As I was driving my mom home from the dentist (is there a concise term that means “adult child who spends much of their time driving their aged parents to medical appointments”?) I noticed the curiously named XWreck’s Restaurant & Lounge in an industrial park on 50th Street (at 93rd Ave) near the Edmonton Journal plant.
It’s not much to look at, but the sight of it gladdened my heart. It used to be further north on 50th Street, kitty-corner to Capilano mall. It was a neighbourhood bar with a lively, friendly atmosphere and good, cheap eats. I used to go there occasionally to enjoy a burger and brew, or a huge, satisfying bowl of Asian noodle soup.
It was in a strip mall populated by one-off, locally owned stores, including a butcher who used to sharpen my knives for $1 each. It was de-mall-ished (sorry) to make way for a big corporate chain drugstore (sounds like “wrecks all”).
After dropping my mom off, I popped in for lunch. Patty was tending bar and serving tables all by herself, which wasn’t really a problem since there was only one other diner and one person at the bar when I entered shortly after the lunch hour.
Patty pointed out the day’s specials which included stuffed pork loin with gravy, mashed potatoes, veg and soup ($9.95) and an 8 oz. steak sandwich with fries and garlic bread ($10.95). I was intrigued and repulsed in equal measure by deep fried pickles ($1.25 each or 8 for $7.95)
The printed menu is the kind of large, overly eclectic document the chefs of Restaurant Makeover love to take a magic marker to and cross out whole sections. There’s breakfasts (served all day), burgers, soups, sandwiches, pasta, pizza and typical bar grub like nachos and wings.
From the house specialties section I ordered the Song Burger (Song is the owner’s name) ($8.95). It comes with a side of poutine. The burger was alright, but the poutine far exceed my (admittedly low) expectations.
The fries were hand-cut with skins on – crisp and golden and not at all heavy or greasy. Purists will scoff that the cheese was mozzarella instead of more traditional cheddar curds – but I prefer it that way (I like cheese that melts and doesn’t squeak – sue me). You can also get a plate of poutine by itself for $5.25.
They no longer have a pool table, but there’s a shuffleboard table and Wednesday is karaoke night.
Posted by Jean Poutine