The Sugar Bowl- This little lamb
I must have staggered past the Sugar Bowl a thousand times in my youthful drinking days and never ventured inside. From the outside, it always seemed like some wicker-laden hangout full of granola munching hippies.
But with age and (mostly) soberness comes a (hopefully) greater tolerance for people and things that are different than you’re used to.
Hence, I finally managed to both:
A- find a place to park, and
B- get inside for dinner.
The room is quite lively; and yes that does mean loud. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, it just means large groups will have a hard time hearing conversations at the other end of the table- sometimes a good thing. In our particular case it was a negative as by all accounts the conversation was stimulatiing… I just couldn’t hear it.
The first thing that struck me upon sitting down is the ingenious marketing method by which you can taste all the dinner items before you order by licking the little bits of each that are stuck all over the menu’s. It’s a bit of a pet peeve of mine, but certainly not a deal breaker.
Our server was very personable, and attentive enough. She dutifully steered me away from a beer I would not have enjoyed, and made chit chat that did not seem forced and awkward. What else can you ask?
First item to the table was the “grilled” corn bread. The cornbread was tasty enough, with some chunks of corn for texture instead of all pureed corn. I appreciate that. It wasn’t too dry or crumbly, which I hate about some cornbreads.
However, history’s greatest detectives, such as Sherlock Holmes… or Scoobie Doo, couldn’t identify a grill mark on that cornbread. I think another 5 minutes on the grill would have taken it from good to great.
A dining companion ordered the steamed mussels, and by all accounts they were ok. Myself, I wouldn’t touch mussels with a ten foot breadstick, so it would be unfair of me to write about them… lets move on.
My wife had the Jerk Chicken Sandwich. She found it had a bit of a bite, and was topped sparsely with avocado, garlic mayo, caramelized onions and pickle. Having had the fantastic Jerk Chicken sandwich at Drift food truck a couple days before certainly gave us a comparison starting point, and The Sugar Bowl’s Jerk came in a distant second.
From Jerk, we move on to the real star of the evening (aside from the company)… the Lamb burger w/ goat cheese.
This sucker was ridiculously juicy without having to be undercooked to achieve it. When you bite into it, the juices start flowing; the burgers and yours. It’s got a ton of great flavour, and while one crazy person at our table suggested that the sheer amount of goat cheese is very close to overpowering the lamb (did I mention you’re nutty, Liv?). I must respectfully and vehemently oppose any and all such craziness. A 60-40 ratio of meat to cheese is perfectly ok in my books.
The Sugar Bowl also has an exemplary selection of interesting beers including some local favourites. Check it out sometime, and grab yourself a fantastic Lamb Burger with some extra napkins… you won’t be sorry.