My friend and I were in shortly after 1pm, which proved to be the tail end of the lunch rush on Tuesday. From there, the dining room quickly died down to about 25% capacity and sign-ups weren't necessary.
It's a long, narrow space but still quite spacious and feels even bigger because of the very high ceiling. It's bright and clean, a refreshing change from the dilapidated neighbourhood and dirty sidewalk just outside.
Service was strangely slow. Once we were seated, water came quite promptly, but it took several minutes before my friend's beer (Blue Buck) arrived. It was beer in a bottle--How long could that possibly take? We were both quite surprised because it's a busy place, so we expected faster service if only to keep things moving along and patrons fed and sent on their way so that those waiting in line could be seated.
I'd had my budget more or less obliterated by Black+Blue, so I deliberately kept myself to just a light meal, going for what sounded like their specialities.
- Signature Chocolate Bacon Cookie - 2 for $2
- The size is about the same as one of the large, approximately 4-inch diameter cookies you might see in Subway or Superstore (such as the Farmer's Market Ultimate Cookies, which were on sale this week at $2.98 for a dozen). Slightly but noticeably thinner. It's also a soft cookie, which I like.
- There's a good amount of chocolate baked into this. As chocolate chip style cookies go, this is pretty decent.
- You can clearly make out small reddish bacon bits. Not sure if this is real bacon or phoney bacon bits, because I honestly couldn't make out any bacon taste at all. It's got bacon but basically it's a chocolate chip cookie.
- Fried Chicken Dinner - $11 - 2 pieces of crunchy buttermilk chicken. Served with choice of mashed potatoes, peas & carrots, fries, or green salad.
- This was my friend's order. The two pieces of chicken are each about the size of a burger patty.
- The batter isn't very thick on it. If you're looking for a big crunch with every bite, this isn't it. If you're looking for tender, moist chicken sealed in by batter, this will be alright.
- Smoked Turkey Pot Pie - $10 - As seen on Diner, Drive-Ins & Dives. Winner, winner turkey dinner. Serviced with choice of mashed potatoes, peas & carrots, fries or green salad.
- I got this because it was highlighted as "as seen on TV". So it's gotta be good, right?
- I was honestly shocked when it came. Did I accidentally order from the kiddie menu? For $10, I got a side of fries (piping hot, so freshly done, presumably) and a very small pie. This pie is about 2/3rds the size of those little frozen pies you can buy in the supermarket. It was at most maybe 4-1/2 inches or 5 inches in diameter, and barely an inch thick. Which meant the crust on the top and bottom was probably between half and two-thirds of the total height.
- Inside there's some creamy sauce/filling. I immediately cut it into half, then gave my friend a quarter to try. There was a chunk of slightly reddish turkey sitting under the sauce. The upper part of the pie was warm but the inside was cold. Not lukewarm cool from contact with the plate, but outright cold.
- I'm not sure I should take points off here because the restaurant can't cut open your pie to check for done-ness, though poking it with a fork or satay stick would have worked with barely noticeable damage.
- After a couple of minutes trying to catch our server's eye, we finally just grabbed the nearest one and I asked for them. Odd that I could have sworn we made eye contact several times. Maybe I should relax my rule about waving at servers to get their attention.
- The other half of my pie eventually came back from the oven. When I cut into it, I discovered... there was NO MEAT. Just creamy sauce inside. Huh? Where's my smoked turkey? It was all in just in one half of an already tiny pie?