King West is the neighbourhood.
That’s the realization Chris and I had after a weekend of really great and unique dining in this hub.
So many restaurants that I had always heard great things about were magically all lined neatly along King Street, a King Street that I had always been too lazy to venture down, stopping always just beyond the theatre strip. My advice to you, always venture further down. That's where all the good stuff hides—just beyond the beaten path.
With bright yellow doors and Hollywood lights spelling out WESLODGE, this restaurants is sure to grab your attention. How could it not?
Weslodge describes itself as “Original and authentic, sophisticated yet casual…the ultimate modern day saloon.” That really says it all, doesn’t it?
Stepping inside, it’s a visual wonderland. open brass ceiling shelter you from above as you flip through a leather menu decorated with rock’n’roll patches. Regal, antique paintings hang on the walls next to busts of giraffes and elk and moose and God knows what else! While comfy booths and wooden saloon stools line tables and an island where wooden shelves house bottles upon bottles of liqueurs and spirits.
#Weslodge appears to be unconventionally traditional but its food and drink menus say otherwise, offering comforting and familiar mixed drinks and beloved comfort foods.
I have to mention that although, I sipped on a wine, I really loved going through the cocktail menu. Fun images and informative, yet charming drink descriptions added a personality to the drink list. Most impressively, a visual scale testing booziness beside each cocktail's breakdown is honestly helpful. Where was this list the first time I ordered a Negroni?
But, back to the menu. It’s safe to say that Executive Chef Ben Heaton has done it again, showing the same refinery echoed at Patria while spearheading a rusticism that could only be found in Weslodge’s menu featuring burgers, fried chicken and gluttony for all the senses.
The food options also have a sort of Anglo-spin that melds together with classic North American fare, which is a nice change of pace.
Despite Chris’ ill-warnings, I really had a hankering for a Scotch Egg. I’ve seen it before on menu but have never been daring enough to try it until I read that Weslodge’s rendition was served with a truffle red onion jam.
I’m proud to report that it was delicious and even Chris thought so. The egg yolk in the centre of the Scotch egg was still yolky and velvety while the pork sausage crust was meaty and fried to golden perfection. As for that truffle red onion jam, sweet from the caramelized onions while a savoury richness took hold of my palate in the form of the truffle. A great first impression of the menu.
Sadly, Chris and I can never seem to figure out how much food we should order between two people. That sounds like an easy feat but we never manage to get it right. Dining at Weslodge was no exception.
Maybe it’s all the enticing menu items? Maybe it's because we spent the whole day surviving on a coffee and cannoli? Maybe we just have zero concept of portion control? I don't know and I don’t want to find out either. What would be the fun in that?
I decided to keep the Anglo-vibe going and ordered the FOGO Island Fish & Chips. My piece of cod, was enveloped in a golden ale batter that was wildly thick and outrageous. Crispy, crunchy, and the definition of a good fish and chips, my cod was also served with triple cooked chips and a side of creamy tartar sauce.
As for Chris, he had been talking about Weslodge’s fried chicken all day since he stumbled across their menu online. So, he decided he’d have no problem chowing down on half of a whole Southern Fried Chicken, drizzled in Tabasco honey.
FYI, be careful on the bones; they leave their pieces of chicken on the bone!
Because this item was served with a side of ranch and house pickles, Chris decided he was going to need some sides.
Leave it to Chris to order the second most piggish thing on the menu, Mac & Cheese. Don’t get me wrong the Pimento and cheddar cheeses oozed and pulled like something you'd see in a cartoon. The smoky bacon created texture while the jalapeño added intensity. But what about the vegetables?
Leave it to me to demand that we order a side of spinach. LOL. Slightly wilted, it was seasoned with Calabrian chili, garlic, lemon, olive oil and was actually pretty amazing, which I wasn't anticipating. I thought that the greens wouldn’t be shown as much love, but man this dish was good. In fact, it was the first thing that Chris and I finished, and that says a lot.
Despite eating at a good pace, we eventually had to wave our white napkin in the air and surrender to our full stomachs. Though you might think that meant that there was no room for dessert, you’d better think again. Who do you think we are? Lunatics?! You always need a lil something sweet after dinner.
We ended our meal with an order of Sticky Toffee Pudding to share. Just a little mound of rich and buttery cake, oozing with brown sugar goodness and warmth, topped with a cute little scoop of vanilla ice cream, this dessert helped to end our meal and dining experience on a sweet note.
To be honest, I really enjoyed this place and I think it’s great for eaters that can sometimes be fussy. Though there is an Anglo twist on the menu, there are safe options like burgers, mac and cheese, salads and fried chicken, which are sure to appease any basic eater.
The pricing is reasonable, comparable with something you might find dining at a chain the suburbs. But trust me when I say, the food will be wayyyyy better at Weslodge.
Atmosphere was great and I’d love to celebrate a birthday or festive occasion here. Fun just floats through the air and seeps into your being. I left feeling so happy, motivated by a tummy filled with good food and a smiling face for all the good vibes exchanged throughout the night.
Service was lovely and the waitress was able to help us make the best dining decisions. The manager was also great in working the room and socializing with customers, making sure that their experience was a truly positive one.
I’m excited to bring my Dad here for a father-daughter date or birthday event. Whatever the occasion, I know I’ll be celebrating with a craft cocktail in one hand and a forkful of Scotch egg in the other!
Have you tried Weslodge? What were your first impressions?