Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Original Joes Test Kitchen

Original Joe's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Lots to like in this spacious sports bar, and I'm not talking about the sports bar features (since I'm really not a sports fan, and all those TVs really don't impress me). In no particular order, here are some things that stood out for me:
  • It doesn't cost you extra to get a gluten-free bun.
  • They are big into giving back to the community, with two main programs: Community Pint, and MealShare.
  • Good spacing between tables.
  • Hockey night game! -- Even if you're not a hockey fan, your table could still win. They let you randomly draw a hockey puck, and if the player whose name is on your puck scores during the game on the TVs, you get something! (Uh, what exactly, I'm not sure -- #27 Hutton didn't score during the first period while we were there tonight).
  • Daily Features, such as $2-off burgers Tuesday nights.
I went tonight specifically for their Mealshare item, which rotates from time to time, Until March 2nd, they are featuring two items from their "test kitchen" -- basically, things that they are trying out on you and considering adding to the menu. In fact, lots of items on their menu are marked "TK" for Test Kitchen.

Pot of tea ($2.25) Higgins & Burke tea

2016-Mar-1 Original Joes (Robson) - pot of tea

Quinoa Mushroom Burger ($15). Test Kitchen item. Quinoa mushroom patty with melted swiss; served on toasted brioche with mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickle, and onion. Comes with 2 sides.
  • A very simple burger. Maybe too simple for $15, but you do get to clearly taste the patty. (Does that mean the tomato was tasteless? Hmm...)
  • That $15 (only $13 on burger nights) comes with two sides that are worth maybe $2 each, so it's really around $11. Which is steep for a very basic lettuce-and-tomato burger of regulation size. Go during their $2-off burger nights.
  • Quinoa mushroom patty is apparently held together by swiss cheese inside the patty itself. Thankfully not crumbly at all.
  • I opted for the gluten-free bun and was not charged extra for it. The bun itself was OK. Just firmer and drier than most burger buns. Some odd white stuff on the top of the bun, though. I forgot to ask the server about it.
  • My other side that comes included in the price of my burger.
  • I found the veggies here cut a bit too long, with increases the risk of sauce flinging about or making a mess around your mouth. Keep a clean napkin handy!
  • More sour than creamy, which I rather liked since richly creamy coleslaw plus fries plus gravy could have made for a heavy-feeling meal.
2016-Mar-1 Original Joes (Robson) - quinoa mushroom burger

2016-Mar-1 Original Joes (Robson) - gluten free bun top

2016-Mar-1 Original Joes (Robson) - quinoa mushroom burger

2016-Mar-1 Original Joes (Robson) - quinoa mushroom burger patty closeup

Homecut Fries - gravy or dill dip
  • One of the sides I chose. As fries go, these were sadly sub-par.
  • Not particularly crispy (or hot, for that matter).
  • Mostly short bits. Either they are using short potatoes or I got bottom-of-the-tray scraps.
  • Gravy seemed thin and not very flavourful (maybe because I couldn't get a good amount to stay on the fry). Go for the dill dip. Way better, plus the sharp flavour helps keep the appetite whetted.
2016-Mar-1 Original Joes (Robson) - gravy for fries

2016-Mar-1 Original Joes (Robson) - fries

Prompt service, friendly servers. They didn't automatically bring water, though.

2016-Mar-1 Original Joes (Robson) - hockey game night

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