Location: 104 – 350 Aspen Glen Landing SW
I’ve been to this restaurant many years ago with my sister and cousins for Christmas. We went to the Edmonton trail location and it was packed. This was back when brunch wasn’t hugely popular, but novel enough that people were interested in trying it out. I also believe that at that time, they didn’t take reservations, which is why it was so hard to get into in the first place.
Today, we were in the Aspen Woods area (headed to Color Me Mine) to pick up a pottery piece my sister had done and to do a piece with our mom as a late birthday thing, so we stopped by here to grab a quick lunch. What I love most about going out with my mom and sister is that when we go out to eat, we share everything.
I had been waffling between getting the Fish and Chips or the Chicken and Waffles as I had been craving Fish and Chips for a while and Chicken and Waffles being my lifelong love. Ultimately, I decided on the Fish and Chips, but found out that’s what my mom was ordering so I got the Chicken and Waffles because I know I can always pilfer some of the food from her plate. My sister was undecided and went with what the waitress recommended, the potato rosti stuffed with Quebec cheese curds and sausage, topped with hollandaise and a side of extra crispy bacon.
These are honestly the best Chicken and Waffles I have ever had. The batter on the chicken is so light, in fact, I’m 90% sure that it’s the same batter used for chicken karaage in Japanese restaurants. The Waffle isn’t exactly what you’d expect from a typical breakfast waffle. The waffle actually contains cheddar and jalapeno, which gives it a nice kick. I have to admit, I was a little worried about the hot sauce coming out and tasting like Frank’s hot sauce, which is really not that good. But luckily, nothing to worry about. Their in house made hot sauce is actually really good. And there’s just the right amount of heat. Especially when you take into account the fact that the waffle is already kinda spicy from the jalapeno. On top of all that is the maple brown butter. It’s a whipped butter, which I prefer to regular butter because it’s much easier to spread and it is absolutely delicious. Yeah, you can feel the pounds adding up with this dish, but I’m going to have to say that I don’t even care. I think this is a personal favourite of mine because I love sweet and savoury combos because it keeps me from getting bored which almost always happens when I’m eating.
The Fish and Chips weren’t great, but they weren’t bad either. Diner Deluxe uses mahimahi instead of cod, haddock, or pollock. In the past I haven’t like mahimahi because it has a stronger fishier taste than cod, haddock, or pollock and I usually shy away from fishy tasting seafood. However, that didn’t appear to be a problem today. The nice thing about mahimahi is that it is a firmer fish and holds together much better than cod, haddock, or pollock, which made it easier when dipping into their house made tartar sauce. Now, normally, I’m a huge fan of tartar sauce and I’m not saying that it’s not a good tartar sauce, I just wish it had more of a tang to it. Conversely, my sister enjoyed this tartar sauce much more than she usually enjoys tartar sauces. My sister enjoyed the fries, citing the crunchy ones as being the best ones, but I though they were flavourless and mostly limp…which is super unappealing. The East Coast Slaw wasn’t all that different from the coleslaw that is typically served with fish and chips, only difference I could detect was that it was a lot lighter than coleslaw. Another disappointment with this dish was that it claimed to come with malt vinegar, but that was not the case and my mom mentioned that the two lemon wedges that it came with weren’t enough to cut through the somewhat thick batter. Her other complaint was that the batter, while not greasy, was a little on the dry side. This was the first and probably only time I will ever see her use tartar sauce on her fish.
The final dish, Val’s dish, the potato rosti, was a dish that the waitress recommended without hesitation. While it was delicious, it was very heavy. I was very impressed by the cheese pull of the Quebec cheese curds, but there wasn’t very much sausage stuffed in it and I expected the rosti to be a lot more crisp along the outside. The bacon was crunchy as promised, but when it’s like fried potato with cheese topped with creamy hollandaise and a side of greasy bacon…it’s nice to have a little bit of a breather from all that.
Since it was a pseudo-belated birthday outing for our mom combined with the fact it was a chilly fall day, my mom wanted the apple pie. Just the thought of the buttery, flaky crust coupled with the heat of the cinnamon was just wonderful. An apple pie is like an edible hug when done right. Now, normally I would have gone a la mode regardless of whether it was blizzarding outside or not, but neither my sister or mom wanted it, so today I would do without. I’m sure you’ve learned this if you’ve read enough of my reviews or know me well enough, but I’m really particular about my food. I like my apples on the softer side (more like a melt in your mouth kind of thing) in an apple pie, the pastry should be warm, buttery, flaky, and with a little bit of crunch to it, and my ice cream, if I have it, better be made from real vanilla bean. Well, it wasn’t any of those things. The crumble was falling around the pan, the pastry was soggy and soft, the apples were very hard and you couldn’t cut through it and ended up taking a gigantic spoonful, and it was barely warm. Two bites and I was done.
Let’s just say if I come back, it’ll be for the Chicken and Waffles not the Apple Pie. I’m sorry to say this, but McDonald’s had better Apple Pies cold than this place. Based on area and type of food they were serving, I can’t say I’m surprised about the price, but it is on the more expensive side for sure. And while our waitress was really, super cheerful, there were times I found her attention to be lacking which was frustrating when we were trying to either order or get another drink/top up on a drink.
Based on today’s experience, I would recommend this place and I would definitely come back, but I would say that Vero Moderne Bistro would be my first choice for brunch. It’s just more my kind of restaurant than this one was. I would give it a 3.75/5 based on the Chicken and Waffles alone.