Location: 13-3625 Shaganappi Tr. NW
After a horrible start to the day, my sister and I sat down to lunch at Moxie’s. We had been here twice before, neither of which had been a good experience. We decided to give it one more chance before crossing it off of the list of restaurants we’d return to. The first time we came, we ordered an appetizer special that looked to be the portion size for one person…we were sharing it between three people. Though the taste was not bad, for something that small to be $8 was a little ridiculous. That meal only got worse when the mains came. The steak in the steak salad was impossible to find as there was so little of it and the lime for my tacos were dried out husks. I was not impressed and at the time swore never to return. The second time we returned was to a different location, but we didn’t really have much choice as it was for Christmas dinner. I can’t even remember what I ate it was that unmemorable. Today we returned after an eye appointment, where both mine and my sister’s eyes had been dilated, that made for an interesting challenge when it came to reading the menu.
We were seated in the bar by this incredibly good looking host who outlined the wine special for the day. Not long after we were seated, our waitress came to take our drink order. I personally thought that her neckline was a bit low and that she was showing a bit too much, but considering how many patrons were males and how business works today, I’d say she was appropriately dressed to fulfill the goals of the company. Originally, we were going to stick with water, but when the waitress mentioned that bellinis would only be $5 (as opposed to the regular $7-$8 typically of cocktail drinks) and I was like sure why not. I ordered a white peach bellini to share with my sister. It wasn’t a bad choice; there was so much sugar in it I couldn’t even taste the alcohol and I was thoroughly squirrelly after a couple of sips.
Instead of our usual, appetizer and two mains, we had two appetizers and one main to share.The appetizers consisted of a calamari and a mosaic dip. Unlike most other places, Moxie’s calamari has an Asian twist to it with shrimp, ginger, and jalapenos served on a bed of seaweed and two dipping sauces: a sriracha aioli and a sweet chili sauce. The calamari, shrimp and ginger were coated in a light tempura like batter, while the jalapeno was more like a jalapeno chip. Of the two sauces, I preferred the sweet chili one because a lot of restaurants serve calamari with some sort of aioli and to have this sweet chili sauce gave it Thai twist, which was a refreshing change. The mosaic dip was something new that I’d never had anywhere else. It had Quebec goat cheese, mushrooms & fresh tomatoes served with a side of flatbread for dipping. The flatbread wasn’t what I expected; they were more like pitas, but they were delicious nonetheless. From what I could see with my dilated pupils, the colour of the dip wasn’t all that appealing thanks to the mushrooms that had been somewhat pureed. We eat with our eyes as much as with our mouths and I never realized how true that was until I couldn’t really see what I was eating today. I feel like this review is a bit lacking because I couldn’t really describe what I saw. However, having said that, the diminishment of my sight led to a heightened sense of taste and I could taste the different notes of the dip on my palate. I enjoyed the creaminess of the goat cheese and thankfully the fresh tomatoes scattered through kept the richness in check.
For our main, we had the Loaded Backyard Burger which was aged white cheddar, mozzarella, sautéed mushrooms, bacon & barbecue sauce served on a toasted kaiser & topped with lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, pickles & grainy dijon burger sauce. The pickle on top of the burger tasted a bit weird, but maybe it wasn’t a pickle, but a gherkin? Anyways, the patty was a decent size and half a burger with all those toppings was super filling. The only thing was, was that it tasted like there was horseradish in with the dijon and I’m honestly not a fan of horseradish (or it’s cousin, wasabi). The bacon was nice and crisp, in fact it was so crisp that it stabbed my sister in the mouth. It came with a small bucket of fries, not too small, but not too big either, satisfying my fried potato craving. The unfortunate thing about the food was that it was slightly over salted that I was drinking gallons of water afterwards and it still didn’t help.
As a rule, I normally don’t do desserts for lunch, but today I did because of the two times we came to Moxie’s, we had never had their desserts. They only have five desserts and brownie was one of them. When we go for desserts, it’s often the brownie that we choose, so we went for the Sticky Toffee Pudding instead. The toffee, though sufficiently buttery, was a little more watery than sticky. The pudding, was dry and not really sweet (thankfully). I’m not sure if it was meant to be eaten this way, but we mashed the pudding into the sauce so that it wasn’t so dry and could be coated in a buttery deliciousness. I always love a hot-cold, salty-sweet contrast and this dish really did it for me. The vanilla ice cream was one of the best ice creams I’ve had in a while.
After taking everything into consideration, I would still say I would not return to Moxie’s. It was an average restaurant and failed to meet my standards on two occasions. On the third occasion, service was slow and the food was good. There were some highs and lows, but overall, I can’t say that it was good enough this time to convince me to come back again. For that I’d rate it a 2.5/5.