Tonight was our anniversary, and having exhausted all the other steakhouses in the lower mainland, we thought to keep it close to home with “The Keg” Burnaby. Not the most lively place for celebrating, when compared to the other Keg’s located downtown Vancouver, but still a great place for some solid food in Burnaby, or so I thought.
There was a wait for a table in the dining room, but a sit as you please policy for anything in the lounge area. And luckily we were able to scoop the best seat in my opinion. A step up, scalloped booth with a raised overview of the room before us.
When it came time to order, I was lured in by their Sunday sangria special, however, their $5 price for either red or white was only available during one their happy hour times. And we were here an hour before the evening specials began. Seeing my disappointment, our server said I could still get it, but at $2 more regularly priced, I might as well get a more dressier cocktail for 50 cents more, at $7.50. I would later regret this decision.
My partner when for the “strawberry fizz” that was like a spiked strawberry soda. Made with absolut vodka, aperol, fresh lemon and lime juices, with muddied strawberries and soda. We didn’t see or taste the muddied fruit until we were at the last few sips. It was only visible once the fog in the drink dissipated. Pretty one dimensional.
I went for the “drunken cherry”, which looked a lot like the strawberry one above, except without the nice lemon peel accent. There were two neon red maraschino cherries hiding in the murky waters of the bottom. And instead of vodka it is made featuring Casamigos Blanco tequila, triple sec, house made drunken Bing cherry juice, agave syrup and fresh lemon and lime juice. The drink ended up to being too sweet for me, so I asked for it to be watered down, with out ruining it. Soda water was what I suggested. It came back diluted, but not any sweeter. Thankfully I didn’t gamble on making it “keg size” at 11oz. I also fully regretted not sticking to regular wine, or even the full priced sangria. But after the second try at this drink, our server was kind enough to offer a trade in of this cocktail for something more my speed.
I choose their Caesar garnished with celery, pickled beans, and a lime wedge with spiced rim. And this I did make a “Keg size” double. Like the other drinks, it wasn’t anything special, but at least the tomato and pepper were more pleasant than juice and soda.
And it is here, after tasting three of their cocktails I can safely say, I don’t think think I would dare order another from them. All together I found their cocktails boring, but at $7-7.50, half the price of the craft ones I do like, I guess I can’t expect that much. They were overy sugary and flavoured too heavily. There was no depth, or uniqueness to any of them. In fact they didn’t even measure up to the photo in the menu or its listing. No more “Keg” cocktails for me.
Given a option for complimentary bread, we took it. It was a warm square cut diagonally into fours, and served with a dish of creamy butter and a cheesy herb spread. As great as it was fresh, as a starter, there was an expiry time on it. It barely made it to dinner, to accompany our entrees with. The centre of the bread was still spongy, but the crust required heavy chewing from quick over drying.
My partner had the chicken and ribs. Described as “supreme” chicken breast paired with half rack of BBQ pork back ribs. Served with cabbage slaw and Keg fries. The chicken looked a little sad, but at least it tasted much better than it looked. Juicy white meat under crispy skin. The ribs were a little dry and the ends over crispy, but the gravy on the side helped with this. Overall I didn’t find it all that exciting. My partner compared the side of sauce to the bottles he get at grocery stores. He is particular, so I tend to believe him. I, myself, can’t tell the difference any which way. And lastly we felt like the coleslaw was just for show. It wasn’t easy to eat nor did it taste any good, raw vegetable barely creamy.
I was tempted by today’s verbally mentioned, T-bone special for $40. But given that it is traditionally a more fattier cut, we went for the classic “Filet mignon” instead. Tenderloin wrapped in applewood smoked bacon and served with a bearnaise sauce. Described by the menu as being “the ultimate in tenderness”, with a choice of 7 or 10oz, we went bigger. And when we got a choice of one of the listed accompaniments, we requested the twice baked potato as it came with bacon and the regular baked potato didn’t. Plus, my partner doesn’t like how they prepare their garlic mashed potatoes with the skin mashed in.
The steak was alright. I found the meat chalkier at the ends, but it at least had a nice pink centre to it. There was also very little bacon adding to the taste, but the sauce on the side was more than helpful. It was the highlight of the dish, and a great accent to the steak, potatoes, and vegetables. I wished the grilled green bean and red peppers were better oiled and salted on their own.
Would I come back? – No.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – No.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
I remembered my last visit to “The Keg” being better. It wasn’t bad today, it just didn’t live up to my memory of it. Especially when you compare flavour and taste to the $30 and $40 price tag for our entrees. At least the service made up for it. Sadly, between the drinks and the cost for value, I don’t think I will be back it any time soon. Don’t deny your cravings.