So after Sherry and I went for a walk this afternoon, I had a fudgesicle. And this was a fudgesicle of note because I really enjoyed it. I really enjoyed it because I could taste it. My sense of taste has been pretty minimal lately. However, this sign of recovery would turn out to be a cruel cosmic joke when we went for supper.

We ended up rescheduling the Bhima’s birthday dinner, because you really want to be able to enjoy a place like that, and you can’t enjoy what you can’t taste. We did not, however, reschedule the family dinner at the Dallas Beef Parlor. I now wish to God that we had (and then forgotten to go). Or that I’d stuck to my original plan of Somewhere Else.

When we arrived and went in, the place was empty, aside from a couple of staff. I mean there was literally no one there. Good thing, really, since I wouldn’t have wanted anyone blocking my view of the 80s-vintage/country kitsch décor. So… yeah. Not a good sign. Did we bolt? No, we did not.

The service was fine. But hell, we had a server all to ourselves. The food was… yikes. My Dad said his prime rib was pretty good. Not as good as Golf’s, though (which was the main test of the evening). Mom, Patience, and I all got the same 6oz bacon-wrapped steak, and all of them were rather tiny, quite overdone, somewhat dried out, and generally hockey puck-esque. Num nums. (Dear grill person: “medium” does not mean grey and dry all the way through.) My brother didn’t say much about his steak, but the wings he got with it were paltry and not very good. The mashed potatoes were okay, though. Patience’s rice was overdone and nasty, as were all the veggies. I think they were thrown in a pot and boiled for at least a few years. They went mush when you tried to spear them. The baked potatoes were okay, and about the size of your head.

We asked the waitress at one point if it was always this slow. She said she didn’t really know — she usually only worked Fridays. But she also said in kind of a weird way that it had been “slowing down”. Gee, can’t imagine why. The whole time we were there only one other couple came in, though my brother said he’d seen a couple people in the bar on the other side when we left.

I felt bad about Mom paying, since the meal had been so crappy. We didn’t really want to pay even more by tipping much, but we agreed that it wasn’t the waitress’s fault that the food sucked, so we did tip decently. After that I took the parents for gelato and a look around uptown Waterloo (they haven’t been here in a while). The gelato was a hit, and Mom agreed that the Perimeter Institute was “interesting” in appearance. Heh.

Yeah, seriously need to plan a family dinner somewhere decent soon to get the memory of that place out of my head. (To add insult to injury, Andrew’s family dinner tonight is at the Carden St. Café, which is one of my favourite restaurants.) I mean, I could have handled big, juicy steaks and some hardcore kitsch, but this was just… awful. Oh well. Dad had wanted to try it, and now we know. And hell, the reviews online were extremely positive. Well, not all. Somehow I missed the Record review. (That place has been in business over 20 years???)

Oh, and apparently relatives are introducing Patience to people as my brother’s fiancée, which I find amusing (and just makes them even LESS inclined to get married). I told them they should hang out with me. I’d be telling everyone, “This is my brother, and this is his baby-mamma…”

2 Comments on The timing was, perhaps, sub-optimal…

  1. Coppolino’s reviews are always far too positive — I could tell from the review that Dallas must be crappy, but his review made it sound like good value. I don’t know why he works so hard to be nice — I thought the point of restaurant reviewing was to slag restaurants.

    Anyhow, maybe you already know the place but the Aberfoyle Mill is really good for beef. I had a superlative piece of prime rib there (and I’ve sliced and served, literally, a ton of prime rib in my time). You have probably tried it but if not, please go. We tend to go there to compromise our relatives’ desire for plain, simple food, and our desire for good food.

    Plus we saw Tommy Hunter (yes! that’s right! Canada’s country gentleman!) there once. Well, my wife was impressed.

  2. Actually, I re-read Coppolino’s review of Dallas and it was much more negative than I remember it being when I read it in the paper. I think that’s as negative as he’s able to get, though. Poor guy.

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