December 17, 2017: Considering that I’ve been to this location of The Pickle Barrel plenty of times, it’s funny that this is my first time blogging about it. I used to come to this Pickle Barrel almost yearly as a end-of-year dinner with friends. Pickle Barrel was also one of the first western chain restaurants I’d ever been to and really enjoyed. I have fond memories of the lobster and spinach dip that they used to serve (of which, I found out on this visit that they have completely revamped their menu and don’t have that classic appetizer anymore).
Ken and I ordered two small plates and two mains on this relatively quiet Sunday evening during their dinner service. I was quite surprised at how quiet and unbusy it was for a mid-December dinner hour. Maybe because it was a Sunday night?
The Thai Fried Cauliflower were lightly floured cauliflower seasoned and fried and-tossed in a sweet Thai chili sauce and sprinkled with mixed sesame seeds. The small plates section of their menu were intended to be small plates for sharing and indeed the portion was small. I guess for $5.99, it’s okay? The cauliflower was good — it’s hard to screw this up.
The Moroccan Cigars were seasoned Ontario beef hand-rolled in a mini spring roll wrapper and fried until crispy and served with hummus. I liked these! I especially liked the creamy hummus too. :9
I was in the mood for a grilled cheese sandwich so I ordered the Triple Decker Grilled Cheese thinking that it was going to be super cheesy. It had premium aged cheddar and came with a choice of fries, Caesar salad, mixed greens salad, or daily soup. I chose the Caesar salad. (For $1.49, you could also add bacon to it too.)
Unfortunately, the “triple decker” part actually only referred to the bread (-_-“) as in there were three slices of bread with just single premium aged cheddar between the three slices. I was expecting more than that. I guess I know now for the future. Taste-wise, it was a really solid grilled cheese sandwich. The cheddar was yummy.
The Harvest Bowl that Ken ordered had basmati brown rice, roasted zucchini, candied yams, shredded kale, crumbled herbed goats cheese, roasted chicken breast, toasted almonds, crisp apples, grape tomatoes, and a maple balsamic and fig dressing. It was okay to me. The rice was a bit dry and the rest of it looked a little dry too. :8
I’m a little disappointed in Pickle Barrel. I guess it had always been a favourite restaurant to me in the past that now coming back, their food just isn’t all that outstanding anymore. I remember its food used to be more hearty and big in terms of portion. They do have many more options on their menu now, but the food just seems so-so.