Wednesday, January 26, 2011

UVic Grad Lounge

Address: Graduate Student Society building, UVic
Price: $8-13
Notes: Better than the cafeterias on campus, but slow service.

It took me nearly six years of being on campus to find the grad lounge (sometimes called the IQ bistro). After so many years, I was bored to tears with the food in the SUB, so I was very excited to find something a little bit Different.

The overall menu is nice. Rather than the standard pub fare at the undergraduate counterpart, Felicitas, there are some unique options. It's also less like glorified cafeteria food and more like Real Food. There's a good burger, and even better wedge fries. They also have an excellent local beer selection, and great specials.

January 25, 2011
This is the only thing that makes me dislike this place. I don't know what it is, but I'm not the only one who has had this experience. Once, I got my menu and it took 30 minutes to put in my order - and of course it was a day that I was starving! The waitress was very apologetic, but it is a bit of a pattern. I think part of the problem is they're under staffed for the size and busyness of the place. This probably explains why not many undergrads eat here - you'd never get to class on time!

February 3, 2011
Once again it's crazy busy in here. Luckily, I have time today. Just overheard it's a 20-30 minute wait for food. Hopefully I don't fall of my bar stool if I faint with hunger!  Also had to ask for my bill again... despite sitting right next to the till and sitting here for ages. I guess I look like I'm working (I sort of am...) but I feel like a jerk having to ask for it.

January 25, 2011
I ordered what was described as a "spicy chicken" salad. It was kind of disappointing, which is too bad because usually I've enjoyed the food from here. Part of the issue was the "mixed greens" - it was that really frilly, really fancy mix but in the wrong season it can be quite bitter.  The other weird thing was that although there were hunks of apple to go with the pieces of chicken, there were also hunks of cucumber which didn't really seem to fit the theme.

The fries, however, were great as usual. They're thick, wedge fries deep fried (possibly twice?) to be crispy and almost airy. They also have poutine on the menu, and Claim to have read cheese curds but I didn't get to double check with the waitress because, as usual, by the time I got my bill it was so much later I had to run to my meeting.

February 3, 2011
Wasn't planning to eat at work today, but I fell asleep without putting away leftovers from dinner last night. Thought I was going to have to catch something on the run, but my schedule unexpectedly opened up so I opted for Real Food!

I got the Black & Blue burger. They make a great beef burger here! The black & blue is a house-made patty coated in cajun spices so it's a bit burnt on the outside, topped with a tangy blue cheese. It's so juicy they practically should provide wet wipes. The bun is fresh with sesame seeds but pretty classic 'burger' (not artisan). My only complaint is that they often put a GIANT piece of lettuce on top... it's hard to eat the burger and manage the lettuce like that... I usually end up ripping it in half.

I kind of wish it didn't cost an extra $1.50 to get two sides... I love having a few fries with a salad or a soup and it feels like a money grab to charge extra. Perhaps there's a reason why, but I always feel ripped off. Today I had the curry-coconut-squash soup. It was quite good, although my dearly-departed grandma would have complained it was too cold and been right for once! The fries were extra crispy today which was quite nice! Little packets of ketchup instead of a bottle... I think they must not have enough bottles to go around, which is weird. I guess I was sitting at the bar instead of a table.

March 31, 2011

This isn't what I ordered. I asked for the seared tuna salad. They must sound similar. She did ask me how I wanted my steak but I assumed she meant "tuna steak" and didn't check. Oh well - it was very good! The blue cheese and the steak went well together and the vinaigrette was lovely. I liked the veggies on the side - it meant I could pass off the asparagus to my coworker since I only like it al dente.


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