Friday, May 17, 2013

Unexpected Terrific Kelsey's

Last night my wife and I obtained prescreening tickets to see Fox Searchlight Pictures movie "The Way Way Back".  But first we needed to find a place to eat before attending the movie at the Cineplex Odeon at the South Keys Shopping Centre.

Online we found a coupon for a free appetizer if you sign up for the Kelsey's eKlub.  I had been hankering for some nachos and this also being Thursday, wings were half price.  Couple that with a burger and fries, you have a great time with typical bar food at a significantly reduced price. So we decided to stop off at the nearby Kelsey's (2206 Bank Street, Ottawa) for dinner.

We were debating our choice as at the Richmond Hill Kelsey's we had mixed results on our visits and the Newmarket Kelsey's we were barely even noticed.  The Newmarket location we were seated and given menues.  10 minutes later, we left after our waiter could not seem to find his/her area as we never saw or heard from them.  So we were a little leery about what to expect from this Kelsey's.

We arrived at 5:00 P.M. and were seated immediately within a rather calm restaurant atmosphere   A few customers were sprinkled throughout the main dining area. Restaurant didn't seem that busy at the start, but gradually filled as our meal went on.

We pulled out our eKlub e-mail providing us with a free appetizer choice between a 7 Layer Dip or a Cheese Spinach Dip and then perused the menus.

Our waitress, Jennifer, stopped by to welcome us to Kelsey's and inquired how we were doing today, if we had any questions about the menu, drinks and if we were ready to order.  We ordered everything at once as we had previously sketched out what we wished to order before arriving.

The Order: 1 7 Layer Dip (deep fried pita, tortillias, etc.), 1 Cheddar Bacon Sirloin Burger with Fries and Dr. Pepper, and 16 Regular Honey Garlic Wings with Ranch and 1 glass of water

We waited about 5 minutes before our drinks arrived. Throughout the meal Jennifer ensure the Dr. Pepper and water were constantly refilled.  We never had to wait for drinks to be refilled which is usually a good sign of the attentive service at a restaurant.  This service would continue and is one of the reasons we were impressed with this visit to Kelsey's.

 The complimentary 7 layer dip arrived 5 minutes after the drinks.  Service was steady as Jennifer placed the plate of food down, got two smaller plates and moved them in front of us.  She also took the opportunity to quickly refill our drinks.  The 7 layer dip itself comes with tortilla chips and deep fried pita.  The pita was pretty soft and tasty all by itself never mind with the dip. The dip itself had salsa, tomatoes, different cheeses, spinach dip and sour cream.  Great combination to dig through either with the provided spoon or with the tortilla chips.  The portions were perfectly portioned with the last piece of pita being used to mop up the end of the dip.  The empty 7 layer dips were quickly whisked away by Jennifer and replaced with ketchup, mustard and vinegar bottles for the forthcoming burger, fries and the rest of the meal.

Less than 10 more minutes went by and the rest of our meal arrived.  The service continued with Jennifer checking if we had everything and five minutes into our meal asking if everything was o.k. or if there were any issues with our meal.  Nothing wrong and everything was right.  A quick smile and she was gone to serve her other tables which were now becoming more numerous.

The Cheddar Bacon Sirloin Burger was top notch.  Melted cheese accompanied with bacon not overcooked  crispy or undercooked slimy accompanied a very tasty burger paddy.  A perfect burger that only needed a slight dash of ketchup and mustard.  No sloppiness of toppings onto the plate either, just a perfect portion to compliment the burger.   The accompanying fries were the only issue I had with the entire meal, sure they were good, but the they were about room temperature only.

The Honey Garlic wings that came by were accompanied by the ranch dressing in a cup with a couple of pieces of celery and carrots.  My wife dug into these but was willing to share in exchange for some fries.  The wings were good but were over slathered in the Honey Garlic sauce.  Thank goodness Jennifer had left us with copious amounts of napkins as these were definitely needed to remove the excess honey garlic sauce dripping from our fingers after each wing was consumed.

Overall, our meal was excellent.  Jennifer was attentive in ensuring we had everything to enjoy ourselves.  She also stopped by our table to retrieve dishes when finished.  She kept things moving at a steady pace without making us feel rushed.  The Kelsey's location is ideal as it is mere walking distance to the nearby Cineplex Odeon for dinner and a date with your significant other.  As well both the theatre and restaurant are within a short walk of the nearby OC Transpo South Keys Transitway Station making getting there easy.  For a chain restaurant, this Kelsey's was an unexpected hit.

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