November 09, 2012

The Keg, Downtown

An older review from my back log, back when my parents were visiting in July.  As seems to be the case, Mum and Dad take me out for a big slap up steak dinner on the last night, with a friend or two. This time, my erstwhile house mate came along, as thanks for vacating VicInPerson Towers while they visited.

The Keg don't do the best Steak in Victoria.  But they do a good one, at a good price, in pleasant surroundings.  Also, there was a desire for lobster and crab, and the Keg does the surf 'n' turf combo every year as a special.  We've had nice meals there before, and will do again no doubt.

A pre-drink while we all arrived in the bar started the evening off. Having got there a bit early we settled in with a beer (Granville Island's Hefe for me) and a chat while they prepared the table.  Beer list is painfully mainstream big brewery (Granville Island is hard to consider as 'craft' brew these days, and the quality has dropped since I've lived here), but the Hefe is a good citrusy aperitif.

Seated next to the window, we had a great view across the inner harbour. Menus arrive and we sits and think about the options.  There's the Sirloin, the Prime Rib dinner. There's the baseball steak or the 20 oz bone in steak. Or the Sirloin/King Crab platter... or even the Sirloin/Lobster extravaganza.  Experience tells me that anything more than a 10 oz steak without a heavy day before hand is going to make me do my best impression of a boa constrictor.

We share some tempura and a Lobster Gratine for the starters.  Mum's wanted a taste or two of Lobster, and this is delivered.  Meaty chunks, topped with a decent cheese sauce. Personally, I could have just gone without the gratine part and had the lobster grilled with a bit of garlic, but that's a preference.

I've opted for the crab with an 8oz Sirloin, Chicago-style Medium Rare.  That's a steak that's cooked 'aggressively' for the first few seconds, charring the outside, but hardly cooked on the inside.  All those lovely brown crispy bit, but juicy pink just inside and almost raw in the centre.  The best of all worlds, at least to me.  The crab is a bunch of King Crab legs, ready to go with a boat of butter.  There's some side dishes as well, but whose really paying attention to that.

The steak delivers what I've come to expect.  It's cooked well, to the the right order.  The open flame they use imparts a slightly heavy flavour to the outside I could do without, but it's good.  Some people can do better at a campsite (one person I know can cook steak better there than anywhere else I've had slabs of beef), but I'm happy with The Keg's version. There's the whole other thing to eating out that is the sizzle as well.

The Crab legs were fantastic, juicy, meaty lumps of crab meat that took the merest of taknk to seperate out of the legs.  Splash of butter and good times were had. I'd probably have been happy with a plate of these, a  plain baked potato and simple, green salad.  In fact, I'm now making it task for myself to prepare crab legs at home as well as this.

Dad highly enjoyed the lobster and steak.  I think Mum had a bit more of the lobster, but there was more than enough to eat.  The Prime Rib was deemed good, as was the steak and twice potato (with all the trimmings).  But I'd suggest avoiding the carb loading with all that protein.

At this point our waitress presented us with the Bill.  The service had been good throughout, but this was odd.  We weren't asked if we'd like coffee, or the dessert menu. Just "here's the bill, thanks for dining with us". We frowned a bit and asked if we could have desserts.  A hurried apology later and we got dessert menus, but it was strange, like we weren't expected (or wanted?) to hang around beyond a quick meal.  Seeing as we had seated early, I'm sure it couldn't have been a time thing to get a second cover in, but may be so.

We shared some desserts.  The Billy Miner pie was a mountain of ice cream, fudge, and chocolate.  My blood sugar thanked me that I shared this, else I would probably still be in a sugar coma.   Fantastically rich. I had another beer, coffee was served and dad settled back with a happy class of Laphroaig, declaring the holiday a success. We headed home with full stomachs and happy memories.

Total :  I didn't pay, and I wouldn't ask.
Phone : (250) 386-7789
Address : 500 Fort St, Victoria, BC V8W1T4
Website : http://www.kegsteakhouse.com/

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