Saturday, February 20, 2016

Eating up the Hill: You don't order a burger at the Parliamentary Restaurant

I forgot what I'll assume should be one of the foodie rules: don't order something simple at a place that specializes in the fancier things. Or, put another way, if you want a burger go to a burger joint.

I found myself for the second time in the Parliamentary Restaurant last week. My first visit I enjoyed a nice steak. This visit I was in the mood for lighter fare. Much of the menu is fancier items like spaghetti, salmon and lamb, but I decided to keep it simple and go with a cheeseburger with bacon, cheese and sauteed mushrooms. As usual, salad on the side in lieu of fries.

Restaurant: Parliamentary Restaurant
Dish: Homemade Bistro Beef Burger with salad or fries
Price: $13.25 (before tax)

I wasn't confident in my choice, and that lack of confidence was justified when my order arrived. My first thought was that it was a particularly small patty -- thick, but not wide. It was lean beef, but lacked flavour. The bacon was alright but the cheese lacked zip and the mushrooms lacked personality. The bun was at least as small as the burger, so I didn't end up with an excess of bread. As for the salad, it was a salad. Nothing to write home about.

It reminded me of a hotel hamburger. Trying hard but achieving less. But it's your fault for going to the Westin and ordering a damned cheeseburger.

My friend had the meal-sized Ceasar salad with chicken, dressing on the side, hold the bacon. He declared the lettuce crisp, the chicken moist, and the portion size satisfying. It's advertised as a Ceasar Salad with "Sourdough croutons, parmesan, double smoked bacon and fresh lemon dressing " and a large with chicken clocks in at $15.75.

And we did both agree that the complimentary bread basket was fantastic.

Rest assured, I have learned my lesson. I will confine my Parliamentary Burgers to the grill at the Valour Building.

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