Our team hadn’t been out for a group lunch in quite a while, so we chose One18 Empire because most people hadn’t been there yet. Josh declined the day of, with the good intention of saving money. Due to some very strong peer pressure, he caved and joined us. Sadly, his lunch turned into an extreme disappointment, but I’ll get to that…
We were promptly greeted and seated, and water poured for the table. The server explained the way the menu works (hands, fork, spoon) and we all decided on what to order. We were informed that the soups no longer come in bread bowls (my coworkers were disappointed) and that the last few items on the hands list were not sandwiches (meatloaf, lasagna and omelette). Most of us got the 3 items for $19. I compared my experience this time to my 1st experience here for lunch. On that day I got the smokey tomato soup (in a bread bowl), the grilled cheese, and the One18 kale caesar salad. I highly recommended each of those three items to my team.
A couple folks got the grilled cheese. When I had it last time, it had thick slices of tomatoes and big chunks of avocado. This time, the slices of tomato were thin, and there were no chunks of avocado. We even checked with the kitchen and they came back saying that it was ‘avocado mayo’ now. Hmmmm… So their sandwiches were much thinner than mine had been. One person got the lasagna and said it was really good – very cheesy. Another two got the smoked chicken sandwich and enjoyed it. I tried a bit of the chicken and it was definitely smokey. I wasn’t a fan of the BBQ sauce though. Josh ordered the tuna lettuce wrap. He thought it would be a tuna wrap made with a tortilla. Instead, he got a pile of tuna salad on some lettuce leaves! Because it truly wasn’t what he was expecting, the kitchen was nice enough to take it back and replace it with the smoked chicken sandwich. Sadly, he didn’t even enjoy that. I got the bacon wrapped meatloaf. I can’t recall what kind of meat the menu said it was (I’m guessing a combination of pork and beef); it was both pink and brown. It was good – two solid chunks of meat wrapped in bacon. I didn’t really love the BBQ sauce, but it went well enough. I was actually totally stuffed after my meal.
Everyone really enjoyed the soups – I guess with having only 2 options they’ve done them well. I had the smokey tomato last time and went for the spinach & garlic this time. The spinach & garlic was awesome. You really can’t go wrong with either of the soups. A couple of us did comment that the soups weren’t hot, but they certainly weren’t cold.
The people that ordered the One18 Caesar salad all really enjoyed it. I quite liked it last time too. I figured I’d try something else on the menu and got the roasted salad. It was roasted potato, carrot, bacon, pumpkin seeds, arugula, and a bourbon aged vinaigrette. I liked the idea but it was way too oily for my liking and really had little flavour. I wouldn’t get that salad again. One person ordered the apple and celery and said that it was good.
At the end of the meal, each person gets 2 bourbon sweet yorkshire puddings ‘to go’ in brown paper bags. Our buddy Josh only got one. It was the perfect ending to a hilarious debacle. It truly wasn’t his day…
Our server was truly kind enough to provide us all with separate bills, even though there were 7 of us. It was a nice treat. I just don’t like that if you pay with a credit card they take your card to the back to process it and come back with the paperwork for you to sign. These days, there’s really no reason to have to take your card to the back. I think some of the team will consider going back to One18 Empire, while others will cross it off their list. It stays on mine, as most of the food I’ve had there has been quite enjoyable.