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The Works (All locations)
Roost - The Urban Smokehouse
Foods from The Roost
2009 Jan 3
I took my parents and my daughter out to Roost tonight. We've had mixed luck with suppers at The Works in the Glebe, but I've been wanting some good roast chicken, so I thought it was worth the long drive in rush hour to Orleans.
The menu looked good online, but overall the meal was disappointing.
We started with their stack of onion rings (the same ones served at The Works) which are fine, but outrageously overpriced. At $10 for about 10 onion rings, they rival Beaver Tails for profit margin.
We all had chicken. My 5 year old had their two drum sticks with a side of risotto. (Ask me how much I love that my kid's preferred side dish is risotto.) My father and I had the half chicken dinner with the skewer of roasted vegetables, my mother had the two leg dinner, with a side Greek salad. The white meat on the half chicken was dry dry dry. That kind of greasy dry that tells you the chicken is drenched in fat, but overcooked. And we were dining at an unfashionably early 6 p.m. The skin is crispy and salty, which is satisfying, but doesn't make up for dry meat. Under the the leg there was a little mound of shredded dark meat that was delicious--flavourful, moist, juicy. Unfortunately there were only a few mouthfuls of that.
The skewers of veg were a nice idea. I was surprised there were two. They had enough flavour, but the sweet potato was underdone. I don't know if they blanch them or pre-roast them, but you can't put a big chunk of sweet potato on a stick with zucchini and expect them to be done roasting at the same time.
The Greek salad was tasty but onions were way over-represented. There was close to a full red onion in there, in big chunks. I quite like a bit of red onion in a salad, but this was too much. The caramelized onion risotto was mushy and tasted too much of fried onion, if that makes sense. It was just all onion, it had no subtlety or nuance to the flavour.
Their dessert selection is uninspiring, so we decided to just come home and polish off some leftover Christmas baking.
I can't say I'd bother with the long drive for such an uninspired meal again. I do wish we'd tried more of the sides, because they all sound good, but honestly, I think in future I'll just pick up one of those grocery store chickens, it's easier and cheaper.
All told the dinner came to $65.65 including taxes, no tip. Only one bev, a 1/2 pint of Beau's for my dad, water for the rest of us.
EDITED TO ADD: I forgot to mention the "Q" sauces, which were as disappointing as the rest. I ordered the sweet and spicy, which I expected to be a nice tangy BBQ sauce and was, instead, a nasty imitation of the already nasty Swiss Chalet sauce. O! what's a gal to do for decent barbecue in this town!?
2008 Jun 14
Went to The Roost this evening, both my wife and I had the quarter leg plate and found the chicken to be amazing, it was perfectly cooked, beautifully smoked, well seasoned and for less than 10$ I wouldn't complain on the price.
I had their "hotter than hell" Q sauce, yeah it was too spicy, to the point where it took away from the chicken's great taste.
All be told the meal was excellent and I will return, I've read the previous reviews and can't believe it's from the same place, I will certainly be back and my wife also. For what it's worth, it's much better than Swiss Chalet or St Hubert, real smoked chicken doesn't compare to those 2 places.
We experience a 5-10 second power outage which ended up sending the vents on fritz and the restaurant started filling with smoke, we were done our dinner so it wasn't a problem but they comped our appetizer and both our beers too due to the hassle and the loud siren.
2 thumbs up.
2008 Mar 18
We also had the free dessert coupon for The Roost (or is it just Roost?). It was nice inside and the menu was fun and sounded tasty. Unfortunately much like The Works I found the place cute and gimmicky but lacking in quality food.
I had the quarter chicken leg dinner with "double mashed taters" (more like not even mashed once, made a week ago and re-heated in the microwave) and I also added the grilled veggie sticks which were pretty good. Hubby had the hot chicken sandwich with sweet potato fries (the sp fries are great same as at The Works). I liked the taste of the chicken, it was smoky and had pretty good flavour but I found the portion pretty small for the price. For our free dessert we were not given an option or even told what it was. We were brought out a brownie with ice cream and whipped cream on top. Like Sourberry mentioned it was pretty small but the normal price for it is just over $3 so in that case it's not bad. It was very good but it's pretty hard to screw up a warm brownie with ice cream. I must mention that the service wasn't the greatest either, the staff just seemed miserable to even be there and we had quite a wait in both getting the food and getting our bill. All in all the meal was not terrible but it was not worth the price when you can get a tastier chicken dinner for less at Swiss Chalet or St. Hubert.
We won't be returning.
2008 Mar 16
Passing through Orleans and hungry for a late lunch, hubby and I debated between The Works or Roost. We both love the The Works but decided to give Roost a shot. Went in, The Works was almost full but Roost was totally empty, that should have been a clue.
Started off with the Trim Road Steamrollers as an appetizer. (From their menu: baked wedges of flour tortilla stuffed with roasted red pepper cream cheese with hot jalapeños, green onions, sweet green chilies & a side of our “hotter than hell” & sour cream for dippin’.) Found the steamrollers to be very tasty with a lot of heat! The "hotter then hell" salsa was at best medium though.
Hubby and I each ordered a quarter leg maple smoked chicken dinner - him with the double smoked bacon and chipotle potato salad (nice flavour) and me with the caramelized onion risotto (good but I can make the same at home). Also came with cornbread (nothing special but I'm not a huge fan of cornbread) and sauce (tasted bland to me). I didn't enjoy the chicken, found it to be very greasy and didn't enjoy the taste.
Capped off dinner with a free dessert (we had received a coupon at our last visit at The Works). Had the choice between a banana split and some sort of brownie. Went with the banana split - teeny tiny cup with half a banana cut in quarters, a small scoop of ice cream, canned whipped cream, two strawberries, some chocolate syrup and peanuts. So glad I didn't pay for that!
Must mention that hubby ordered Root Beer to accompany his meal - menu said bottomless soft drinks were $2.50 - he received a bottle of root beer, finished his bottle, was asked if he wanted a refill, said yes. When the bill came, he had been charged for two root beers, both $3.50. What a rip-off!!! First, root beer is a soft drink and so it should have been $2.50. Second, don't say it's bottomless if it's not, let the client know when he orders that it's from a bottle and excluded from the same deal as other soft drinks (and that's a major pet peeve - what is it with root beer? I could see if they went through extra care, served it in frosted mugs or something but if it's no more trouble to serve than a pepsi - then don't charge more!) Third, don't call it a refill if you're going to charge twice! Anyway, that pissed me off and I would have said something but hubby told me to keep quiet. He's too nice.
Whole meal came to a whopping $47 (including taxes and tip) which I think is ridiculous for a very mediocre lunch. I love The Works but I would never go back to Roost! But anyway, it's a matter of time before they turn the whole place into a large Works.
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