Sherman's Food Adventures: Citrus Bar & Grill

Citrus Bar & Grill

As much as Groupon restaurant deals can be hit and miss, it is still a great way to discover places that are not normally hyped-up.  In actuality, there are gems to be found such as Tenen in South Burnaby and Gyoza Bar (Travelzoo coupon) in Downtown.  Normally, I try to avoid restaurants that don't have, at the very least, a good rating.  However, for some inexplicable reason, I ended up picking up the coupon for Citrus Bar & Grill located in the Sheraton Four Points in Surrey.  Formerly an ABC when the hotel was the Ramada Inn, this had all the earmarks of a standard hotel restaurant.  Whatever, I wasn't paying full price...

We decided to start with a few appies including the Ale Pounded Cheese and Thai Chili Wings.  Served with grilled bread, the cheese dip was actually good.  It was thick and sharp with more than enough impact.  Sure, it had some elements of the dreaded "gas station nacho cheese", but it was much better than that.  The one real problem with this dish was the completely ridiculous amount of bread.  There should've been like 3 times more.  As our final bill showed, we had ordered the classic wings (buffalo-style), but the kitchen gave us Thai chili instead.  We didn't really care, but just had to point that out.  The wings featured well-rendered and crispy skin, but the meat was pretty dry.  There was just enough sauce without drowning the wings.

For our mains, I had the Chicken Schnitzel with a fried egg on top and a side arugula and grape tomato salad.  I liked how the schnitzel was aggressively crunchy and not overly greasy.  However, the chicken itself was rather dry.  Luckily for the runny egg yolk as it added moisture.  Would've liked to see a lemon wedge on the side to kick things up a notch because the chicken was lacking flavour.  I liked the salad, but it was woefully overdressed.  Viv went for the Gamelli Pasta with spicy Italian sausage, spinach, tomato and parmesan. This was one of the better dishes as the pasta was perfectly al dente and properly complimented by enough sauteed ingredients.  With that being said, the dish could've benefited from more salt as well as a bigger portion size.

My daughter also ordered pasta with the Meatball Linguine featuring rustic tomato sauce, basil, provolone and parmesan.  The promise from the description was never fully realized as the sauce tasted like any other standard tomato sauce except needing more salt.  Now don't get me wrong, the pasta was cooked properly and the meatballs were tender (and not dry).  So it was a totally acceptable dish, it just wasn't interesting.  For my son, he had the Pulled Pork Sandwich with pickled red onions and coleslaw.  Interestingly, there was no pickled onions to be found.  We thought the slaw was fresh and crunchy, but overdressed like my salad.  The pork was tender, but the BBQ sauce was more vinegary and sweet than smoky.  On the side, the starch-coated fries were crispy and potatoey inside.  In general, Citrus serves its purpose well being a hotel restaurant.  Food is acceptable and prices are fair.  However, I would put this on the same level as Boston Pizza.  Decent eats, but hardly exciting.

The Good:
- Low-key atmosphere
- Friendly staff
- Acceptable eats

The Bad:
- Would put this on the level of Boston Pizza, so acceptable, but don't expect anything more


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