I purchased a TravelZoo voucher for $49 for dinner for 2 at Symons Roadhouse in Evanston (NW Calgary). It included a shared appy (up to $17), 2 entrees (up to $32 each), and a shared dessert (up to $8). It was a fair amount of food for $49 – a great deal.
Symons Roadhouse is located in the back of the Symons Valley Farmers Market. It’s a neat little restaurant – very ‘country’. The walls and ceiling are layered with rough cut live edge wood and all the lights and decorations make you feel like you’re in a Western movie. The space is pretty open, but some of the tables are kind of close together. We ended up having pleasant conversations with each of the tables on both sides of us. Service was slow. The server apologized, as it got pretty busy around the time we were there.
We ordered the lobster poutine to share as an appetizer. The appetizer list included a lot of potatoes… sure, we could have chosen a salad, but we wanted to try the lobster poutine so we could compare it to the lobster poutine at Brigg’s. The fries were perfectly cooked – fresh and crispy and flavourful. The shellfish butter sauce was quite good, but it all pooled in the bottom of the bowl. The fries on top were missing some of the flavour of the sauce. I really think they need to serve the poutine in a shallower dish so that more fries have access to more of the sauce all of the time. The little blobs of mascarpone cheese were a nice touch – a little dollop of creamy goodness in random bites! When I got a good bite of fries with lots of the sauce and a bit of cheese, the poutine was super delicious. My preference is still Brigg’s lobster poutine because I think theirs has more flavour, but this was a close second.
While waiting for our entrees, our server quickly took away our empty beer glasses and didn’t ask whether we wanted more. Hmmm… I’ve never experienced that before. We had to flag her down (eventually) and ask for more drinks. Then, she only brought one! We had to flag her down again to ask her for the other one. Even the table beside us was laughing at the awkward situation.
The entrees were really slow to come out, but once they came they were quite enjoyable. We did note that presentation was lacking – Jay’s huge steak was kind of plopped on top of his potatoes and veggies, and my jambalaya was just spooned into the bowl. Jay ordered the bone-in ribeye steak with horseradish mashed potato, green beans and cabernet jus. He ordered his steak medium rare and it came perfectly cooked. The mashed potatoes were buttery and zingy with the horseradish on top. The green beans were cooked to perfection and the jus was nicely flavoured. For a regular price of $35, it was a fair dish with excellent flavours.
My jambalaya was full of meat. Literally. A whole lot of prawns, pork, sausage, and chicken! It was a very filling dish. For a regular price of $26 it was good bang for the buck. The rice may have been a tad over cooked, but it wasn’t a big deal because most of the dish was meat, not rice.
By the time we had to order dessert we were both stuffed. I don’t know if it’s because we had fries for an appetizer, but I was more full than I expected to be. We ordered the chocolate pecan pie with milk chocolate ganache, bourbon cream and praline. Wowsa. Really good! And, it was a fairly large serving to share.
You could have rolled us out of there! Using the $49 TravelZoo voucher this dinner was excellent value. We quite liked the restaurant and will return – it’s locally owned, it’s not too far away from us, and it serves straight forward food that tastes good (although it may not look fancy). However, similar to my last experience there over 1.5 years ago, service was slow and confused.