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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Redcoats British Pub: dependable food, evening club!

Lunch date #9, March 16, 2012

After all of our exotic dining, it was time to get some dependable food. Mom had wanted to try Redcoats (Redcoats British Pub and Restaurant, 336 St. Mary Street, www.redcoatspub.com)—she knew I had been there several times and had given it a good report. I thought she would appreciate a place where she could comprehend the menu items and recognize the food she was eating! Note: to set the mood, it will be important for the reader to imagine my fake British-isle accent for the remainder of the post. I’ll “give it a go” to “pop” in the appropriate phrase so you might “fancy a bit” of the Brit style here!

It was a cool, drizzly London-sort of day. Pity, since one of the grandish features about Redcoats would be their outside dining. Don’t think I’ve been sat indoors before. The patio is a brilliant lunch spot on a sunny afternoon, or dinner on a balmy evening. On weekend nights, the Pub transforms into a dance club, complete with DJ and special lighting. Steph and her friends have been there on many a visit home for a proper good time!

Critique #1 location: 5 points. While just a bit off Main Street, similar to India Garden, it is just a stone’s throw from the heart of downtown, so we awarded the full score here.

Critique #2 ambiance: 3.5 points. I must admit, I prefer the outside dining better than the Pub itself. The bar area is nice and very Pub-authentic looking with the tiffany-style glass. The exposed beam ceiling is a good touch, but otherwise, it doesn’t have that cozy-traditional English Pub feel. We asked for a first hand description about what to expect in an English Pub from our server. While her accent is actually Scottish, she was able to give us a very good account of what a traditional pub, and pub food, is like in the UK. Although it has been over 20 years since I’ve ventured “over the pond” myself, I didn’t feel that the internal ambiance of Redcoats was spot-on Pub-like, but it certainly heads in that direction, so we give it a “B+” for effort. Otherwise, the seating area is rather ordinary.

Critique #3 menu selection: 4 points. Quite an adequate offerin’. Good selection of traditional pup fare: fish ‘n chips, bangers and mash, Shepherd’s pie, Steak Pie, and that all time British delight: Bubble and Squeak(!)—which is some sort of cabbage and potato dish. They also have a fair bit of American-style items as well: burgers, sliders, sandwiches and salads. For some inexplicable reason, I was in a mood to eat light and sort of healthy, so went with the salmon and avocado sandwich.  Mum, on the other hand pursuing her quest to eat something in the spirit of the locale, went for fish & chips—and confessed, not bein' much of a fish-eater in general, that it was her first time ever to order this British staple! She chose the traditional style over the Goujon’s of cod—as the latter was described to be big on batter, lighter on the fish. Since we also had a coupon for a free appetizer (or “Tasty Start”), we thought we’d give the tri-tip Bruschetta a go as well!

Critique #4 service: 5 points. What can I say—I know the server! Still, she was completely brilliant…seated us quickly, explained the Pub-style items on the menu, brought our food quickly and nice and hot. In all honesty, I don’t think she gave us “special” service at all…I’m quite positive she does the same for all of her patrons! I did let on that we were reviewing her and told her about the project. Just the same, the service has been spot on in the past.

Critique #5 Food: 4 points. I was thrilled to have real British tea in a nice warm pot, and drank it black (rather than “white”). Mum liked her big cup of coffee, and was happy they offered it and she didn't have to depend on tea. The tri-tip bruschetta was an interesting combination of thinly sliced tender beef, carmelized onions and melted cheese on the toasted bruschetta. We both enjoyed it rather well. I went for the lentil soup to accompany my sandwich—good flavor. The sandwich was pretty good as well—the baguette was soft and tasty and the cucumbers were a good added touch. Mum was fairly pleased with her fish, but thought the chips were just fair. There was plenty for both of us to “take away” and save for later.

Critique #6 value: 4.5 points. Mum did well by ordering her meal from the “special value menu”—so the price was excellent at $6.50, especially when compared to the regular menu price of about $11.00. My sandwich, $11, was priced as is pretty typical of downtown. Since we got the appetizer for free, the overall value of our meal was excellent.

Overall score for Redcoats British Pub: 4.3 points. We had a jolly good time on our lunch date. Beastly weather out, but we were cozy and well fed. This is a great place for lunch—especially when the weather improves and one can utilize the outdoor seating. Or, you can enjoy a pint at the bar and a good chat with a chum! ‘Til next time, cheer-io!

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