*This location is closed*
The dreaded chain restaurant. For many food enthusiasts, it is the anti-thesis of creativity and good taste. Think of it. A chain restaurant mainly exists to provide a predictable product that will suit many different tastes and preferences. In that case, this is actually a good thing because not everyone is interested in dining at a hole-in-the-wall, certain ethnic restaurants and "fine-dining" establishments. However, these chain restaurants are walking a fine line these days. The prices seem to be rising dangerously close to fine-dining and the food is being influenced by Asian cuisine. Personally, I happen to like Cactus Club despite being one of the more prominent chain restaurants in Vancouver. With that being said, I still find the prices to be quite high.
There has been an explosion of restaurants that fall into the "Cactus Club" formula, namely Earl's, Joey and Moxie's. I've been to them all except for Moxie's until tonight. Why? Well, let's just say the first time I visited this location, I got a moldy bun - not cool. Hey, I'm willing to let that go, it was probably a one-off. Now Moxie's was not always a hip place with modern decor and attractive staff. Along with Joey's, it used to be a family-friendly restaurant. Now Moxie's has gone upscale and the prices have gone up accordingly. Boss Woman wasn't really all that hungry and went for the Calamari. Reminiscent of the one they serve at Cactus Club, this one was pretty good. The squid was tender with some bite and the breading was crisp. The accompanying tzatziki was a little weak; but it did the job. For awhile now, I've been on this Yam Fries kick. This has probably been my 5th order of this in the last month. And this one was one of the better ones. The fries were the right thickness and came out very crispy. Nothing worse than soggy yam fries. There were 2 dips - curry mayo and garlic aioli. I liked the aioli more, the curry just didn't seem to work for me. Trying to offset my unhealthy appie, I went for the Maple Glazed Salmon with pineapple salsa and wild rice pilaf. The dish looked pretty enough with bright, fresh colours and great ingredients. It's too bad that they totally overcooked the salmon. It was quite stiff and dry. The sweet salsa somewhat saved the dish a bit; but when the protein is not done right, it is a fail. I did like the perfectly cooked rice and asparagus though.
Now Gadget Girl ended up with the Salmon & Prawns Capellini and if you were wondering about the salmon... yes, it was overcooked as well. In fact, it was probably more cooked than mine. However, the prawns were perfect and so were the al dente noodles. The citrus butter and fresh basil gave the dish balance as there was some freshness and savoury elements. They enjoyed the pasta despite the dry salmon. Milhouse has been resisting temptation and has stuck with salads as of late. Apparently, he is trying to acquire that perfect figure. Uh... Okay... But he gave in this time in the form of the Pancetta and White Cheddar Veal Burger. He found it sufficiently interesting enough to try it. I don't blame him, it did sound very different than the regular burgers we often see. Well, the description on the menu, for once, translated to a great burger. The meat was nicely charred while still being moist and juicy. The combination of white cheddar and pancetta provided a very different taste. Too bad the fries were your typical run-of-the-mill variety. I suggest substituting for the yam fries for an extra charge.
As expected, Sweet Tooth opted to have dessert. Her choice was the Callebaut Chocolate Espresso Mousse served with biscotti and whipped cream. Resembling a pile of turd, the dessert didn't look promising when it arrived. However, it wasn't bad. Not too heavy nor sweet, there was some coffee hints in the mousse. It actually need the whipped cream for more sweetness. It was decent, along with the rest of the food actually. Typical chain restaurant fare from the cookie-cutter mold which employs a nice space, attractive servers, safe food and high prices. Does the job when looking for late-night eats.
- Nice decor and nice staff
- Open late