You can say what you want about Groupon (and there is a lot to say), but there have been adventures (food and non-food) that I would've never considered if there wasn't a deal. Call it a "comfort zone" liberator of sorts. This was definitely the case when we had to drive all the way out to the Horseshoe Bay for dinner one night. I bought a coupon for Hugo's Restaurant not knowing where it was exactly located. After driving down a narrow and sometimes treacherous road, we ended up at a little quaint lodge-type spot right along the water.
This would probably the last place to find Asian-inspired comfort food, but alas, that was the bulk of the menu. Hence, the Wonton Nachos with sriracha aioli, pickled ginger, nori, white cheddar and wasabi guacamole definitely fit the theme. I would say this dish in theory was solid, but it wasn't executed properly. The darn thing wasn't hot where the generous amount of shredded cheese had not melted. On the positive side, the wonton chips were airy and crunchy. Loved the blend of flavours as it really worked. Wished we had more nori as the umaminess was impactful. Also served luke warm was the Mac 'n Cheese that was made with a bechamel sauce. We found the noodles to be on point, but the flavours were definitely muted. It was neither sharp or salty enough. On the other hand, it was creamy and there was a good amount of melted cheese on top.
Continuing the theme of food that was served cold was the Gochujang Wings. This was actually quite good but the fact it was not hot meant the flavours were not activated. Surprisingly, the temperature did not compromise the firm crispiness of the exterior of the wings. We found the gochujang hit to be on the sweeter side, but still impactful nonetheless. The method of baking them first and then deep-frying created a unique and appealing texture. Finally, we got something that was served hot in the Peking Express Pizza with BBQ duck, hoisin and roasted garlic. This in theory sounded great and in fact, it was not bad. The crust was fairly thin, yet only crispy and charred mostly on the edges. There was a generous amount of melted cheese on top with only a spattering of duck (which was a bit dry). Due to this, the pizza tasted mostly of cheese and hoisin. This could've been more impactful if there was more duck.
Saving the best for last, we had to wait quite a while for the Beef Burger. It was worth it though as the toasted brioche bun was really good. It stood up well to the meaty 6 oz fresh beef patty that tasted completely natural except for some salt and pepper. The cheddar cheese was nicely melted and the fresh tomato and mesclun greens provided some moisture (as the meat was pretty lean). Topping it off was some mild sriracha mayo. Now that was good, but the side of fresh cut fries were amazing. Medium-sized and long, the fries were crunchy and light with considerable potato texture inside. One of the better ones I've had in a while. Now with that in mind, that was probably because they were served piping hot. The same couldn't be said about most of the other dishes. There is definitely potential here, but the kitchen has to be more efficient and organized.
- Some interesting ingredients
- Friendly owner
- Those fries!
- Strangely, more than half of our dishes were cold
- Food too awhile