Despite living in Burnaby, I choose to have my car service on the North Shore. Why? Well 2 reasons really with the first being about cost. I get a better rate due to Uncle Willy working at the dealership. Yes, I'm Asian and proud to save some money... LOL... But the most important reason I take my car over to the North Shore is an excuse to eat there while it is being serviced. This time around, I got Viv to pick me up as we met up with Chocoholic at The Portly Chef.
With 4 kiddies at the table, we decided to order 2 split dishes (at an extra charge of $2.50 per order) to share amongst them. My daughter had the Fish & Chips served with a side salad of arugula. It is worth mentioning that the vinaigrette had a nice acidity from the addition of lime. As for the fish, it was moist while the tempura batter was crunchy while not greasy. The house-cut fries were more like crispy frites. With dill pickle and malt vinegar, the tartar sauce had punch and texture. The other split order was the Mac & Cheese made of mozzarella, Gruyere and cheddar. It was certainly creamy and saucy with al dente noodles. It had a "refined" taste which was mild and only slightly sharp. We would've like to see less moisture though as it was kind of soupy.
For the adults, we shared the Atlantic Lobster Spring Rolls with lime & chipotle aioli and citrus arugula. These were served piping hot and crunchy. As much as there was a bevy of lobster, it didn't really have the classic essence. However, the aioli, with its nice zip and slight spice, helped provide impact. Chocoholic originally wanted to try the Duck Confit Panini, but the chef felt it wasn't up to snuff. We liked how he is committed to serving only things he's proud of. Therefore, she had the House-Smoked Pork Belly Carbonara instead. It consisted of rigatoni, organic sweet peas, fresh cream, egg yolk and grana padano. This was an enormous portion where there was more meat than pasta. The sauce was creamy with the lovely flavour and fattiness of the smoked pork.
For myself, I had the Works Burger consisting of a brisket and chuck patty, cheddar, mushrooms, stewed plum tomato and triple chin sauce. As clearly evidenced in the picture, this was a really messy concoction. Luckily, the bun held up partially thanks to a good toasting. The patty itself was not dry, yet not moist either. However, the ample sauce (which was creamy and tangy) made up for that. Furthermore, the plum tomatoes were a nice addition as they provided even more moisture and a sweet tang. I decided to upgrade my side of fries for the Deconstructed Poutine served with Gruyere fondue, red eye gravy and cheesy frites. Essentially, this was fries with 2 dips. The fondue was a little thin, but packed with flavour. It was sharp with a noticeable white wine hit. As for the gravy, it was thick, quite mild and peppery.
Viv ended up with the Oyster Po' Boy with cornmeal crusted oysters, arugula, tartar sauce, pickled coleslaw and remoulade on a crusty bun. This was pretty good with crunchy oysters accented by the creaminess of the sauces and the acidity from the slaw. As you can ascertain, all of our dishes were comfort foods, however, there are more refined offerings for their dinner service. While not mind-blowing, we enjoyed our lunch and it was definitely a much better option than many of the other restaurants along Lonsdale.
- Comforting eats
- Generous portions
- Nice service
- A little pricey
- As the name suggests, the food can be heavy