Sherman's Food Adventures: Avenue Grill

Avenue Grill

Back in my high school days, I used to live in Oakridge and would frequent Kerrisdale quite often. Thus, there are several memories etched into my subconscious. Flashbacks occur whenever I'm back in the neighbourhood. There are memories of the former Radio Shack on 41st where I would faithfully get my one free battery per month as part of the "Battery Club". Of course the batteries were pure crap and I could not even make it through one Rick Astley... er... Public Enemy song on my Walkman. Across the street, I can remember visiting McD's and getting a McRib complete with the promotional "Hot Pocket" which warmed our hands during the Winter months. Also, I fondly recall going every weekend to Miramar (now Golden Ocean) for Dim Sum. We would park in the London Drugs parking lot (before they put in the pay parking) at the back. There was also Skyline Sports (now Vivo! Gelato) on W. Blvd. where I would peruse the expensive sports equipment. Oh, not to mention the small grocery store across from Pt. Grey Secondary where I found out that Hostess Hickory Stix were misprinted with "Win a free bag" on every one in the same batch. Yes, 99 cents bought me a heck of a lot of Hickory Stix that day! Ah yes, the memories...

One place that I never visited; but must've passed by hundreds of times is the Avenue Grill. The place is easy to remember with its cool signage. After all these years, I finally got my chance to try it. With another win in softball all-but-guaranteed by the last inning. I took myself out of the game to go fetch my "list". Yah, I printed out a list of restaurants that are near the fields we play our softball games. There have been too many times where everyone looks at me after a game and asks, "where to eat Sherman?". Of course I give a blank look and everyone thinks I that I should know every restaurant that exists. So, I bring the list back and have a mini-conference with Bear as to our potential eating destinations. Finally, Bear decided to make the call since everyone was on the fence. Alas Avenue Grill, I finally get to see what you are all about. For some reason or another, I always had in my mind that the place was a diner. Maybe it was before, I'm not sure. But when we arrived, the place did not fit any preconceived image that we envisioned. The interior graced us with a warm, cozy dining space with art on the walls and a certain level of class. We were all dressed for softball and once again, didn't fit into the surroundings (much like the time at Q4). After we were seated, several tables of older folk left, seemingly annoyed at our existence. I don't blame them, the atmosphere took a turn for the worse due to us!

Boss Woman was a bit dismayed that it didn't turn out to be a diner (it's closer to a bistro than anything else). She settled on the Fettuccine Jambalaya and it was an ample portion. Plenty of chicken, prawns and chorizo hid within the generous amount of pasta. The pasta was on the softer side while the sauce was quite balanced with a bit of spice. She did remark that there was much more in the way of ingredients than pasta. Not necessarily a bad thing; yet she felt there was a lack of balance between the pasta and ingredients. Looking over the featured items on the blackboard, Bear and I were drawn to the Duck Confit with salad and fries. When it arrived, I wasn't even sure if there was duck since the leg was completely covered with caramelized onions. Bear didn't even bother eating any of it and scraped it off. I tried it with the duck and honestly, it didn't add anything. For the duck itself, we both found the meat dry and bland while the skin was soggy (probably from the onions on top). The fries were generic and salty.

Milhouse went for another featured item in the Italian Sausage Cannelloni. He found this quite alright with plenty of a good amount of cheese atop a creamy tomato sauce. With the same sauce, the Lasagne looked pretty much the same as the cannelloni except for the meat. Silent Bob also enjoyed his pasta. Of all the great things on the menu, Miss Y went for the Mushroom Burger. Nothing particularly wrong about ordering a burger; but with the Red Onion just up the street, this was not the place to get one. As it turns out, she really wasn't all that fond of it. She found the patty dry while being greasy at the same time. The sauteed mushrooms probably added to the greasiness. She wasn't all that impressed with it and didn't enjoy eating it. Again, she didn't like the fries either since there was way too much salt.

Judes ended up with the Linguine with prawns, tomatoes, butter and herbs. She didn't like the softness of the pasta and thought that the strong garlic presence overpowering. Thus, she did get a bit of tomato flavour with the garlic; but little else. Hot Chocolate went for something lighter with the Curry Chicken Soup and a side of Foccacia. She liked the soup describing as smooth and balanced while not being too spicy. In general, the food at Avenue Grill is hit and miss. Personally, for the prices, there are much better choices around. With that being said, I can see a visit for breakfast or lunch would possibly be a better experience due to the lower prices.

The Good:
- Quaint little restaurant
- Good service
- Fairly diverse menu (taking into account the fresh sheet too)

The Bad:
- The food in general is not that impressive
- Tight squeeze in terms of seating

Avenue Grill on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

...never gonna give you up.... never gonna let you down.... never gonna run around and desert you...... come on sing along Sherman... I know you want to .... lol.....

Sherman Chan said...

...she wants to dance with me... woah woah yah... ...there's a girl, I've been meaning... WAIT! Wrong song! Doh... LOL...

LotusRapper said...

Wow you are dating yourself, Sherman. Rick Astley, LOL.

If that was the mid-to-late 80s, if you ever wandered into Kerrisdale Cameras and noticed some geeky Chinese sales guy enthusiastically peddling photo gear, that was yours truly, LOL.

Kerrisdale definitely has gone through quite a transformation. But in some ways it still is what it was. Like Avenue Grill for example. We happened to be in "K" this past week, just strolling and getting an ice cream from McD's. It felt nostalgic, seeing the new stores juxtaposed with the old stores that I recall from the 80s. I used to buy a lot of tennis gear from the sports store where Nike is now (was a branch of Cyclone Taylor's Source for Sports).

Good times.

Sherman Chan said...

LOL LR! I did walk into Kerrisdale Cameras a few times. Didn't notice any geeky guy... Haha. Yes, my youth is passing me by...

Anonymous said...

I was planning on eating Vietnamese today, but I notice that I've never had the chance to try Grill Avenue. So I went in and my first impressions were:
A nice cozy place.
A not so nice lady.
An empty restaurant.

We asked if it was ok to sit on the table of four because we were caring a few shopping bags with us, but she said: No, they are for customers... she didn't even bother to say sorry.

While looking at the menu I notice at the bottom of the page it said: NO SHARING and in the third page it said 3 dollar charge for any split. I mean what is wrong with that? I usually order lots of dishes to share just like Chinese restaurant :/

I already wanted to get out the place, but anyway we still order a fettuccine and a burger because we felt uncomfortable being there.

The noddle didn't taste that good, I mean I can get a powder version and make it my self and it will still taste the same :/

The burger looked good, but it didn't live up to the expectations. The bread was nice, but the burger had no flavor. The fries were brown and mushy ..I wonder what kind of potato was.

I still finish my dish because I was hungry, but my gf could not eat more of the fettuccine. I asked for the bill and pay...and after saying thank you to her .. she didn't even bother saying anything.
After we left we continue shopping and when passing back 1 hour later the restaurant remain empty...

I love kerrisdale, but I'll never go back to that place..

Sherman Chan said...

Well... You all but confirm what we thought about the place...

Miss Y said...

OMG! I was part of the Radio Shack Battery Club, too! Old school dorkiness! I always asked for the 9 volt, cause they were the priciest.

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