Today I found myself at The Hotel Astor with hubby.
I wasn’t sure if it was supposed to have a good or bad reputation.In fact I must admit, apart from the name, I wasn’t familiar with this place at all so it was going to be a new experience.
We arrived just after midday on a Sunday afternoon. Probably still a little early for lunch but hubby had a late afternoon work shift so we had to be in and out pretty quickly.
There was only one other table with people when we arrived and that was on the outside.
We wandered inside and found ourselves a table without barely seeing a staff member.
To get to the restrooms, you need to go past the kitchen where hubby spied a lone chef roasting veggies and simmering a tomato sauce. It didn’t seem like they were preparing for a big Sunday.
Time to look at the menu….
We noticed they had $12 Lunch time specials. Hubby was looking at them but I said “honey I’m pretty sure if you order anything from there you’re going to be disappointed”. If you’ve read any of my previous reviews you will know that hubby likes big food and I’m pretty sure you’re not going to get that for $12.
So we ordered a starter: Cajun Chicken Dippers for $14.90. The menu said they’d be served with Chipotle Mayo and Hickory BBQ sauce.
For main I got an Eggplant Parmigiana ($16.90) and it’s description was “Roasted Eggplant topped with Napoli sauce, Sweet Basil and Mozzarella, served with Sweet Potato Wedges & Green Leaf Salad”.
Hubby ordered the Club Sandwich – Grilled chicken with bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado, cheese, aioli & Fries all for $16.90.
We were seated in the Atrium Bar.
They had a few big screen TV’s which I think is always good for casual dining. It was a little chilly, or maybe that was just because we were in a big room with no one else in it and hardly anyone to be seen.
To be fair, by the time we left, there were a few tables filled and even more outside.
For some reason there’s a dead tree branch hanging over one of the bars. I’m sure there’s a reason why it’s there even if it’s just to be an interesting point of discussion.
Our starter didn’t take long to come out.
Unsurprisingly, hubby was disappointed with the size.
I must say, I often wonder why restaurants will send out loads of sauce and small amounts of food.
We had three fingers of chicken and two big pots of sauce.
The chicken itself was nice and moist. It’s very easy to serve a dry chicken breast but this was cooked well.
I preferred the Hickory BBQ sauce. There was such a strong smoked taste and you didn’t need to have very much to get a burst of flavour. Perhaps my mistake was to have the BBQ sauce first because when I tasted the Chipotle one, I didn’t taste anything at all. Hubby suggested to try it on it’s own, so I did, and maybe caught a hint of a taste of something…
The starter came with a few leaves of Rocket on the plate as well. No dressing, just some lettuce leaves to add colour. I guess it doesn’t matter if it tastes good as we eat with our eyes right?
We didn’t have to wait long for our mains to come.
My Eggplant Parmagiana looked colourful and delicious too and perhaps, not as I expected it to be. I cut some of the eggplant and as I put it into my mouth was immediately in heaven. Such a strong eggplant taste! Gorgeous! With the next bite I got some melted cheese and zingy tomato with basil. It was really so good! I wanted to try something else on my plate but found I couldn’t stop eating the Eggplant parmagiana!
The Sweet potato wedges were a little of a let down. They were soft, no crispy skin, and not well seasoned either but they were filling and complimented the Eggplant.
Mine also came with a Green Leaf Salad however it had more than a fair share of shredded carrot and cabbage. So what is it? Coleslaw with lettuce leaves? At least it had dressing this time. Again, it was OK but probably more of a plate filler than anything else.
The Club sandwich was a good size so hubby was happy with that. Hubby was looking at the menu so I asked him why. “It’s supposed to have cheese” he said. We looked through, sure enough, no cheese. But he said it was pretty much what he was expecting. He doesn’t normally have avocado but thought it was a nice addition and actually liked the taste in his sandwich. I did see him pulling out a couple of pieces of fat from the bacon which was a little off putting. Not that he was pulling it out, but that it was in there in the first place!
Overall it was an OK experience but I don’t think we’ll be back.
Their weekday specials look interesting but not enough to get us back there after toady.
If I lived in the area I’d probably give it another go but it’s not something I’d go out of my way for.
Have you eaten at the Hotel Astor?
What did you think? Let me know in the comments below!
Till next we chow…