Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Joe Fortes Thai BBQ Chicken Blue Plate Special

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I heard about the Joe Fortes lunch menu "Blue Plate Special" on a Yelp Review of the Day and invited a few friends to try it at 11 AM -- basically right when the restaurant opens.

Maybe because there was no dress code clearly / prominently indicated on the website, our party came dressed in a variety of casual outfits, including one person in just a T-shirt with a UFO logo and additional handwriting in ink (which he later explained to us as being from his orientation at the University of Waterloo). There was a case for his being under-dressed, but he was not intercepted at the door. (I am assuming here that he had not intentionally come under-dressed).
A latecomer to our table just had shorts and a tank top for the summer heat, and he was detained by the hostess at the front door and not allowed to enter the dining area because of their "dress code". It had been explained to him the bare arms had been the problem, though this may have been a judgement call by the restaurant instead of a hard and fast rule.
Why the other person in our party had not been detained was not clear as his level of dress was perhaps lower (what with the handwriting on the T-shirt). In any case, it was fortunate the restaurant had a contingency plan in place: They gave my tank-topped friend a black Joe Fortes T-shirt to wear while he was in the restaurant.

We had come to try the $9.95 Blue Plate Special, so in addition to some appetizers everyone ordered the Thai BBQ Chicken, which is the special on Tuesdays. It arrived with about a cupful of mixed seasonal greens diced into small cubes; and a small bowl's worth of plain white rice, which sat in the sweet sauce from the Thai Chicken and was thereby flavoured. The chicken portion was two pieces of thigh, bone-in, and each slightly smaller than a deck of playing cards; everyone got the same cut of chicken. The green rub was very clearly evident. The grilling was perfect, with the dark meat still tender and very juicy. Price for portion was actually not bad especially considering the venue, but I felt the plating made the chicken portion look small and disappointing.

I also asked for an order of Crab and Corn Fritters to share, and it was probably no an accident that there was exactly one fritter per person in the basket -- something I had not explicitly asked for, but which was certainly a welcome convenience for sharing. This point of attentive initiative, plus a courteous and pleasant waitress, in addition to prompt bussing and water being diligently topped up (even after we had all paid and were just lingering to chat a while) all added up to excellent service.

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