20 September, 2011

More Flavor Please ??

I didn't want to go very far for dinner last night, traffic in the city has gotten nuts since all the of strikes have ended and the universities are back in session.  Going downtown these days is like begging to sit in traffic for an eternity.  There aren't too many places in our part of town that I have been in a rush to try though.  I scanned through my "to eat" list and like a bizarre game of "eeny, meeny, miney, mo" I randomly picked Barley Mow Pub from my list.

 When we arrived it was only 5pm, from the outside it looked like we had REALLY great chances of having a quick peaceful dinner.  Then we walked in the door.  We were promptly informed there would be a golf tourney group eating there so places to sit were limited and any pictures I would take of seating options would most likely not be an accurate portrayal of how they normally have the place set up.  *shrug*  After we were seated in one of the enclosed booths I went to work with the menu to figure out what to order for a starter and my entree.  I asked about their signature dishes off both sections, but I just wasn't in the mood for some of the recommendations.  Now I wonder, had I ordered some of those recommendations, would I have enjoyed my food better.  It is impossible to tell, and quite frankly I seriously doubt that.

After a couple minutes we decided on Pequenos for a starter and their Pub-Style Curry for my entree.  With an order in for the fish & chips for the Sprout I was off to take some pictures of the place.


A couple of the things on the specials board caught my eye, particularly the Sun Dried Tomato Cream Penne with Chicken (LONG name), but it wasn't "pub food" which is what I was there looking for, so I moved on.  It didn't take long at all and our appetizer was at the table.  Quick service!!  I didn't expect that being that half the things I'd read online and heard word of mouth were that the service was severely "lacking", to be kind.  We were off to a pleasant start in the fact that those people were being proved wrong on that count.  Either way, service good or bad can be born for the most part as long as the food is worth the minor annoyances.  With that in mind we dug in....

They were basically Mexican seasoned beef spring rolls and sauce made out of ketchup and banana pepper juice from a jar.  They didn't "wow" me, but they weren't horrible either.  They were just okay; I wouldn't order them again.  Luckily I didn't have much time to dwell on the slight disappointment before everyone's entrees made it to the table.  We got to work cutting up the Sprouts fish & chips then turned our attention to our own food.

Pub-Style Curry

The side salad there you see came with a balsamic vinegar dressing.  It was horribly average and bland.  So, we'll move on from that catastrophe for the sake of time.  (For future reference, pub or not, at this point in our culture I don't count ANYthing with Iceberg Lettuce in it as a "salad" when there are much more healthier, greener and digestible options available for the same price.)  The curry was described on the menu as "Chicken & mixed vegetables in a mild garlic & coconut milk curry reduction.  Served on rice with baby greens & warm pita bread" I couldn't find coconut flavor in the dish anywhere.  I'm a fan of Thai & Indian, so I've tasted coconut before....there wasn't a trace to be found in this concoction.  Carrots....yeah, I'm not a fan of carrot in a curry, but quite frankly they were the only thing in this sauce that had any flavor.  I thought they'd forgotten the chicken but I finally found a piece, in total there were 3 in the whole dish.  I thought that was odd because it was the first ingredient listed.  I would have rather had naan than pita with this as well.  The only thing I couldn't criticize about this dish was the rice.  It was cooked properly.

I popped a piece of the Sprout's fish into my mouth, it tasted great!  I asked my Mister how his entree was, "flavorless".  Well...that about summed up our experience for the night.  The service was spot on and their pricing was reasonable but, they failed in every other respect where it counted.

I won't be eating there again.  Unless I catch word that they have revamped their menu or got a new chef.  If you go, be prepared to be disappointed.  As always...if you've had a better experience let me know and tell me what you ordered.  I'm always curious as to what I "missed".  Happy eating!!

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