Joey CoquitlamPosted: 11/18/2012
Let’s set the scene for this one. It was the weekend before school started, with all of us both anticipating and dreading the start of term. This term was a little different for me. I was going to be working full-time instead of attending classes, and starting work a week after the start of classes. So while I still had a bit of my summer left, for Sam, Dolph, and Pickles, it was their last weekend of freedom, which is why we headed out to Joey Coquitlam before a night of hooliganing. (We actually just sat on a blanket in the park and blew bubbles. Who needs adulthood?)
I’d been to Joey before, although to the Burnaby location a couple years ago. I didn’t remember much about it…well, it was very dark, the waitresses seemed pretty but identical, and the food was mediocre. While I wasn’t impressed with that first visit, I wasn’t in the mood to go to the effort of discovering some new hidden gem in the area, and I was also not in the mood to revisit the many Korean restaurants in the Burquitlam area. Plus, the deal with a chain restaurant: while the food may not be fantastic, in general, most people will find something that they like there, making it a good choice for a group gathering.
Sam ordered the Ahi Tuna Club ($15.50 with skinny fries, +$1.75 for sub soup/salad/yam fries), subbing the fries for Chanterelle Mushroom Soup. The sandwich had grilled ahi tuna, red pepper relish, arugula, and panko onion rings, panko being a type of Japanese breadcrumbs. The bun was nice and moist, while the relish complemented it nicely. The tuna, meanwhile, was not too fishy, actually to the point that she couldn’t really tell that she was eating tuna. The onion rings were crispy and well-seasoned, but Sam chose to eat them separately from the sandwich. She personally thought that her sandwich was acceptable, but probably not worth what she paid for it. The soup was also quite average. Although the menu claimed it contained a splash of sherry, it tasted regular.
We all ended up choosing from the “Sandwiches” heading in the menu, with Dolph opting for the Lobster Grilled Cheese ($15), subbing the fries for Caesar Salad. The cheese was both Brie and cheddar, and the sandwich was served with cocktail sauce. Dolph was disappointed at the distinct lack of lobster flavour in her sandwich, but I thought that was only to be expected. (With $15, what could we really hope for?) There was nothing great about her sandwich, and she said she preferred the grilled cheese from Meat & Bread. The Caesar salad, meanwhile, was a bit bland; adding a bit of lemon (which she took from my plate) helped to enhance the flavours. She did like that the lettuce was fresh, though.
As a former resident of California, I’m always amused by “Californian” items on menus. What really makes something “California”? Avocados? So I was somewhat amused when Pickles chose to order the California Chicken Club ($13.75), subbing her fries for Yam Fries. Surprisingly, there was no avocado here, but instead aged cheddar, smoky bacon, and spicy mayo on a Portuguese bun. Pickles found it a tasty burger, but would have appreciated a toothpick to hold it together. Also, there was too much chicken in comparison to the other components, and the chicken itself was quite dry. The yam fries were average, but what she expected out of the meal.
Lastly, I had the Baja Fish Tacos ($13.50), which came in a trio without an accompanying side. The tacos consisted of fish and shrimp and guacamole housed in a white corn tortilla, served with hot sauce. These tacos were nothing memorable, and I definitely would have preferred just two tacos and a side of fries as opposed to three. I found the omission of fries odd, considering that all the other sandwiches were served with fries as the default. At least the tacos were easy to eat, and there was nothing terribly amiss about them. The tomatoes and lettuce appeared satisfyingly fresh, and the ratio of ingredients was perfect. I also didn’t see the point of including the hot sauce, as it didn’t really add anything to the tacos. Also, the sauce was one of those hot sauces that have no other flavour than spiciness, which I personally don’t enjoy. Although I got sufficiently full from nabbing yam fries off of Pickles’s plate, I wish that these tacos were served with some kind of side.
What did we get out of this visit to Joey’s? The food was acceptable but nothing spectacular. But in reality, the experience was definitely in line with my expectations. All I really wanted was a yummy, cheap Bellini and a night out with my friends. Expectations are everything.
550 Lougheed Highway