Quick. What was on the Northwest corner of Main & 11th for the longest time? You know, the place with the big chicken on its signage? If you answered Juicy Fried Chicken, you are either a fried chicken connoisseur or born prior to the year 2000. Yes, much like Brownie's (another oldie), JFC disappeared into oblivion losing to the big boys, Church's and KFC (don't really get it myself). In its place, we find a funky new establishment called the The Rumpus Room.
Aptly named, the place resembles a 80's rec room complete with ol' skool sofas and board games. Definitely comfortable and homey which is reflected in the menu as well. Gordo and I decided to share a few things beginning with the Deep-Fried Pickles ($6.50) served with tartar sauce. Unfortunately, the batter was doughy and not-crunchy-at-all. However, the pickles themselves were crisp, tart and not-too-salty. The tartar sauce was quite mild, so it tasted more like ranch (but that was fine though). Next, we had the Poutine ($9.00) which featured house-cut fries, real gravy and authentic cheese curds. The fries were not that crispy while the gravy was flavourful in a non-salty way. We liked the cheese curds, but since they were all melted, we couldn't tell if they were squeaky or not.
For my main, I had the Peanut Butter Burger ($15.00). This was constructed with a house-made 6 oz. natural hormone free patty, bacon, cheddar, lettuce, apple cranberry chutney, tomato and peanut butter on a brioche bun. The meat was cooked through and somewhat dry, yet the ingredients, including the creamy peanut butter, added plenty of texture and moisture. The key was the bacon as it helped balance the sweetness of the peanut butter. On the side, I got Ants on a Log (celery sticks with peanut butter and dried cranberries), which featured a healthy portion of peanut butter. Gordo had the the Chorizo Penne ($12.00) and it was quite large. The penne was very al dente while the large meaty slices of chorizo had a nice kick. I particularly liked the ample chunks of tart tomatoes as it afforded a fresh taste to the dish.
Gadget Girl ended up with the Chicken and Waffles ($12.00) which featured lots of crunchy fried chicken morsels. I found them rather dry though, but the thick gravy did help matters. Larger pieces of chicken could've made them more moist, but I can see how that could greatly increasing the cooking time. I really liked the waffles as they were lightly crunchy on the outside while airy and soft in the middle. Apu opted for the BLT ($7.00) that naturally had bacon, lettuce and tomato. It was sandwiched within sourdough and dressed with garlic aioli. Although this was a typical version, it was constructed with plenty of crispy bacon which made it tasty. He chose Yam Fries as his side which could've been crispier in our opinion.
For dessert, he decided to try the Deep Fried Cheesecake ($5.00) topped with raspberry compote. I liked how the crunchy batter wasn't too heavy as it was a textural contrast to the softened cheesecake. The tart compote helped lighten things up a bit. Sweet Tooth and Emilicious ended sharing the Banana Cream Pie ($5.00) which was creamy and rich. It wasn't particularly sweet, rather letting the ample fresh banana slices do their thing. The 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream were firm, yet a touch icy. As you can clearly see, the deep-fryer gets a lot of play at The Rumpus Room. With that, one would expect properly prepared fried food, but this was generally not the case. Overall, we didn't dislike our food as most items had an interesting twist. Moreover, prices are reasonable for the portion sizes. In that case, if you are not expecting your culinary world to be set on fire, The Rumpus Room is a fun place to grab some comfort food with good friends.
- Inexpensive and good portions
- Cool retro 80's rec room feel
- Interesting washrooms
- Some of the fried items could be crispier
- Staff are nice, but are overextended