There's a story behind how I ended up eating at The Keg tonight. A week ago, I went for our interview with NEXUS. For those who do not know what NEXUS is, it's a program for approved travelers who can skip the regular lineup at the border and at the airport. Naturally, parking in downtown is scarce and expensive. I was forced to pay $12 for parking since I really didn't know how long the interview would take. It actually took only 1 hour and I was left with a ticket that wouldn't expire for another 4 hours. Therefore, we decided to pass the ticket off to the next person parking in the same lot. So Viv passes it off to this random guy as we were getting ready to leave. The guy comes back and hands something over to Viv. The guy happened to be the Operations Director of The Keg for BC! He hands Viv a $50 gift card! Talk about karma...
I've always like The Keg. I know there are some who disagree; but that's okay, we all have our preferences. I know The Keg is not Morton's, Hy's or Gotham (all in the same company except for Morton's). Yet, I never view it as such. I look at it as competition to places like Milestone's and Earl's. Moreover, I think their steaks are pretty good for what they charge. Trust me, recently, I've been to Mr Mikes and the steaks there cost almost the same as the Keg; but are inferior. Tonight, we visited the relatively newer Burnaby location at Still Creek. The old location was torn down and Costco resides there now. Viv and I were tempted by the outdoor patio (good for pictures); but the weather was way too warm to sit outside today. Consequently, my photos will suffer the "dark steakhouse" effect.
For our appy, we ordered the Crab & Spinach Dip. The dip itself was quite flavourful from the abundance of Parmesan; but it overpowered any crab that was in the dip. I liked the crispy red tortilla chips, there were freshly fried. However, I wasn't a big fan of the pita chips, they are a bit too thick for my liking. Next time, I'm going to stick with the shrimp cocktail, which is one of my favourites at The Keg. As always, we were started off with the complimentary sourdough bread. I really like this bread, it's a whole round loaf which is served warm. Viv ordered the Ahi Tuna for her main dish (not sure why she ordered fish in a steakhouse). She thought the tuna was perfectly cooked, with just a slight sear on the outside and completely rare on the inside. She did remark that there should have been a bit more pineapple salsa, since the fish itself was not heavily seasoned.
Naturally, I went for the Keg-sized Prime Rib. Mind you, the Baseball Sirloin is pretty darn good as well. My prime rib came out a perfect medium rare. It was moist and flavourful without being salty. I really can't stand places that rub so much salt on the meat, it resembles corned beef once it's cooked. Once again, I got exactly what I expected from The Keg. I think that's the draw here. Of course there are independent restaurants where you can get a good steak (probably cheaper too); however, you take the risk of not knowing what to expect. There are higher end steakhouses which are better than The Keg; however, it's all relative. You'd be paying almost double for steak without any sides at a place like Gotham. Mind you, the dinner for 2 ($119) special at Morton's is an exception. Are the steaks, service, ambiance and sides twice as good as other places such as Morton's and Gotham? Not likely. It's always the case, you pay double for probably 20% better. Unless you have money to burn, The Keg will do me fine when I have an urge for a steak.
- Fairly reasonable prices
- No surprises here
- As with any chain restaurant, it suffers from generic food
- Always busy and no reservations = long waits