Sherman's Food Adventures: October 2020

Moxie's Grill & Bar (Richmond)

Believe it or not, I've not been to a location of Moxie's since 2011.  Back then, it was for late-night eats and we came away satisfied.  Since then, there have been changes to the menu and more recently, I was invited to try their happy hour and dinner menu at the Richmond location attached to the Sandman Hotel.  We were seated in the outdoor "solarium" section of the restaurant that could be converted to an outdoor patio.

Looking over the menu, there was a little of everything that would satisfy most appetites but there were a few items that stood out.  As simple as the Roasted Tomatoes and Whipped Feta sounded on the menu, it turned out to be one of our favourite dishes.  Creamy, tangy and full-flavoured, the airy feta was perfectly balanced by the blistered tangy tomatoes.  The combination of olive oil and garlic added even more aromatics.  The flax seed sourdough drizzled with olive oil was fluffy, yet still firm enough to be the complimentary vessel.

Another eye-pleasing appetizer was the Fresh-Smashed Guacamole served with fresh white corn chips & pico de gallo. Prior to Covid-19, this would actually be prepared table side.  However, there was no mistaking that this was made-to-order.  The ingredients were fresh from the ripe avocado to the tangy tomatoes and sharp onions.  I would've liked to see a lime wedge on the side, so we could adjust the acidity for ourselves.  We loved the corn chips as they were light and crunchy while not over-salted.

As much as Calamari is pretty much a staple at most restaurants these days, this version at Moxie's stood out.  Rather than preparing the squid in rings, they were cut up "Asian"-style, that allowed for more texture.  It was a nice balance between being tender while still offering up some bite.  Light on the grease, the crispy batter was well-seasoned and fried just right.  Loved the charred half-lemon, where we could really brighten things up with the entire dish.

Our last happy hour item was a complete flavour bomb.  We weren't expecting the Shrimp Tacos to blow our minds, but it did with a combination of spiced shrimp, spicy black bean crumble, pickled red onions, corn salsa, pico de gallo, guacamole and spicy mayo.  Warm and soft, the tortilla encased a combination of textures, heat, sweetness, acidity and aromatics.  Shrimp was on point with a snap.  I would gladly eat this again!

Served on a pretzel bun with sauteed mushrooms, horseradish, roasted garlic aioli and cheese, the Beef Dip was satisfyingly filling.  It was loaded with tender roast beef that was actually rather lean.  Nice flavours already from the cheese, mushrooms and aioli, but the au just was super flavourful.  It was salty on its own, but combined with the robust pretzel bun, it was balanced.  On the side, the fries were crispy with plenty of potato goodness left inside.

For myself, I didn't get too creative because I'm currently on this fried chicken sandwich kick.  Hence, I had to order BT's Crispy Chicken Sandwich in the spicy version with Louisiana hot sauce.  Ultimately, this became a buffalo chicken burger and it was pretty good.  It featured a large whole chicken breast with a thin layer of panko on the outside.  The chicken was moist while the panko was crispy (even with the sauce).  With 2 large dill pickle slices underneath, it added a nice tart crunch.  I would've personally liked to see a brioche bun, but the bun was still soft and toasted.

Neatly plated atop ancient grains and green beans, the Chipotle Mango Chicken was finished with pico de gallo and avocado.  Coated with a sweet & smoky rub, the chicken was not lacking in impact.  Except for the very thin tip, the chicken breasts were tender and moist while sporting an even char.  Mango puree on the side added a kick of tropical sweetness.  Loved the chewy grains underneath as they were full of texture.  Green beans were cooked perfectly too.

For our pasta dish, we tried the Chicken Madeira Rigatoni with pan roasted chicken, creamy mushroom and madeira wine sauce, fresh rosemary and lemon. This was a large portion of al dente rigatoni where the sauce was full of depth from the umaminess of the mushrooms combined with the meatiness of the chicken.  Furthermore, the madeira came through without being too strong.  It was also a good thing that there wasn't too much moisture on the plate either.

At first, we were a bit skeptical of our dessert - the White Chocolate Brownie.  Normally, white chocolate anything is overly sweet.  However, we found this brownie to be purposefully sweet without going overboard.  It was rich and gooey with chunks of dark chocolate inside, chocolate sauce underneath and French vanilla ice cream on top.  We shared this and still thought it was rather large!  This was a nice finish to a solid meal at Moxie's. 

Nice to see they are adapting their menu with the times.  Plenty of tasty choices to be had within an environment that is following Covid-19 safety protocols.   

Now if you want a chance to dine at Moxie's to see and taste for yourself, I have teamed up with Moxie's for you to win one of two $50.00 gift certificates to be used at the Richmond location.  To enter, go to my Instagram page.  Follow @moxies and @shermansfoodadventures, tag a friend asking what food or drink they would like to try on their next visit *1 The draw will be held in one week and will be announced via Instagram story. 

*All food and beverages were complimentary* 

The Good:

- Plenty of choices on the happy hour menu

- Well-portioned dishes

- Some bold flavours

The Bad:

- Could replace the peppers in the pico de gallo with spicier chilis for more impact 

*1Giveaway is only open to residents within the BC Lower Mainland. Winners will be required to pick up their gift certificate at Moxie’s Grill & Bar Richmond location and are entitled to use it on food and non-alcoholic beverages. Contest closes on October 27, 2020 at 11:59 pm PST.

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