Fine Dining: Suburban Edition (The Keg Steakhouse and Bar)

Date night?  Anniversary dinner?  Valentines Day?  If you live in the Suburbs, you can bet The Keg’s your answer.

Romantic mood lighting, moderately priced steaks served with sides, complementary steaming sourdough bread baskets – what more could you want from life?  To say free bread doesn’t ignite a flame of passion and desire in my heart would be a lie I could not bear to live with.  If you want to impress, The Keg’s got what you’re looking for.

As much as I jest, The Keg never fails to deliver on consistency, quality, and service.   Creativity may be lacking, but you always know what you’re going to get – and that is a beautiful slab of red meat served with a heaping pile of side and enough carbohydrates to force Gwyneth Paltrow into epileptic seizure.

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Arriving for our 6:30 dinner reservations for Sunday Family Night Dinner, the lobby is packed to the gills with families, young teenage couples in love, and other suburban folk milling about.  We arrive to a restaurant so busy in fact, that our reservation is pushed back and we don’t get seated until almost 7:00.  Before Sister Chu, who knows no reason when it comes to hunger, can respond with an angry outburst, The Keg saves the day by offering two complementary appetizers.

With free mushrooms neptune and calamari, the Hangry Bear in all of us is appeased.  I’m never a fan of the calamari here not only because it has a tendency to taste like it’s been soaking in a vat of oil for the past hour, but also because it’s always served with a strange sweet ginger garlic sauce.  An odd combination, the two don’t sit right in my mouth or my stomach and after a few pieces, I have to say no more.  It’s time for the the classic tzatziki to make it’s comeback.

When it comes to the mushrooms neptune, can you really ever go wrong with copious amounts of warm gooey crab and cream cheese stuffed mushroom caps?  No.  The answer is no.

January is always Dine out Festival here in Vancouver and like hundreds of other restaurants in the city, The Keg is also participating.  With three courses  being offered for the price of $38, it’s hard to say no.  So instead, we say yes.IMG_20140125_101342

Because the mushrooms weren’t smothered in enough fat, cheese, and cream for my liking, I opt for the appetizer course of baked garlic shrimp smothered in more jack and cheddar cheese.  Drowning in a buttery sauce of garlic and herbs, this dish has got to make the list of ultimate comfort foods.  The richness of the butter pairs well with the lightness of the shrimp and when the shrimp is done, guess what – the party’s not over because we’ve still got bread for dipping.

After this course, it’s safe to say I’m on my way to full but then my prime rib arrives.

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A juicy medium rare slab of beef accompanied by a plump baked potato with all the fixins’ and thin strips of deep fried onions glides like an angel with a halo as bright as the sun into the space in front of me.  Seasoned with a mixture of salt and herbs and served with an au jus, this prime rib really satisfies my hankering for some boeuf tonight.

Halfway through and so full I can barely breathe, I can carry on no further.  I must have it packed.  Never one to give up though, I know the time has come for dessert and I am ready to take on this challenge.  The strawberry cheesecake that is featured on their dine out menu has sold out so we get the added option of Billy Miner Pie.

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Warning:  Do not take this pie lightly.  One of the only few pies I have been known to have racy nightly dreams about, it is a magnificent, highly addictive combination of mocha ice cream sitting on a chocolate crumb crust and smothered in almonds and a caramel and hot fudge drizzle.  Don’t even bothering cutting yourself off after six bites because as experience dictates, this will never be the case.  One minute it’s there, the next it’s gone.

Don’t deny yourself true happiness, just embrace it.

Would I return?

Uhhh duh.  The Keg might not think outside the box when it comes to food, but who needs outside the box when you have comfort, consistency, quality, and service.  Sometimes, we just all need a bit of good ol’ down to earth basic in our lives.

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