My apologies for not posting last night, loyal reader. It had been a very hectic day at the office followed by a few errands, so I gave my brain a rest for the evening. I’d like to thank my wonderful wife, by the way. She knew I had a long frustrating day at work and when I met up with her at the mall for some shopping, she did everything she could to cheer me up. You’re the best, honey!
Before we hit the stores, we decided to have a sit-down supper at a restaurant we tried once before: Klondike Jake’s at the Village Mall. It’s a bit of a cheesy theme restaurant, but they do have an animatronic moose that I find amusing. And since they know they’re going for a theme, I must give Klondike Jake’s kudos for committing to it.
The décor is all about the gold rush era. It’s rustic, there are a lot of old-timey pictures and caricatures and the wall ornaments are an eclectic assortment of “antique” items such as pots, pans, snowshoes, buckets, etc. In keeping with the theme, and one of the restaurant’s signature elements, are the light fixtures above each table: upside-down metal wash basins with lightbulbs in them. It’s cute.
But for sheer commitment to the theme, I must point out the bathrooms. I went in to wash my hands and noticed that instead of standard ceramic latrines, the urinals are made to look like big square metal buckets (with the appropriate plumbing disguised of course) and the stall is made up like an old-fashioned outhouse. They could have easily just put in a regular old washroom but they saw no reason to break the restaurant’s style. Well done.
We sat down and before long our waiter had arrived with menus and took our drink orders. I had a glass of Rickard’s Red (red beer has been growing on m lately thanks to the Yellowbelly’s Fighting Irish brand). Since we are trying to eat healthier, we decided to incorporate more veggies in our choices than we normally would have. To be honest, I was reall jonsing for a hamburger but I exercised some willpower and order a chicken fajita sizzler. Erica opted for the day’s special, a grilled halibut with a side of baked potato and vegetables. We also asked for a bruschetta for an appetizer.
We didn’t have to wait too long, and we passed the time doodling on the table (covered by a large sheet of brown paper of course) with the crayons provided each booth.
The bruschetta was delicious with lots of tomato bits, not too much olive oil and not too much cheese. It felt much healthier than, say, nachos. It was satisfying and a good size, too.
I must give mixed reviews to our entrees though. Erica’s halibut was cooked perfectly. It’s easy to mess up halibut by either over or undercooking it, which woul give you either a dry or too flaky piece of fish. But it was grilled perfectly. The flesh was moist and springy and it really had a lot of flavour. We were disappointed, however, by the veggies that came with it, for they were very buttery. That kind of defeated the purpose of ordering a side of veggies in the first place. A bit of butter is good for flavour, but that was overkill.
I was disappointed by my fajita sizzler. The chicken and vegetable mixture was delicious and well-seasoned, but I didn’t like the way it was served. I was brought a hot skillet of the filling, a container of warm flour tortillas, and little ramekins of salsa, sour cream, diced tomatoes and lettuce. Basically, I had to take our the tortilla, scoop the chicken and veggies in, put in the garnish and wrap the whole thing up before I could take a single bite.
I understand why they would give me the sour cream, salsa and lettuce separately. I could then garnish the fajita to taste. But filling, folding and rolling the tortilla itself should be rightfully done by the kitchen. It was messy, especially since my amateur folding job left plenty of sauce dripping on my hand as I was clumsily picking up the fajita. Even if I had been dexterous enough to properly assemble it, it’s still a bit more labour-intensive than I expect in a restaurant. Had I ordered a hamburger, I’m fairly certain they wouldn’t have brought me a bun, patty and assorted condiments.
Despite the disappointing fajita, I’d like to go back to Klondike Jake’s to try other things. It’s got a good atmosphere, the service was courteous and they make a mean halibut. Overall I would give it a 7.5 out of 10, mostly because of the fajita fiasco.