our Group of Seven all crammed into one semi-circular banquette and made the best of it. We ordered a bottle of Painter Bridge zinfandel (my mom’s favourite Keg wine), the waiter brought the bread and we looked over the menu. For the appetizers, there are two salads (House and Caesar), their French Onion soup as well as their Baked Garlic Prawns.
It was a rainy gloomy day, and I opted for the soup (I probably would have ordered that even on a hot sunny day though). Others got the Caesar and some got the Prawns. When ordering the main course, he gave us the option to switch baked/mashed potatoes regardless of what the menu said. I decided to stick with my baked potato (which accompanies the NY Steak) since my seatmate was getting mashed potatoes (to go with the Prime Rib). I knew my fork would be wandering over to his plate…
My soup came and it was a white-hot mess. It was so pale I couldn’t take a picture of it…the flash and the cheese…just not good. I actually sprinkled pepper on the soups so that it didn’t look as bad but I do regret not photographing that. Instead, I drank most of it first, and then took the picture you see here. Just wondering, does anyone else drink their soup with a teaspoon like me?

Another side effect of being crammed into one small booth…each of us had to play “waiter”. The staff couldn’t lean far enough to serve the people at the end, so they gave us napkins and lessons on how to pass the extremely hot plates around. The salad looked very over-dressed, almost to the point of soggy. They accidentally brought over the House salad first, and that one actually looked much better! The baked prawns smelled amazing…buttery goodness.

The mains came quickly, and my NY Steak arrived with a baked potato, all naked. But don’t fret, I’m not a puritanical potato lover, I simply like my toppings on the side. I use it all…butter, sour cream, bacon and green onions. However, this trick makes it easy to share with people who don’t like everything…you can customize! And the bonus, leftovers went into the mashed next to me to make it better (bacon-ier, butter-ier, cream-ier).

The Prime Rib was cooked perfectly medium rare, but my NY Steak was more medium-well, though I had asked for medium rare. It seemed as though the steak was cooked to medium rare at some point in the evening, but sat under a heat lamp for too long, until it was served.

The desserts were quite cute, arriving in little shot glasses. My Lemon Blueberry dessert alright, but it tasted like cake-mix cake, with Jell-O Instant lemon pudding and a dollop of blueberry jam on top. And yes, I forgot to take a picture…

If you’re a DineOut fan, this is a good choice for you. The quality is to be expected, but if you are ordering anything other than the prime rib, ask for a rarer temperature than you normally get. I probably would have ended up with a medium rare steak if I ordered a rare one.

Keg Steakhouse and Bar (Granville Island) on Urbanspoon

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