Sherman's Food Adventures: Route 14

Route 14

Not trying to stray too far from our hotel and also that it was something different than our hotel restaurant, we made our way to Route 14 for dinner.  Named after the street that it resides on, Route 14 didn't look like much from the outside.  In fact, we would've passed right by it and dismissed it as another bar.  However, looks can be deceiving as the online reviews seemed to make it sound like a solid place for the entire family.  We made a reservation and thank goodness we did as it was pretty busy.

In addition to the burger (yes, another burger) that I had ordered, we had the Salt & Pepper Wings too as an appie.  Glistening with oil, these wings were indeed a bit on the greasier side, yet at the same time, they were super crispy.  As for the meat itself, beyond the crispiness of the exterior it was juicy and tender (not dry at all).  They were well-seasoned being salty enough and of course peppery.  I got the side of blue cheese dip and it provided an extra layer of creamy sharpness to the crispy wings.  My Route 14 Classic Burger wasn't as a good as the one from West Coast Grill, but was still solid in its own right.  It sported a 6oz fresh brisket and chuck patty, cheddar, shredded lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle and special sauce on a toasted potato bun.  I found the well-charred patty to be meaty and full flavoured with bits of onion strewn throughout.  With all of the ingredients, the burger ate moist despite the lean patty.  Being very crispy with little potatoness left, the fries were more like double-cooked frites.

Viv had the Chicken Club consisting of marinated & grilled chicken breast, maple smoked bacon, Camembert cheese, lettuce, tomato and garlic mayo on toasted sourdough.  When it arrived, we were rather impressed at the size of the sandwich.  However, we found quite a few issues with it.  First of all, the bread was toasted rather aggressively and it ate dry and hard.  Second, the bacon was overly firm where it was difficult to chew through (yet it tasted good).  Lastly, the chicken was too thin where it was barely there and ate very dry.  The best part was the melted and creamy camembert.  My son opted for the 1/2 Rack of Baby Back Ribs with fries and slaw.  These were pretty typical of non-BBQ ribs (they were oven-roasted), but done well being tender with a good amount of meatiness still remaining.  As for the Dark Matter BBQ sauce, it was more sweet than tangy or smoky.  There could've been a lot more of it too.

Seeing how she always orders the most expensive dish when we go out to eat, my daughter didn't disappoint with the crispy pan-seared Lois Lake Steelhead Trout with prawn & crab spring rolls, leek soubise, sesame sauce, asparagus and mushroom & bean saute (for $27.00).  I kid you not, the trout was prepared better than most fine-dining restaurants I've visited.  The skin was crispy and well-seasoned while the fish was medium-rare.  Buttery, delicate and moist, the fish was perfect.  We were surprised to find 2 large spring rolls on the plate (would've been worth $10.00 as per the appetizer) which meant the rest of the dish was only $17.00.  Good value.  They were really crispy and packed with fluffy crab, veggies and sriracha cream cheese.  Yummy.  For the rest of the plate, we found it a bit muddled and too busy.  A simple side of veggies would've sufficed.

Costanza and Elaine shared the sous-vide AAA Roast Beef Dip with crispy onions, dijonaise on French bun with beef jus.  Now usually a beef dip is a beef dip, but this one was really good.  Since they sous-vide the beef first, it was super tender requiring very little chewing.  The toasted bun was soft and really complimented the beef (some places have firmer buns that overwhelm the beef).  Loved the crispy onions where they added both texture and an extra hit of sweetness.  Lastly, the jus was not the run-of-the-mill powdered stuff as it was meaty and natural tasting (not salty).  They also got the Island Mussels with chorizo sausage, roast garlic, shallots, lager & cream and garlic toast.  Portion-wise, this was very generous with plump buttery mussels in an aromatic cream sauce that had only the mildest hint of spice.  Not sure why they served us rye bread as garlic toast though.  This weird garlic toast and the sandwich were the only real blemishes to relatively good meal.  Lots of choices (including fancier dishes) for the whole family at reasonable prices.

The Good:
- Don't judge a book by its cover, there is good food to be found here
- Friendly service
- Family friendly

The Bad:
- Sandwich wasn't good and rye bread as garlic bread???
- Wings were greasy


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