Friday, April 10, 2009

Saanich Roadhouse Bar and Grill—5285 W Saanich Road—250•479•6612

Roadhouse Prime Rib Burger
$15


This is not a roadhouse. Despite the promises; there are no Texas style BBQ items on the menu, and there is nowhere for you to watch your meat cook on a spit. The walls are covered with cheap furniture store art: in short this place is a sham. Over two years ago the fine men who brought us The Boom Boom Room promised Greater Victoria would get its own Big Texan. Instead we got some pseudo-upscale rat-hole serving Thai Noodle Salad. This place is perhaps the biggest restaurant disappointment the Victoria area has ever seen.

Visions of chicken-fried steaks danced in my head when I first read this Times Colonist article two years ago. Sadly the vision for this restaurant changed completely, and now we're stuck with another place with a tourist trap menu and a supplier patty burger.

When this package came to the table the little burger discus had sunk so far into the over-toasted bun that it was almost impossible to see. Soon I found it hiding behind a thin layer of cheese, exuding all the fucking banality of a high school newspaper. This same patty is being supplied to probably dozens of other area restaurants, and it's just plain boring. Oh sure they use a ciabatta bun to try and fool you into thinking this is some sort of bourgeoisie treat, but anyone who eats at McDonald's knows its a fucking scam.

The Saanich Roadhouse is a joke. It's all borrowed style and no substance. The spiral staircase and tall tables might impress some, but not people who actually eat when they go to restaurants. Eating in the parking lot of the gas station next door would have been a more pleasant experience. At least a gas station doesn't put on airs.

VERDICT: Broken Promises and Shattered Dreams: The Saanich Roadhouse Story.

36 comments:

Angelo said...

And it looks like the owners are trying to offload the business..

http://www.loopnet.com/xNet/Looplink/Profile/Profile.aspx?LID=15876412&STID=naibc

dk said...

I'd heard they were trying to sell, but wasn't able to confirm.

Thanks for the info.

Anonymous said...

We will not be returning to this place any time soon. The food was awful, expensive for what you receive. I've never had a chicken breast that was so tough that I could not cut it. If they had left the skin on it would have been twice as thick. It' a BIG dissappointment.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what experience you guys had but I thought the place is beautiful and the food is outstanding. I have gone there Three times and never had a bad experience, I have taken my family my staff and friends and it has always had hugh reviews from them. These owners have spent a great time and money on this place and it seems that it is working for them. Never judge a book by it's cover or one unhappy person..Go try it!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Are we talking about the same place? On both of my experiences at the Roadhouse I found the food to be great. And the picture you've included doesn't look at all like the burger they serve. Did you take everything out of it? I see the tomato and lettuce on the side there are you missing the onion rings and bacon too? I don't know what kind of sleazy diners you usually eat at, I see you were looking forward to the white trash favorite: chicken-fried steak, but i thought the Roadhouse was delicious. I'd also recommend the pulled pork sandwich. As for the place itself, it's gorgeous. They hardwood floors and cedar beams and an antique harley-davidson hung on the wall. The joint has real character. Overall I loved it, and would recommend it.

Anonymous said...

i thought this place was a shithole too.

good work on the blog guys,i look forward to more great reviews ;)
-danny

Anonymous said...

I'll give it this, at least the place has character. How often have we walked into an upscale place and been confronted by the individual ego or selling theme with no room for any real personality or spontaneity? The service was awesome, the burger was good (though prefab the meat is well seasoned) My girlfriend had the pork loin from the red barn and it was awesome! Didn't feel like we were sequestered to a quiet corner, the plates were clean and the layout was rustic and charming. Definitely will return at some point this summer.

Anonymous said...

I tried this place out after I read all this blogs. Here is what I think, yes they spent a great deal of money building this place. The food was good I had the prime rib burger and found it to be one of the better burgers I have had in a restuarant in victoria. (DK needs to give this place a second look and chance as I see that he went there when they just open their doors)My wife had the chicken penne and said it could of used alittle more kick to it and also included garlic bread with it instead of two little pieces of bread. Would we go back yes and I also would recommend this place too.

Anonymous said...

btw it's"airs"not "heirs"

dk said...

The true sign of a person with no point: a guy that attacks language use (and gets it fucking wrong).


Main Entry:1 air Listen to the pronunciation of 1 air
Pronunciation:\ˈer\
Function: noun
Usage: often attributive
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin aer, from Greek aēr
Date: 14th century

4 d: an artificial or affected manner (put on airs)

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/airs

dk said...

Yah fuck I'm a moron, misread your comment. Temper got the better of me.

I'm a fuckin blog not a newspaper, I don't have editors and proofreaders. Point is your restaurant is dogshit and bares no resemblance to what was promised for the location (a restaurant that would have actually been fun to eat at).

Why the fuck would anyone travel out to saanich to eat macaroni and cheese that's been doused in ketchup flavoured red sauce? Turn this place into a Texas Roadhouse already and make it the destination restaurant it should have been.

Anonymous said...

people who eat ther should live within the zip code..... so you filthy unapreciative fuck asses can go back to the smelly cocks you ride to pay for the bus fare it cost you to come out and feel out of place just like you should.... get a life.... move north or gain a sense of decency...

Anonymous said...

The only thing decent about the Saanich Roadhouse is the fact that it probably won't be open much longer if it continues to have an identity crisis between the Med Grill and McDonald's.

Anonymous said...

i totaly agree with every word dk has said .i have never been so dissapointed in a place in my life.but i must say that is probably due to the hype and the antisipation of 2 years of waiting for the promised texas bbq.they seem to have bullshitted enough to get allot of people to go once anyways.as for the tastless ones that keep going back,at least the good burgers in town won't be wasted on them.lesson learned never again.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I were very disappointed. When we first walked in, we thought "wow, this looks great". That was as good as it gets. My husband ordered the "Prime Rib Burger" for $15. I ordered a stuffed chicken dish. We got our orders and I questioned the waitress why his didn't include the salad. She said that is the way it comes! (contrary to what was on the menu). I told her mine didn't look like chicken. She said "that is what you ordered". After a few bites we realized that we got somebody else's order. We eventually got our orders and the 'prime rib' burger was a pre-grinded, previously frozen, sawdust paddy garnished with a blackened bun. The fries were likely frozen McCains, white, enemic and dry. My stuffed chicken was much like something found in your groceries frozen section looking so beautiful on the box but a disappointment once you look in the box.

Save your money and gas, stay away from this place.

Anonymous said...

Very disappointing restaurant. The special, rabbit stew, was ordered at our table. We counted a total of three tiny bites of rabbit. The rest was pasty mashed potatoes. A totally unsatisfactory meal for $16. A word to the server was returned with a blank stare.

Anonymous said...

I ordered ribs and got Mc Ribs although I did get to look at the most bazaar reno and decorating I have ever seen. Now they want karaoke?

Leo Chalifour said...

Wow guys,I went several times now and every time the food was great. I was surprised to see such negative comments, as my experience has been totally opposite. the Sunday and Wednesday specials are amazing and tonight I had the Louisiania Cat fish was breathtaking. I hightly recomment this place to everyone. Leo Chalifour

Anonymous said...

Loved it! Went last Saturday, the food was fab, the decor was creative and posh, and the service was the best I've had at a local eatery in ages. The menu was not large but had a good variety. We sat on the outside patio which is nestled in a woods-like atmosphere with comfy black wicker chairs. We will most definately be going back and we will be recommending the Roadhouse to our friends. CJ

Anonymous said...

wow brutal!! i cant believe people would spend their time posting such mean comments when it really sounds like it just wasnt "your style"! I know this place is amazing and i will be going back!!

Anonymous said...

We have been there about 4 or five times and have greatly enjoyed it. We have brought family young and old and they thought it was great too. Great atmosphere, great service, great food.

Anonymous said...

Went there a while ago. I would consider it crazy expensive even if it weren't for the negatives listed above. My parents said the same. A pretentious fake made to impress (ie scam) other pretentious fakes, like the ones giving positive reviews above.

Anonymous said...

Oh and I forgot to mention the bizarre hours. They are bizarre. I'm pretty sure they aren't even open Monday and Tuesday, and only from 4-11 or something.

Anonymous said...

Yum! Loved it and would defintely return. We eat out a lot and have been dissapointed by many, many restaurants in Victoria. This restaurant however was pretty decent and not overly expensive. Judging by most of DKs writing he doesn't seem to be the kind of person I would take advice from anyway. His language speaks worlds about him. Probably some low-life from the trailer park not a food connaisseur.

Alastair Barnett said...

I'm visiting the Roadhouse Grill on Thursday, January 14, 2010.

For a professionally written, objective restaurant review of this establishment, please check out my blog on Monday 18, January: www.thewritingbutler.ca

Professional member: Professional Writers Association of Canada. www.pwac.ca

Anonymous said...

I LOVED IT..!! I have been a server for many years and know good service and food. This place is full of beauty from the building to the servers and to the wonderful food. There are so many options to choose from, how can you judge from only one experience from one plate of food?? This place is a must try and if they didn't succeed the first time trust me try again.
I dont think anyone should say not to eat at this Restaurant, because the ironic thing is, is that person probably cant cook worth sh*t anyways. Dont Be Such Haters, its not the end of the world you big baby. lol.

WoolyD said...

DK should find another hobby. This place kicks ass. I also had the burger great. The service was 100% and I even asked to meet this Chris Wilson guy just to see what he is like. He's a cool guy who just likes to cook and make money, I fail to see the wrong in that. Our waitress often stopped by to check on us. The decor was far from "borrowed" It was lit just right for the time of day. I can't wait to see what its going to be like in the summer with the bbq on the deck. I will be returning very soon and bringing my friends. His client demographic was diverse and no one looked out of place. 8.5/10

WoolyD said...

*burger was great* maybe I should proof read........

Anonymous said...

I agree with the original article. this place's food is awful and horribly overpriced.

Anonymous said...

we drove out there from downtown Victoria to see what it was all about well it sucked the food was tasteless and the service was bad.What a waste of time and gas for a place like this! All you Victoria people save your money and gas and go somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

Guinness on tap is the only good thing. Wait far too long to be seated on a not very busy night. Chicken wings as an appy and they tasted of fridge/freezer. Not even half way through the appetizer and our two burgers arrived. Server simply put them on the table as if there was nothing wrong and maybe we should learn to eat our appetizers more quickly. My lamb burger was a lamb maybe three years ago. So if you like mutton burger this is your place. Pre -formed beef patty (Thrifty's ?) Frozen salt water fries out of a freezer bag and heated up. Two Guinness, one chicken wings, two burgers, $58. Second and last time there. Owner should go to Mychosen Cafe and learn how to cook fries and the Pink Bicycle and taste a real burger. If you must . . . go and laugh at the decor inspired maybe by a decorator suffering from a multi personality disorder.

And yes it was listed for sale before they served the first meal and still for sale. Good Luck

NAI Commercial
Commercial Real Estate Services

Business For Sale - Saanich Roadhouse Bar & Grill - Business and Property Sale
$2,500,000
5285 West Saanich Road, Victoria, BC

Anonymous said...

I worked for these guys...i think they were wicked awesome bosses! Say what you want about the food because you like and pay for what you like BUT the design is completely original. It may look like shit your mom bought from IKEA but they actually travelled the world to find it and bring it back here. ANYWAY there's new owners now so give peace a chance and try it out - WHY??? because those of us who live out here would like to have somewhere chill to go eat and drink at again!

Anonymous said...

Can't wait for it to re-open! Heading there next Saturday. And yes, it will be great to have somewhere to eat and drink in the neighbourhood again!

Lynn Davis said...

just had a fantastic meal at the roadhouse. Brand new owners . Brand new menu. Live easy to listen to music. Great decor. Good drinks and good prices. Awesome chef. Check it out

marken said...

Thank goodness the business has been sold....new owner, new chef, new sous chef, new menu....had lunch there today....could not have been better. Hope they get their new website up and running very soon....

Marken

Anonymous said...

Have ordered 6 different menu items in the past 6 months,trying to find something edible. I want this place to work! It is cool, a needed addition out here in the boonies, and pretty to boot. But the food is just soo bad! Seriously, we have had meals that we did not eat.....