Happy Birthday, BiteMe!
dre and Nelson @ King and Simcoe: Can you believe it's been 4 years since we started up BiteMe? I'd like to think that our picture quality has improved, our writing has improved, and our site in general has improved. I actually use the archive function to search through the restaurants that we've eaten at, as well as places that we've visited and food that we've eaten there. Our hits have increased exponentially in the past year, and we have Urbanspoon and Google to thank for that!
Anyway, I thought it would be appropriate to post a picture where we ate together. I had decided on Barootes for a Winterlicious dinner, just because it was one of the cheaper ones and it was close to where Mike and I were shopping (MEC). Nelson and Kitty were able to join us, so we made it a double date, plus we haven't seen each other in a while.
Now, some of you know how I feel about Winterlicious (not a huge fan). Nelson suggested going to Auberge actually, but I wanted to try it out during non-'licious time, so that I'm not limited to what's on their set menu. I figure Barootes was pretty generic, and that I wasn't missing much if I didn't have stuff from their real menu. The Winterlicious menu looked decent.
For the appetizer, we had the Crispy Duck Spring Rolls - bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, mushroom and duck meat served with a five spice dip. I thought this was really good, with the dip. On my way to the washroom, I did see that the kitchen was filled with these Chinese guys, so that may explain the good quality spring rolls. (Nelson: yeah, these were really good and explainable by the make up of the kitchen staff).
The other appetizer was the Louisiana Crab Cakes - handcrafted with Jalapeno mayonnaise. I like crab cakes, and these were pretty good as well. (Nelson: The crab cakes had a curry flavour to them which made them really unique. Quite good overall).
I had the Braised Australian Lamb Shank - slowly braised, tender lamb shank, red wine and shallot sauce, creamy mashed potatoes, and winter vegetables. The lamb was pretty gamey, and I didn't like this dish too much.
Mike had the South Texas Steak - marinated flank steak, grilled and brushed with BBQ sauce, served with French fries. I think Mike was expecting a slab of steak, and was surprised to see strips of meat. His dish wasn't bad, and the beef was pretty tender.
Kitty had the Pistachio Crusted Fresh Organic Canadian Salmon - lemon aioli, potato and fresh vegetable. Nothing too special about this one, but at least the fish portion was decently sized.
Nelson had the Pecan Crusted Roast Ontario Pork Tenderloin - raspberry port wine sauce, potato and fresh vegetable. I enjoyed this pork as it was tasty. The pecans were all over the outside, but hard to taste and feel. The raspberry sauce was a nice bit of sweetness.
For dessert, I swear the waiter had said there was chocolate banana cake, which is what I chose, but out came a chocolate cake. I did see some banana cakes plated, and was sad I didn't get any. I should have complained. My chocolate cake was really heavy.
Mike and Kitty got the Apple Crumble Pie. It came out cold, which was weird, I thought. (Nelson: I think it would have tasted better warm)
I think Nelson's dessert was the best - Mississippi Pecan Flan with Chocolate Drizzle. Yes, it was the best, pretty sweet, but in a good way.
All in all, it was a decent meal with some high and low points. I wouldn't necessarily choose this restaurant to eat at again though. (Nelson: me too!).
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