With Sarah’s considerably younger brother turning the ripe age of 15, I was invited along for the celebration dinner. I had too laugh when I discovered we were going to The Keg, as I’d just eaten there when I’d met with Sarah’s other side of the family. Hoping to visit the Old Strathcona location, I hinted this to Sarah, who passed it on to the ever accommodating family.
Arriving early, Sarah and I had a few minutes to take in the older building. With most, if not all, of the new Keg’s are put up in modern locations, this brick building has always held a soft spot. Because really, nothing says old school steakhouse like old school ambiance.
Sarah and I had a pretty good idea about the menu from our ‘Toon town visit, and with the rest of her family making quick work, we put in our order and started with the birthday fun. With one steak being shared, I had to give The Keg credit with including a full potato and side of mushrooms with the empty plate. As well, each diner was given a small plate of potato garnishes (sour cream, bacon, scallions, butter) for their own personalizing. Besides the baked potatoes, the Grilled Top Sirloin was served with an assortment of sides including; french fries, sweet potato fries, mushrooms and asparagus. With all but a few token fries left over, things seemed well received.
Sarah decided on the Creole Chicken. Topped with shrimp and scallops, this huge piece of chicken came with a mound of mashed potatoes and token side of sautéed greens. Easily my favourite chicken dish at The Keg, I think Sarah may agree, as she made quick work of the bird and enjoyed the seafood topper. Now, I suppose if this had goat cheese, she’d lose her mind!
Apparently, my shy, elbow deep crab mentality went out the window with this side of the family, as I couldn’t hide my desire for the crab feature. Deciding to go with two clusters of crab and a side of steamed asparagus, I wondered what kind of mess I was getting myself into. Especially when the dish of butter arrived.
As a seafood lover, I like getting my hands dirty for a few reasons. The biggest of which, is that it takes time to get the prize. Just like how you can’t gorge with chopsticks, the amount of work needed for crab, stops me from eating my weights worth. I picked up the vibe that there might not be big seafood fans at the table, and I think they were surprised by the destruction on my plate afterwards…maybe I should have got something a bit cleaner 🙂 Consider my longing for crab satiated.
With presents on the table, and a bit of birthday boy joking, our friendly and attentive server delivered a b-day dessert on the house. With just three items, ice cream, whipping cream, and chocolate brownies, this giant mix of warm chocolate and cold vanilla seemed to be exactly what the birthday boy wanted. With something so homey, it’s not a surprise others tried to steal a taste.
With only so much brownie to go around, Sarah’s family decided to order dessert shots. Something I, and the rest of the family, didn’t even know existed. I like the idea, and with desserts being so huge these days, it might be a nice way to steal a sweet treat and not feel the need to run a marathon after wards. I should say though, the size can be deceiving because they are still loaded with sugary goodness…be warned! I think out of the six, the carrot cake and cherry cheesecake were the winners in my eyes..although a few people couldn’t stop eating the chocolate.
With two visits to the Keg in under a week, and in different provinces to boot, I’m still a firm believer that they know how to cook a good steak. Sure it’s not as sultry or high end as Ruth’s Chris, but does it have to be. Plus you aren’t breaking the bank, which seems to be the common result around town when it comes to steak houses. You’ve probably visited enough Keg’s in your life to know if you like it or not, but if you do, why not check out the old brick-faced Strathcona location next time you’re out.