Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Restaurant Review: The Element

Castlegar isn't a dining mecca around here by any stretch of the imagination, though Chopsticks is very good and always bustling. When I was a kid, there was a steakhouse we would go to occasionally and there was a great pizza place at one time, but that was about it.

Downtown Castlegar is in need of desperate revitalization, and someone's grand idea of making that area the place to be was to open a big club called The Element. It's been a bit controversial because of hooligans and drunken twats creating public disturbances and blocking traffic. The cops are there regularly, from what I hear. In order to alleviate some of the ruckus, the Element decided to employ a device called The Mosquito, which my blogfriend and Castlegar resident Mike blogged about here.

Amidst all of this I was surprised to hear from various people that the Element does a really good lunch. Mosquito aside, my SIL took me there the other day.

The menu is large and varied, but contains the usual pub suspects. After a long deliberation, Shan settled on The Frog (grilled chicken & brie baked on French bread with red pepper aoli and Spanish onion relish). Um, I'm not sure exactly why it's called "The Frog" but it was apparently pretty tasty. I vacillated between The Frog, the Genovese Panini (grilled chicken, artichokes, cream cheese pesto, Swiss, Spanish onions, bell peppers & tomatoes on Ciabatta), and the Clubhouse, eventually choosing the Clubhouse - my standby favourite. This one came with smoked chicken and a BBQ mayo and was served on foccacia, and it was pretty yummy. Shan and I each had half fries and half salad as sides. The fries were great. Full menu here.

My only complaint is that the service was really, really slow. The waitress did apologize for it, stating that a large group had ordered right before us, but it was still a long a wait for our food.

Would I go back again? Yes. Their dinner menu looks very good!


Captain Karen said...

I'm guessing it's called the Frog because of the Brie and the French bread. Man oh man, it sounds delcious!

UrbanWorkbench said...

The food does look good - never been inside though. Does it stink of stale beer?

Wandering Coyote said...

Karen: Shan swears by the Frog!

Mike: the dining area is upstairs and overlooks the the bar/club area. No stale beer. It's kind of cool in a Queer as Folk kind of way - blue lights, and other club-like trappings, combined with sports memorabilia.

UrbanWorkbench said...

I can't imagine some macho Castlegar residents being happy with the Queer as Folk reference! Made my morning.

Wandering Coyote said...

Mike: Haha! I doubt many people in Castlegar would even GET the Queer as Folk reference!

UrbanWorkbench said...

touche - still, don't go round saying stuff like that in a Kootenay town, particularly when the pub you are reviewing is across the road from a strip club.

Wandering Coyote said...

Point taken!


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