Nisku does not offer the casual diner much in terms of quality lunch options. Occupied by the oil and gas sector, most of the buildings in Nisku are taken up by open shop space and the required offices need to man such operations. This leaves you with a handful of options, all of which advertise buffet meals (be it roadside diner or hotel). The Lakeside Grill is located in the The Nisku Inn, and was the location for a recent business lunch.
The Nisku Inn doesn’t exactly scream vacation destination, but it doesn’t scream Bates Motel either…just somewhere in between. Really if you took a lady here, it wouldn’t be a classy thing, it would be a klassy thing. Situated smack dab in the middle of the courtyard, the Lakeside Grill is aptly name as it sits surrounded by the equivalent of a mini-golf water trap. Arriving just as the noon bell rang, our table of five was given our choice of any table available. With water in our wine glasses, we were off to sort through the buffet.
One of the smaller buffets I’ve been to, the Lakeside grill was featuring beef skewers, basa, pasta, rice and Brussel sprouts. The cold table consisted of your stand veggies (carrot sticks, broccoli etc), a few salads (cold noodle, potato), an assorted meat and cheese tray, along with the required fruit and dessert section.
With only a handful of choices it was easy to conquer the buffet (this was no American style buffet). The cold selections were average at best, with only a few highlights (fresh vegetables, sprouts) while the meat and cheese options were no different from a Safeway platter. The hot table, which should be the main objective for any seasoned buffet eater, was a major fail. The seasoned beef skewers were rock hard; having the texture of jerky. The Greek style basa was moist but tasted oily and didn’t need to be chewed as it slide right now. The fusilli primavera wasn’t anything to write home about, and the rice..was well, plain average rice. Strange as it may sound, the Brussel sprouts were easily the shinning item on this occasion, and I found myself going back for seconds. The fruit was a mix of mostly unripe items, with pineapple saving the day. Skipping dessert, it didn’t seem to be a hit at the table so it was probably a good thing.
After lunch, it didn’t seem that anyone from the group liked the meal. There was talk that things had gone down hill in the last few years, which I can only hope because for the life of me, I’m not sure how something this average could have lasted if it wasn’t located in a hotel. Just keep on driving if you are ever in the neighbourhood.