Oscar's Pub

Generally, I tend to ignore most of the emails I get from Groupon, Living Social and the lot. It's not because there aren't any good deals to be found, I'm just not confident I'll remember to use them. Furthermore, there have been a few issues I've encountered in the past which leads me to believe some restaurants were not equipped to handle the extra volume and/or didn't specify the conditions clearly on the discount itself. Therefore, I am very cautious in my coupon purchases. With that in mind, I'm pretty sure I threw all those considerations out the window when I hastily purchased 2 Groupons to Oscar's Pub late one night. I figured it would be a great place for the hockey team to meet up after our Friday night game. So I immediately shot out an email to everyone suggesting this. I hoped for a good response. Otherwise, I'd be stuck with $60.00 worth of food all for myself! Well, fortunately, everyone was on board since it was a convenient location, we planned to meet up right after the game. Problem being... I forgot my camera! There was only one solution - go home and get it. Believe it or not, I still made it there before everyone else. What are they doing in the locker room anyways??? A long hot shower? I'd rather not know...

Usually Bear is the last to make it out of the locker room, but he was actually the next person to arrive, so maybe he was just hungry. After all, this was the first time we've seem him all Winter. Must be his annual hibernation thing. As such, he had 2 items starting with the Brisket Stuffed Yorkies. This is seemingly becoming more and more popular, especially in gastropubs. These consisted of Yorkshire pudding stuffed with slow roasted beef brisket and horseradish aioli. Housemade au jus was served on the side. We found the brisket to be quite dry and even with a good dousing of the wonderful au jus, it didn't seem to help the cause. When I first spotted Bear's second item, I was confused as to what it was. Apparently it was a Guinness Stew of some sort. By looking at the colour, it resembled the filling of a chicken pot pie than anything else. It was surely thick and chunky, but it was also bland and had no depth. Sweet Tooth did order a dessert, but before that she had the Chicago Steak Bites topped with Dijon mustard. These were simply prepared with cracked black pepper and salt. Despite its nicely seared appearance, the actual meat was tough and chewy. It required quite the effort to eat. Either it needed less cooking and/or more tenderization. On the other hand, the simple preparation with just a drizzle of Dijon was tasty.

Zack-Attack wasn't too hungry and in fact was more interested in the barely sandwiches. Thus, he went for something small in the Scotch Egg with chorizo sausage and ranch dressing. As evidenced in the picture, the egg was perfectly cooked. The sausage added some spice which was cooled down with the ranch dressing. It was on the oilier side, but then again, it was fried. Ginseng ordered something healthier (in a pub no less) with the Westcoast Bowl consisting of Oregon shrimp, cucumber, nori, avocado, sprouts, sriracha chili, sushi rice and wasabi dressing. From its appearance, the bowl looked substantial and fresh. Indeed it was vibrant in both colour and taste. However, the sushi rice underneath was not very good. It appeared to be day-old and suffered degradation in the fridge. With that being said, we did cut them some slack because I'm sure they don't go through a lot of sushi rice.

Milhouse went for his pub standby in the Bangers and Mash. However, this was not your typical version of the traditional English dish. This one consisting of 2 chorizo sausages, beer kraut, kale, a potato croquette and caramelized onion jus. Yes, this was definitely "different" and he pretty much concurred that was the best description. The individual components were good with a crispy croquette and flavourul chorizo. For myself, I had the Buffalo Chicken Burger which was fantastic. The main protein, which was the buttermilk fried chicken breast, was moist and juicy. Although the crispy coating was crunchy and tasty, it really didn't adhere to the chicken and slid off with each bite. The combination of pickled celery, hot sauce, blue cheese, chilli aioli, lettuce, tomato and red onion created a flavour explosion. There was no absence of spice and with the blue cheese, it definitely recreated the hot wings experience in a kasier bun. As for the fries, they were pretty crispy despite its dark appearance.

I actually shared my burger with Emilicious because she indicated she wanted to split her Ulitimate Burger with me. How could I turn that down? Her burger was a combination of a 6 oz beef patty with slow roasted brisket, bacon, blue cheese, LTOP and horseradish aioli. This was a substantial burger that could've been a whole lot better. The beef patty itself was dry and full of chewy non-meat pieces which made it unappetizing. Furthermore, the brisket was dry (just like in the yorkies) and that made it difficult for the to other components to compensate. On the plus side, the yam fries were fried perfectly. Interestingly, the Mini-Burgers were significantly better. Gordo liked his burgers partly because the beef patties were hand-formed. Hence, they were different than the one in the Ultimate. Makes me think they should make all their burgers with the same meat then.

Lastly, Sweet Tooth couldn't possibly have a complete meal without dessert right? So she had the Chocolate Brownie with ice cream and chocolate sauce. For a pub, this was a decent attempt. The exterior was crisp while the inside was chocolatly (not in a dark chocolate way though) and sweet. Any lack of refinement was completely made up by portion size and value. This could've easily passed for 2 orders. Well, we had reasonable expectations going in and Oscar's essentially met them. I wouldn't say there was anything that stood out nor was there anything completely inedible either (well, the stew thingy wasn't that great though). It did the job for what it was for a reasonable price.

The Good:
- Decent value
- Pretty good service

The Bad:
- Food is so-so
- Interior is a bit tired

Oscar's Pub on Urbanspoon

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