Not Like I Remembered: Badass Jack’s

Call it the “coupon scramble”. A month and a half left before my Entertainment Book coupons expire, I am trying to plan as many meals as I can around potential discounts. One such saving opportunity was at Badass Jack’s (8621 109 Street), on our way to Pecha Kucha 2 at the TransAlta Arts Barns on Thursday.

One summer a few years ago, I worked just a few blocks from Kingsway Mall, and would make a weekly sojourn to the Badass Jack’s in the shopping centre’s food court. They had a Tuesday deal that couldn’t be beat – one of their small Asian rice bowls (steamed rice  or egg noodles topped with vegetables stir-fried in a sauce of your choice) priced at just $2.50. Since that summer, I haven’t been back to Badass Jack’s, but coupon in hand, it seemed like a good time to see if their past standards held up.

The university-area location was fairly busy when we walked in, seemingly fueled by a combination of customers picking up dinner for the evening or mom and tots heading to dance practice at the studio across the way.

I gravitated straight for the Asian rice bowls, a small priced at $6.99 and a large priced at $7.99 regularly. While on par with places like Wok Box, it seemed a lot steeper than I remembered (caused by inflation and a general rise in food prices, no doubt). Mack and I both requested the same thing – roasted chicken and teriyaki sauce on rice.

Our orders took a few minutes, but after they were ready, we took them to the high counter and sat down. Instead of piling the stir-fried vegetables on top of the rice, which would allow additional sauce to steep down and flavour the rice immediately, white rice greeted us at the top of the box. The chicken, shredded to a point where it almost resembled shards of pulled pork, was good, but I was hard pressed to find pieces large enough to require chewing – Mack was luckier on this front. My order was also a little shy of vegetables, and I ended up with quite a bit of plain rice at the bottom.

Mack with chopsticks

Mack’s Asian rice bowl, mixed

Call it “post-coupon syndrome”, but Badass Jack’s not only didn’t fulfill my memory’s expectations of good food and value for my money, but also now seems all too expensive to try again without a discount.

Badass Jack’s
8621 109 Street (4 other locations in Edmonton)
(780) 438-4083

3 thoughts on “Not Like I Remembered: Badass Jack’s

  1. That’s disappointing to hear. I’ve been to Badass Jack’s once and thought the rice bowl I had there was really, really good. This was a few years ago, though, so it’s sad to hear that the quality has gone down while prices have gone up.

  2. We used to have a Badass Jacks here in Winnipeg and it was a great healthy option for the money with a varied menu to choose from. I really enjoyed their stir-fry type wraps. The Lineup is a restaurant that reminds me of Badass. They have the cool chinese food boxes and the food is good though it could be fresher (frozen chicken used with grill marks) – I’m a frequent customer there since Badass closed. Speaking of novelty boxes, a Wok Box just opened up nearby and I am going to try it though I haven’t seen anything published on the price point for their food. At any rate I miss Badass.

  3. John – I am not a fan of WokBox (at least here in Edmonton). I doubt they would have changed anything in the franchise, but I find their quality poor and prices much too high.

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