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Taps: 16 / Bottles: 12
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
1820 99 St NW
, T6N 1M5
phone: (780) 989-5898
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 2 | $$
Had you asked my opinion after my 1st visit I would have raved about this place, and did at the time. Wide open concept, tall tables around the bar area while two edges of the place are lined with large comfortable booths. And an open kitchen, I always like to see that. Speaking of which, I ordered the Wok Fired Squid this first time around and was very impressed with the quality of it.
The tap selection was the best I've seen in Edmonton for diverse microbrewery representation. Had my first ever draught of Paddock Wood Czech Mate and was surprised at how much crisper it is on tap. Service was pleasant and attentive this trip.
The second visit was spent in one of the top tier booths with some friends. Service was very friendly and personable. As I tried a few more taps the actual quality of the beers were starting to get a bit hit or miss. By this I mean either starting to show signs of age, or tap lines that weren't being maintained. This sort of thing can be hidden a bit with the darker beers. Had the Drunken Chicken which was okay but it was only warm compared to the hotter platter it had been served on. Still, an enjoyable experience this time around as well.
Mixed group on the 3rd trip, some who had been there before, some who hadn't--setting up camp in a booth by the windows this time. Service was a bit more touch and go this time around. Friendly, but curiously large gaps between ordering and receiving with each round and the time in between otherwise, and that's taking into account how busy the place was and watching how many other tables she had in her section. This time I had to send 2 different pints back due to either bad kegs or infected lines, that they were off was painfully obvious. Duly noted there was no issue sending them back to be replaced with something different (when she would eventually come around). The food was an issue as well. Ordered the Seven Flavoured Beef. The food itself was lukewarm sitting on a hot platter. After a couple of bites (I'm paying good money for this after all) I managed to flag down the server eventually to get it refired. When I did get it back (long after my table companions were finished their meals) it was piping hot food on an equally piping hot platter, which lead me to believe that my food just got the microwave treatment. Don't mean to sound like a diva, but I've worked in a kitchen too, and understand how things are done, or should be done, and the telltale signs. This particular time turned out to be a rather underwhelming experience.
My final trip literally will remain my final after the experience. Two people who had been there before and one who hadn't been joined me that time. Sent back the same beer as I did the time before for being sour and rotten eggy, which confirms dirty or infected tap lines by that point, as more than enough time had passed for the previous keg I had tried to be changed and rotated already. I ordered something hoppy instead, hoping that at least would mask any issues for the time being. Then ordered the Wok Fried Squid again (at least I knew that was a safe bet), and this time my table companions were almost finished their meals by the time I received mine, after ordering at the same time, and reminding the waitress twice about it after everyone else had been served. This time it was overcooked, yet cold! Sitting on a piping hot platter from sitting on the kitchen's hot plate for who knows how long. It didn't take any convincing for my table to come to the conclusion that it was time to leave at that point. When I finally managed to flag this server down (the most apathetic of the service I'd experienced there to that point), I explained to her the issue and just settled up the bill for the pint that I had ordered. I wasn't interested in half blackened yet cold squid or the chance that it would end up microwaved, nor would I pay for it. It never occurred to her to bring a manager by to discuss the matter, nor in turn did it occur to the manager or shift leader who had to remove my cold squid from the bill in the first place to come over and discuss what the issue was.
So then, personally I'm done with the Local, and will not go back. I raved about it to everyone who would listen, and most of those people came back to me with stories of being far from impressed with their experience as well, similar to my last couple of visits. And in turn that makes me look bad and lowers the value of my opinion in their eyes. Honestly, this would be a great beer destination if they could get things seriously sorted out, but for now it has some major issues. I'd even tolerate poor food and service from time to time for some good beer, but all 3 are a crap shoot there at this point, those draught lines are very apparently not being cleaned and maintained.
04-04-2011 07:13:27 |
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