*Note - Everything on the menu is under $10.00 now and kids eat free*
"Where???" "You want to go where to eat?" That was Viv's response when I suggested we go to Tom & Jerry's for dinner tonight. "Aren't there better options than that???" She really didn't seem enthused about my dinner destination. Hey, I was driving and I was determined to eat at T&J's. Whoa, wait a minute, why the rush to go there? Admittedly, the first reason involved a little coupon from the Entertainment Book. Second, I drive past that place all the time and I keep daring myself to eat there again. Again? You've eaten there before? Yes, when I was working at the PNE (eons ago), I ate there once with some friends. To tell you the truth, I had very little recollection of the food. For some, T&J fits into the same class as a Knight & Day or even an ABC. But, hold it right there. I think we're getting ahead of ourselves. Let's see how the meal went first...
Billing itself as a family restaurant, immediately, one can ascertain that there will not be gourmet eats here. However, one look at the menu and there is a level of sticker shock. Other than the sandwiches and burgers, most entrees hover around the $15.00 mark or more. Again, we'll have to see how the food stacks up to the price. The adult meals may seem a bit pricey; yet the kids meals are quite affordable being roughly $5.00 to $8.00 (without beverage). Of course my son chose his favourite - the Grilled Cheese with Fries. At $4.99, this was a pretty decent price especially since the sandwich was made with lots of real cheddar. For my meal, I went for the 10oz Baseball Sirloin served with mash potatoes and veggies. You know what? When it arrived, I was pleasantly surprised at how colourful and fresh looking the veggies appeared. This is complete night & day compared to Knight & Day (feeble attempt at humour there). In addition, the mash potatoes were made of real potatoes! As for the steak, it was exactly how I like it, medium rare while closer to rare. It was moist, tender and juicy. It's really too bad the onion gravy on top completely negated the natural meat flavour. With that being said, I did like the sauce, it was quite tasty while not being salty.
Viv's dish was the baked Lasagna with a Caesar Salad to start. For what its worth, the romaine was fresh and crisp while there was just enough salad dressing. Nothing really special about the dressing mind you; but it did the job. The lasagna itself was massive. Initially, it didn't seem all that much; however, if you take into account the depth of the dish, it was quite substantial. Curiously, the sauce had bits of carrot and meat which made it resemble a Bolognese sauce except it was still very tomatoey. With that, it was tart and frankly quite one-dimensional. Again, it did the job. The lasagna noodles were surprisingly al dente. No small feat since it was sitting in sauce. This was all finished with a good amount of cheese on top.
We were in complete amazement that the food was decent. Of course, decent for this type of family restaurant that is. Compared to other places such as ABC, Knight & Day and Denny's, I felt the food was better. I wouldn't say better in terms of the raw materials necessarily; but definitely in the execution. The steak was cooked perfectly, as were the veggies and so was Viv's pasta. Nothing tasted extraordinary; yet everything was pleasant enough to eat. The service was pretty friendly as well. Who would've thunk? I was ready to press "Do Not Like" on Urbanspoon. Now, I'm bordering on actually hitting "I like". Well, maybe not yet. I'll have to give it another try first...
- Execution of food was spot on
- Personable service
- Good portions
- Prices are a bit high (but made up by the portion size)
- Interior might need an update