Tuesday, May 17

Caesar's Steakhouse: **

Oh, Caesar's. The plush red interior. The well-past-expiration-date waiters. The even-more-past-expiration-date cuisine. Caesar's has been around since 1972 and it shows.

Corporate Calgary has an obsession with Caesar's, which I just don't get. The very dark, very red interior is off putting, although I suppose it would do wonders when you have to endure an extended business lunch with someone exceptionally ugly. The waiters do know what they're doing, but they could do with a bit of life breathed into them. I'm all for traditional French service where the waiters swoop in and out in an incredibly efficient, invisible fashion, so I see what Caesar's is going for here, but it's just not happening for them.

Now, the food. The steaks are decent, though not exceptional. Last time I ordered a ribeye, medium, it was definitely undercooked, and I've experienced them overcooking steak as well. I ordered a steak Neptune once as well, expecting a basic steak & juicy, golden shrimp combo, and what I got was more like a few worm-looking tiny shrimps in an unappetizing white sauce on top of the steak. I must give credit where it's due - the couple times I've ordered a steak sandwich here it's been quite good.

Onto the sides. Usually, the steaks come with a cup of soup, which I had the unfortunate experience of getting once. The chicken soup, brought to me in a tiny cup, had the appearance and taste of something straight out of a Campbell's can. I've never ordered the French onion at Caesar's, but it looks equally unappetizing. Now, instead, I get the salad - a few greens out of a bagged salad mix (sometimes you get a carrot or two!) and some orange looking Kraft tasting Italian dressing. They do have a mean stuffed potato though, and then they bring out the sour cream, chives and bacon and dish it to you tableside. That's all well and good, but I have seen those dishes just resting near the waiters' station as I walk out, and that's, yet again, off putting.

The wine list isn't bad, but the tea of choice, of course, is Red Rose. In the end, my rating for Caesar's is 2 stars, which is "I wouldn't unless I had to", and it is true. I'd rather go to the Keg. I'd much rather go to Vintage, obviously, but Keg is a very decent alternative to Caesar's. I keep hoping Caesar's will get it together, but it won't. There's enough people who've been going there since the 1970s, when it was new and hot, and they will keep this behemoth afloat. Oh well.
Caesar's Steak House on Urbanspoon

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