If it’s a fish place, don’t order hamburger

Susan Bardi, left, Caryl Patrick and Marc Etherington at Olde Yorke Fish & Chips
Susan Bardi, left, Caryl Patrick and Marc Etherington at Olde Yorke Fish & Chips. We give $100 to help pay for a meal for three Leasiders at any restaurant in our area, the M4G postal code, which includes Leaside, Bennington Heights and the Leaside Business Park (known also as the industrial area).

“There is a well-known axiom within the realm of food and beverage that advises (or cautions) patrons of establishments to stick to the house’s themed cuisine; it’s one I would have been better to have listened to,” said Marc Etherington.

On a recent Tuesday, Etherington and two friends — Susan Bardi and Caryl Patrick — sat down to partake in all the good things Olde Yorke Fish & Chips, on Laird, had to offer, including the usual packed house.

While Etherington wasn’t particularly enthusiastic about his meal, his dinner companions were much happier with theirs.

Lesson learned. Stick to the house specialty. The fish and chips are not to be missed, said the other two.

“I selected the halibut and chips. The fish was lightly battered and the inside was moist and tender. The hand cut french fries were chunky and abundant. To complete the plate was a creamy coleslaw, crunchy and refreshing,” said Bardi.

Halibut is a favourite at Olde Yorke, but Patrick went for the healthier broiled haddock. She didn’t regret it.

“For those on low-calorie/low-carb diets (or just desiring lighter fare), the Weight Watcher dinner of broiled haddock is highly recommended. The lightly-seasoned haddock filet was moist and succulent, served with a fresh bun and a choice of side salad (garden, Caesar or Greek). “This dinner stands on its own as an appealing choice for anyone: it was flavourful and comprised of generous portions; it definitely did not feel like a diet compromise,” she said.

Etherington’s choice was based both on a diet concern and the decision to seek variety for a full review.

“Perhaps the kindest description of the burger,” he said, “was that its shape closely resembled round, and past that it was quite lacking in any tasteful attributes. This might be a result of being way overcooked and void of any seasoning.

“It was going to be a challenge to extract any eating enjoyment out of this orphan patty and road warrior tactics became necessary. To the credit of the staff, my request for an inordinate amount of condiments was granted without delay, or grimace. It could thereafter be classified as a ‘smothered’ burger.”

Dessert time.

“For the adventurous try the decadent deep-fried Mars bar with vanilla ice cream. You won’t regret it! It tasted every bit as good as it looked! Crispy on the outside, but soft and chewy on the inside,” said Bardi.

Patrick ordered the homemade Key lime pie. She too was happy.

“… there was little doubt that this dessert was, in fact, homemade. The generous portion of pie was creamy, sufficiently tart, full of visible lime zest, and came with fresh whipped cream on the side,” she said.

For the most part, despite the burger snafu, all three diners were satisfied.

Dinner service was slow at first but given it was 6 p.m. and busy despite being a Tuesday night, they said their waitress was pleasant, efficient, and accommodating.

“Cozy and clean, this neighbourhood establishment lives up to its reputation for British style fish and chips! I would definitely go again even for the takeout,” said Bardi.

“Pleasant pub-inspired interior and friendly, attentive staff make this a great spot for upscale-yet-casual meals for adults and families alike,” said Patrick.