Sunday, October 18, 2009

boston pizza millwoods - edmonton, ab

boston pizza millwoods
5228 23rd Avenue

Foreward - I'm not a fan of Boston Pizza. It's always left a bad taste in my mouth. From the service to the food and everything in between. From Grand Prairie to Medicine Hat, Rocky Mountain House to Cold Lake, my experiences have always been sub par. The only good experience I've had was in the US version of Boston Pizza, (Boston's) in Great Falls, Montana.

With that said, last night I was invited to Boston Pizza in Millwoods for supper. As I'd already enjoyed dinner, I thought I would meet up and maybe have something light while enjoying the company. Arriving sometime around 6:30, the restaurant was full with the wait-line reaching the outer doors. Having a peek into the lounge yielded the same result, but just as we turned to leave we noticed 3 free stools at the bar and decided to hop on. Being that it was a Saturday night in October, it almost goes without saying that every TV in the lounge was showing Hockey Night in Canada. A very wings and beer crowd was occupying this side of the restaurant.

My fellow diners decided on their meals and we asked for a round of calamari to nibble on. The strangest thing about calamari to me, is how often it's cooked incorrectly. I find more often than not, it comes to you on the chewy side so I didn't really have high hopes. Strangely enough, it wasn't rubbery at all. I should say though, I think this had to do with the calamari being so thin. If the breading wasn't so thick, I'm pretty sure you could have use these guys for a window. There was a plus side to this though. After the paper thin pieces were fried, they ended up so crispy and delicious. It reminded me of fried pig skin..which if you haven't had, is quite addictive. We all agreed that we must have been given a funny scoop of tzatziki, because our little dish tasty like sour cream.

While we were chatting about the calamari, the two entrees arrived. Zorba the Greek pizza for the one and Ginger Citrus Chicken Salad for the other. Can anyone explain to me, why every salad comes with garlic toast? Do people commonly do this at home?

Both dishes served their purpose without any major flaws. The pizza seemed to be different than what was remembered from a previous visit so it came as a bit of a surprise to my fellow diner. I noticed half of the individual sized pizza was boxed up to go home, so I'm not too sure if that was a good sign or not. The salad, if anything, was dressed pretty heavy. So while the chicken held up fine, the salad greens had a tough go and after a few minutes were looking pretty limp. Does anyone else ask for salad dressing on the side? I've taken to doing this in the last couple of years because of the 'heavy dressing' situations I've encountered more often than not.

Lastly a comment about the service. The bartender, who did a good job of taking care of us between the steady flow of beer, didn't smile once, or interact longer than absolutely required. Picking up that 'she's having a rough night' vibe, I couldn't help but overhear the conversations she had with the wait staff in the lounge. Most importantly a flurry of f-bombs in quick succession used to describe a gentleman who was in earlier. Now I know it's one thing to have a bad night, and another to have crappy customers...but really is there any need to drop f-bombs in front of customers. Even though I know I'll occasionally end up at Boston Pizza, I always do, there is nothing enticing me to do it more often. Although I must say, from the steady lineups..they must be doing something right.


KimHo said...

After I started blogging, I started to realize that places like Boston Pizza, MickeyD's, BK, et al exists and "prosper" because it does a couple of things well: 1) produce the same product over and over regardless of the location; 2) provide "safe' items for people who don't dare to go for something else; 3) A "familiar" environment. But, once you have "grown" over it, you usually won't go back by yourself.

As for myself, my percentage of bad experiences in BP is 100%. No matter if I go by myself (only twice) or with other people, something *always* happen...

Chris said...

Well said Kim. Well said.

shokutsu said...

BP has been around so long and so ubiquitous, I can only rely on my old high school memories of this place for cheap eats and then in university days, as a place for the cheap wings and beer while catching some HNIC. I don't think I've been back since I've held a "real job" and could afford much better. :)

I'm with you on asking for salad dressing on the side, its funny to think how many people thing they are eating healthy by getting greens, when in fact the heavy fatty dressing totally obliterates any calorie reduction they think they are getting.

Sherman said...

Ack! BP is terrible. Overcooked pasta, bland pasta sauce, overpriced entrees... I only ate there because my hockey team was sponsored by them. Now that I'm not longer with the team, I am free to NOT eat there. Ugh... I'm sick thinking about it...

Kristilyn (singer-songwriter) said...

My husband and I frequent BPs quite a bit, but it's never been my favourite. However, I think that some of their pizzas are tolerable (although nothing beats homemade) and whenever I order a salad, it's with dressing on the side.

As for the garlic bread - I never do this at home! Usually it's given to my husband, or I ask them not to include it. The weird part is that they even give it to you with a taco salad ... in my opinion, garlic bread has no role with a taco salad!

On most occasions, when I eat some of the regular BP fare (pizza, wings, etc.) I leave with a stomach ache.

However, I'm glad they have some healthier dishes on the menu. I had the whole wheat pasta dish from the Delicious Alternatives menu and, after sprinkled with a LOT of chili flakes, it wasn't so bad!

This all being said, there are WAY better restaurants in Edmonton!


Chris said...

shokutsu - High school and university eats indeed. I somehow remember it being one of the few places that remained open after 11 pm for cheap food.

Sherman - here's a paper bag! ;) Nothing says good time like hockey sponsorship.

Kristilyn - Homemade pizza is sooo good. Garlic bread with taco salad? Very strange indeed. Why do they do this..Any favorite restaurants you care to share?

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