Mack suffers from an affliction I’ve termed CAD, or Coupon Aversion Disorder. The idea of saving a couple of bucks is usually enough to entice the would-be diner, but with Mack, the opposite effect is true. So count me as shocked when he took me up on a (God forbid) 2-for-1 offer at the newest franchise to shack up on Bourbon Street in West Edmonton Mall – Mr. Mike’s Steakhouse & Bar (1647, 8882 170 Street).
Open since June, the only thing I had heard about the restaurant was that a decent, reasonably priced meal could be had there, courtesy of James. A quick once-over of the online menu revealed no surprises – the typical mix of share-plate appetizers, burgers, one-off pastas and stir-fry bowls, and of course, steak. Prices, as we would discover, are less than those found at The Keg.
Mr. Mike’s doesn’t take reservations, but early on a Tuesday evening, pre-booking wasn’t necessary. I was promptly seated in the small, dim lounge near the front of the restaurant, and as I waited for Mack, surveyed the decor. Besides a decorative Native carving of some sort, I couldn’t figure out what the slogan, “It’s a West Coast Thing!” was supposed to mean. Based on our seating arrangement, on IKEA-esque chairs more suited for a sitting room than a dining area, and a sectional couch along one wall (pity the poor soul who has to eat meat bending over a low table), I figured those on the coast just don’t know how to use space wisely and practically. That said, we could have requested a booth in the proper dining room, which featured a rather lovely bar and a high ceiling. But with the onslaught of food we were about to receive, in the end, it didn’t matter where we were seated.
Mack arrived shortly after, and I convinced him, as we perused the menu, to come over to the dark side of the great coupon divide. Thus, we both ordered steaks: he the 9oz. New York, supersized into a Classic Combo ($26.99) which included a Caesar salad, sauteed mushrooms, and starch in the form of fries, and I the 6oz Filet Mignon, served with a side of roasted garlic red-skin mashed potatoes ($25.99). We also requested a plate of Calamari ($8.99) to start.
Our server was nice, albeit perhaps not genuinely so. I’m almost certain she is very good at her job, but on that night, she had a shadow of a trainee, which can throw off the best of us. Thus, she ended up forgetting about our appetizer order, and made it up to us by offering the calamari on the house. As with most things fried, I enjoyed the crunchy little morsels, but Mack claimed calamari supremacy still belonged to Earls. Mack’s salad was a meal in and of itself; he even resorted to packing up the last half for (yes) lunch the next day.
The steaks arrived in no time. I thought Mack’s ridged plate would make it difficult for him to cut through the meat, but he didn’t seem to have any trouble with it. We had both asked for medium preparation, and it was perfectly done for both of us; my filet mignon was incredibly juicy and tender, and the peppercorn cream sauce provided some bite and high caloric flavour. The side of onion rings, tasting very similar to those at A & W, were a nice treat as a less common accompaniment.
With our coupon (and our server’s mistake), we ended up with a bill totalling only $33 before tax and tip. The food was great though, and even at regular price, I would have heartily enjoyed the meal. Still, life’s better with a discount, so hopefully this tale will help others with CAD realize that exercising frugality really isn’t so bad.
My (almost) empty plate