"You wanna go where?!?!?", questioned Hot Mama with much concern and disbelief. Yes, I wanted to go try the Hook & Ladder Pub, what was the big deal? Well, apparently Hot Mama has been there before and let's just say it ain't a fancy gastropub. In fact, it is the epitome of the traditional 1980's watering hole where some patrons may be listening to the Piano Man a la Billy Joel. If you don't have a clue what I'm talking about, I apologize for going that far back in time...
We did go in with an open mind though because good food can be found in the most unlikeliest of places. In addition to our beverages, we started with the ever standard pub appie in the Chicken Wings (in teriyaki flavour). These were fried until rather dry, but then again, the skin was nicely rendered and crisp. The sauce was predictably sweet with a bit of tang. Of all things available on the menu, Hot Mama decided on Breakfast with 2 poached eggs, bacon, hash browns and toast. Well, the eggs were decently runny while the bacon was fried until almost crisp. We didn't think the hash browns were very good though, in terms of quantity and texture (not crispy enough).
It was up to me to order a more typical pub dish being the Works Burger with bacon, cheese, mushrooms, tomato, lettuce and pickle. As much as the burger ate pretty well with all the right textures, there was this strange aftertaste. I couldn't pinpoint it, but it was extremely off putting. I don't want to speculate what it was, yet, I didn't like it. As for the side of fries, I appreciated them being fresh cut, but they needed to be double-fried because they weren't crispy enough. Bookie had the Rueben and it was decent. Bread was nicely toasted and they didn't skimp on the corned beef. With a good amount of sauerkraut and mustard, this was pretty textbook. Overall, the food was "okay" but hardly a good reason to make a beeline to the place. Service was really good, which probably made up for the out-dated decor.
- Pretty good service
- Meh food
- Place needs updating