Monday, 9 January 2012


It's my brother's birthday today so I decided to be the greatest guy in the world and let him take me out for dinner tonight. Since BP's was closed for their staff party we decided on Gino's. Gino's is a pub connected to McRays. It's close to Westwood High School and the Black Horse pub up in Thickwood.

I ordered Steak and bacon wrapped scallops for the price of 23 big ones. I requested a bowl of cream of broccoli soup for a starter and I was informed later that they were all out. So I went with a caeser salad.
For pub food this turned out to be really good. But then I remember that this is attached to a restaurant and if I was on the other side of the building I wouldn't have been too impressed. I did sit on the pub side so I was content with what I was eating though. The steak was cooked as I asked, the seasoning was light but it was enough. The scallops and bacon were great, how could they not be great? The caeser salad was passable and wasn't too bad. The dressing wasn't heavy. The garlic toast wasn't that flavoured and a tad dry. The real issue I had on the plate was the vegetables. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not anti vegetable but when what I am being offered is frozen vegetables from a bag that's thrown in a microwave and added to my dish I am not down for that. I think I have that exact medley of frozen vegetables in my freezer and I haven't taken them out because it's gross. 

I was sitting at the table thinking about how I was going to recommend this place. Our server was great, it was casual and I had a really good time. The wait for food wasn't too long and everyone at my table seemed to enjoy their meal. I was ready to cross the t's and dot the i's on a positive review and then I came across this:
That my friends is a hair in my drink. 
I'm not a big debbie downer when there is food in my hair, but I am a debbie downer when there is hair in my food. I drank the majority of this before I realized there was hair in my drink. I'm not repulsed by it or anything I just feel it's completely avoidable. 

For the most part the meal I had was good for pub food. Not great, but when you are at a pub you're not expecting high end food. I wouldn't have ordered this on the other side and enjoyed it as much though. Besides the mishap with the hair in my drink I had good service. I've had poor service before here and it's spotty in that regards but tonight, she was awesome.

Side note: We've had 2 tweetups at Gino's. I've been loaded for both of them.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Hearthstone Grille (Sawridge)

I just want to point something out. I started this blog because I made a comment about the food I ate one day on twitter. I was complaining about the buffet I had at the Hearthstone Grille and I had someone people say it was good and others not so much but mostly I heard people telling me to write a blog about my food experiences. I hummed and hawed for about 20 minutes and then made one. So because of my poor experience at the Hearthstone Grille this blog now exists.. So thank you?

The Hearthstone Grille is located in the Sawridge hotel up in Gregoire. The setting is a really opened area for dining which is really nice. The decor is subtle and not overwhelming. One thing I must say though is it takes away from an intimate feeling you might be looking for when you go out for a meal. I flew solo today so that wasn't that big of a deal.

I was greeted as soon as I walked in and was seated right away. As I was sitting down my drink order was placed. I was handed my drink but no menu. 1 minute passes, 2 minutes, 5 minutes.. It wasn't until 10 minutes of me sitting there did someone come up to me and ask if I was getting the buffet or would I like a menu. You would think that if I wanted the buffet I would have already helped myself.. but I guess they should ask just in case I was too shy to go out without being asked what I wanted to do first.

Going through their lunch menu I decided to go with the Grilled Chicken and Brie Panini Sandwich:

You can already tell that the bread used in the sandwich is dry. It's cracked. It seemed like it was old bread or that it was over cooked in the panini press. Not only that but the only flavour from the sandwich came from the amazing brie. You can't go wrong with brie. The portabella mushrooms were good too. The chicken wasn't seasoned and it was extremely dry. With the combination of dry bread and dry chicken this wasn't the easiest sandwich I've ever eaten. The sweet potato fries were decent but didn't save the meal.

While they were slow to give me the menu, they were quick with the bill. That sandwich was $15.00 and with my drink and taxes it was like 18 something. I didn't have any change so I gave her a 6 dollar tip. I regret this. I'm all about tipping for good food and good service but when it's bad on both ends of the dining experience how does one tip? I'm too kind hearted in nature to not tip.

So in conclusion, this is the 2nd time in 3 months I've eaten at the Hearthstone Grille and it's the 2nd time I was not enthused about what was presented to me and what I ate. Do not go to the Sawridge, it's not worth all you can eat cupcakes.