Big Ridge again? Yep, why not? The new location only carried over 4 or 5 items from the old menu so I plan on going back a few more times. It was a bit of a special occasion this time as my good friend Brad and his wife Amie were in town from Atlanta for a visit. We had a little meet and eat with some friends, it was really nice catching up and having a few Black & Tans with Mr. Brad. The Black & Tan is a wondrous blend of lager and porter and is refreshing and filling all at the same time.
I ordered the Wok Fried Squid as an appy, it sounded pretty good tossed with jalapeños, garlic and shallots although it could have used more jalapeños, just a personal preference. The batter was nice and light and it wasn’t greasy. The tubes of squid were cut in to wide strips as opposed to the usual rings and were nice and tender, cooked perfectly, which isn’t an easy task as squid get rubbery very easily.
Once again I went with pizza, big shock, for my main course but his time it had been recommended to me by my cousin Kurt who also happened to be there. If I asked you to make a pizza that represented Montreal what would you put on it? If your answer is Montreal smoked meat, spicy deli mustard, fried onions and cheese curd then you and Big Ridge are on the same wavelength. Does that sound appetizing to you? Mustard on a pizza? It was, somewhat surprisingly, very very good, yes 2 very’s. There is a light layer of tomato bases pizza sauce on the crust, then come the cheese curds all melty and delicious, the smoked meat was a little crispy around the edges from being baked and then the whole pizza gets a drizzle of deli mustard. I’m sure my Québécois friends would be a little unforgiving of this pizza given that it seems to be a random collection of French Canadian food stereotypes but I loved it.
Now let me take a minute to vent a little about a pet peeve of mine, large groups being charged an automatic gratuity. I understand that people tip different amounts and a large group may tend to tip less than many small groups would however as someone who appreciates good service I am offended that I am not trusted to tip properly on my own. In my past personal experiences I have found that when the gratuity is included the service tends to slide a little. One of my worst encounter with this situation happened in Las Vegas a few years back, it gives me shivers just thinking about it.
Big Ridge unfortunately goes by this practice and the service our group received was atrocious. At one point we had to ask the bus boy to find our waitress, at another point one of the other servers took our drink order because once again our waitress was missing in action and a third time we actually had to wander up to the bar and order and ask someone to clear our empties as we were building up quite a backlog. Our waitress wasn’t rude, she just didn’t care because she had already made her tip…you get the point. At the end of the night she got everyone’s bills wrong, which wasn’t surprising as someone else had taken most of our orders.
Don’t fret Mr. Big Ridge i will be back. I’ll just have to keep my eyes peeled for a certain waitress named Beli….no I wouldn’t do that, and I’ll make sure I don’t make reservations and just have people “show up” to avoid the terrible service.
If you would like to read my last post about Big Ridge you can see it here!