12 December 2012

Ric's Grill - 3 strikes and you're out!

I don’t think you can be any fairer to restaurant than if you eat there 3 times. Surely that would have to give them the best possible chance of getting it right?

The first time we ate at Ric's was out of exhaustion – moving Hotels across the city, buying a car, returning a hire car and doing all of this in Calgary’s first decent snow fall of the season. And all of this done by 2 and a bit Aussie’s who don’t know their way around, bought a dud GPS and have never driven in snow before…

So dinner number one was default by exhaustion – and Room Service to boot. And it was horrible. Fettuccine Alfredo that tasted as if it had been made with a roux (butter and flour) that hadn’t been cooked out… so it tasted very raw and floury… it was garnished nicely with some grated zucchini – which was also raw, so all in all – a very odd and gluey dish.

The Pepperoni Pizza tasted store bought, a claggy base with a tinny tomato paste, ordinary toppings and barely melted cheese. To top it all off – the Waitress forgot our cutlery (and salt, pepper and napkins…) so we ate the pizza with our hands, and then ate the pasta cold, once our forks had arrived. It was the kind of meal that makes you feel sad and abandoned... just what you want when you've uprooted your life and emigrated to a foreign country...

We didn’t even have the energy to walk the half mile of corridor to get to the lift, to try and hunt down a chocolate bar. We just went to bed hungry, unfulfilled and sad.

Dinner number two was by hope. Hubby saw the menu, smelt a steak cooking and thought it sounded like a good idea – and it wasn’t bad. My crumbed chicken breast with coconut curry sauce was actually quite tasty – although all main meals come with the same sides – so the slightly Asian dish was thrown completely off kilter with the addition of a Baked potato and sautéed vegetables… but it was still decent and a 100% improvement on room service. Hubby’s New York strip loin was quite good – tender, tasty and the sides worked perfectly.

 All in all, a decent, if not expensive meal.

Dinner number three was exhaustion and hope combined – another grueling day of starting life afresh in a new country and being too lazy and ill equipped to find anywhere better to eat.

Starving and still somewhat untrusting – I ordered the Cod and Chips, purely under the assumption that surely no one can stuff up Fish and Chips? Well, they arrived raw. Not sashimi raw – but still cold and grey in the middle. Gross.

It’s one of my few rules. I never send food back to the kitchen - ever.  

But on this occasion I was too hungry to make it through the night on a small serve of chips and some coleslaw. So back it went… and hallelujah, it came back cooked – albeit with a big crater hole in the middle that the Waitress pointed out to me – to “prove that it was cooked this time”. Awesome.

It was still without the advertised homemade tartare sauce (missing on both the original and new plate) and with a large glop of good ol’ ketchup in its place. Talk about dismal.

Hubby ordered the ribs – and while edible – they were disappointing too. Cooked, but not to the point of falling off the bone, and then with sauce just ladled over the top – so, so disappointing.

Service was hit and miss – our Waitress from Room Service was the same as our first night in the Restaurant. She was pleasant and efficient but otherwise really just delivered plates to the table. 

Our Waitress on the third night was hopeless. Our first order of drinks never arrived, she put an enormous steak knife down in front of Poppy for hubby’s meal and she couldn't answer basic menu questions ie. What the soup of the day was (there were 2 – she didn't know either and made no attempt to find out) or how big the steaks were. The menu listed them in ounces – but she said she “wasn’t from around here, so had no idea”. HUH???

For a Hotel Restaurant that has a 6 foot high poster of their Head Chef outside the front door – you really would expect better… but maybe he just oversees and doesn’t actually work in the kitchen? 

I’d be embarrassed to have my name on the menu, let alone my photo on the front door. For the prices they charge - they need a pretty big overhaul on quality unless they are marketing purely to trapped and exhausted Hotel guests.

*Apologies for no photos – the Restaurant was very dark and I didn’t want to light the place up with camera flashes.

Four Points Calgary West

Ric's Lounge & Grill on Urbanspoon

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