Saturday, June 21, 2008

Restaurant Review: The Flying Steamshovel

There aren't a ton of dining options in Rossland anymore, and when you're in the mood for a burger and fries, we have less than we used to. There was a popular place up near the museum that did great Mexican take away and also had the best burgers ever on their menu. Alas, the business was bought and it's now a more expensive Mexican place - without the burgers. Now, The Flying Steamshovel is probably Rossland's best bet for the ultimate burger.

The name may sound odd, but yes, there is an establishment in Rossland named The Flying Steamshovel. The building was erected in 1896 and used to house miners during the gold rush days. Now, The Shovel, as it's called locally, houses a liquor store, a small hotel, and a pub.

I do enjoy pub grub. Rossland has another pub, The Rock Cut, but, although I had a really good meal there a few weeks ago, I noticed that the prices have increased recently, and all other anecdotal evidence I've heard is that the food really isn't that good, or it's really inconsistent. You also need to drive out there, or hike for 45 minutes.

The Shovel is under new ownership. Granted, I was not around during the previous ownership, so I don't really have anything to compare the food or service to. The only time I've ever been there previous to 2007 was when I was 19 and I went out drinking for a friend's birthday. Back then, it was very much a drinking hole and less a restaurant. I will say that the interior of the pub is dated and needs some new furniture and updated decor. There is a sizeable patio out back, and on Fridays you can have a burger BBQed to your specs and a pitcher of beer for $10.

Last night I dined at The Shovel with my brother, Jem. Both starving, we started off with the spring rolls, which were very fresh and very hot. And because we were both in burger & fries moods, we each ordered the John Candy Burger. For $9.95, this enormous meal contains a whopping 1/2lb all-beef patty topped with caramelized onions, back bacon, and aged cheddar. With the generous portion of crispy, salt & peppered fries, I couldn't finish my meal. And it was an awesome burger, not just in size, but in flavour as well. You can't beat caramelized onions and back bacon on a burger!

Last night was actually the fourth time I've eaten at The Shovel in 8 months. Each time, I've had a really great meal. I've had The Hangover (a sandwich made with egg-dipped bread, chicken, ham, caramelized onions, swiss cheese) which was very filling and very good; I've had the clubhouse, which is made with garlic toast; the Italian club, made with focaccia bread and proscuitto. The side salads I usually choose instead of fries are always fresh, and the house dressing, a feta and dill combination, is tasty.

So yeah, The Flying Steamshovel gets two paws up from this coyote. And she gets to go back on Monday for a girls-only lunch!

NB: The picture of the spring rolls was taken after we'd already consumed two of them!

Edit @ 3:30, Monday June 23: Skip dessert. Especially the Key Lime Pie.


Captain Karen said...

Oh my goodness that sounds (and looks) fabulous! What a great little spot you've got there. And I know what you mean about pub grub, when it's done well.

Now I'm fantasizing about this feta/dill salad dressing and may have to try and make one...

mister anchovy said...

I love a good burger!


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