Twisted Fork – Edmonton, Alberta

Twisted Fork
11162 82 Ave (Whyte)
Edmonton, AB T6E
Twisted Fork on Urbanspoon

In the last few weeks, twitter has been a wash here in Edmonton with talk of Groupon. The service it seems, will save you, the subscriber, anywhere from 50% to 90% on everything from food to spas. I’m not really one for signing up to email lists, or untested Interweb programs, so I didn’t think twice about skimming over the tweets. Yet, here I was standing outside of Twisted Fork with a Groupon coupon. See, while I had passed on the program, Sarah had not. It’s a good thing too, because the $15 that she spent to get us in, translated to $35 on paper. Too good to be true? With neither of us having a wide gamut of Twisted Fork experience to draw on, this ‘deal’ gave us the motivation to go back.

We arrived to an empty room, and one that reminded me more of a bar than restaurant. Which can almost be said about the menu which follows the standard mix of pub fare; burgers, steak, pasta. Initially thinking we could get a lot for our money, we changed our plan of trying a handful of cheaper items after we sat down and eventually selected two of their top priced dishes. Sarah ordered the Cajun Rib Eye & Shrimp –  Hand-cut 10oz. Rib Eye rubbed in our own Cajun blend and topped with grilled prawns. Served with starch of the day and fresh market vegetables. Ordering the steak to be on the rarer side of medium rare, what arrived was totally overcooked, and showed no-sign of the colour we both hoped for. The advertised rub was non-existent on the meat and seemed like it was sprinkled on the shrimp after they were cooked. And boy were they cooked; I could have used the hard, rubbery shrimp as a ping pong ball. I don’t remember the last time I was served shrimp so far gone. The starch of the day was rice, which combined with the cream sauce vegetables made for probably the best part of the meal.

Always wiling to push the seafood button, I ordered the Baked SalmonSalmon filet dressed with garlic, lemon and basil. Served over wild rice with fresh market vegetables. The salmon arrived well cooked, to that classic old school approach of super flaky (notice it’s already falling apart when it arrives). Call me a stickler, but I’d really like to see more restaurants under cook their fish and let the diners revel in the fresh juicy taste. The advertised lemon, garlic, and basil, tasted more like the butter they baked it in, while the wild rice, was no more wild than Sarah’s, and included the same mix of creamed vegetables.

With the kitchen staff, and wait staff, were serving just our table for 90% of our stay (and even then it was just one other couple), I can’t help but wonder why the meal was so poorly prepared. Overcooking fish is one thing, but taking a steak from reddish/pink to completely brown is another. On top of that, I thank my lucky stars we had the Groupon coupon to use, as the price-to-quality ratio seems right out the door from this experience. I’m glad we went to Twisted Fork, just as I’m glad we were able to put our first Groupon coupon to use, but unless things change in the kitchen, I don’t think I’ll come back anytime soon.

*In a surprising tone of voice, our server mentioned the Groupon promotion had put a a considerable amount of people in the restaurant lately. This had me wonder how good these deals are for the participants, and how much Groupon takes. Will it be worth it for food service establishments to continue, or will the low profit margins many restaurants already face be a serious deterrent?

15 thoughts on “Twisted Fork – Edmonton, Alberta

  1. Boo. I can relate to the disappointment. I think the worst part in dining out would be when your plate arrives and you realize that you could have created a fresher, more appetizing, better prepared and better priced version of what sits in front of you. Groupon or not.

  2. I am on the same lines as Peter and Sarah. That also brings the Entertainment Book which, a lot of times, it is not even accepted by the restaurant, yet, somehow, there is a coupon!

    Back to this restaurant. I wonder if this restaurant is related to a restaurant with the same name as here in Vancouver. I will be going there with a friend there soon!

    • Oh the Entertainment Book. I love that it’s not accepted by restaurants that have apparently partnered. How does that even work?

      Sometimes I also wonder when you have to show the coupon up front, if that actually affects the meal you get…which would be sad, because that then isn’t a real reflection of the restaurant, and in turn, is a personal swipe at me the consumer.

      • According to somebody I know who operates a restaurant, there are times where they (the people from the Entertainment Book) call you and ask if you would be interested in joining them. However, even when you say no, they add you anyway and, from there, things go downhill, as customers expect them to be accepted, yet the restaurant didn’t authorize it!

        Meal difference? Even if the meal was average at best, at least you didn’t pay full price…

  3. Makes me glad that I didn’t buy the Groupon for this place. I totally agree about the “overcooking fish” thing, which is why I am generally quite wary about ordering fish in restaurants unless it’s an Asian place.

    The Groupon for Famoso sure came in handy for me though!

  4. My Hubs and I have been to the Twisted Fork a few times, and it can certainly be hit and miss – but when it hits, its really quite good (although, we always find the service very slow).
    Groupon had a deal for Famoso – $15 for a $30 GC.

  5. We tried it out with the Groupon. Always looking to try new places. We arrived with our two year old in two, no booster seats or high chairs available. We went for brunch and had the Eggs Benedict. Veggie for me and steak for my husband. The waitress asked how we wanted the eggs cooked (with options from medium to hard, no choice for soft.) What arrived was barely cooked eggs. My husbands egg was so underdone that the yolk had broken away from the rest of the egg and had fallen of the steak. The veggie Benedict was hardly any better (but I like my eggs poached soft anyhow.) There were hardly any veggies. The steak Benedict was served with a skimpy garnish of watermelon and the veggie with a small cup of ketchup, no consistency here. I could go on with more issues, but it doesn’t seem necessary.

    We are sure not to return.

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