Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Dinner at Kelsey's Restaurant, Kanata

I go on and on about my quest for the world's best burger to anyone who will listen, which inevitably leads to recommendations. Now my own guidelines are simple - the restaurant must be primarily about burgers - it must be the main item on the menu. The fries are an important part of the burger meal no matter what Men's Health says. That's it.

Burgers aren't the main item on the menu at Kelsey's, however since the Peppercorn burger has been recommended to me on several occasions, I thought I'd check it out.

I was almost apologetic when I suggested Kelsey's to my friend as we chose a place for lunch. I don't go often because in the past I have found it unmemorable. Not this time.

Good - actually the burger was good. Kelsey's is advertising their new sirloin burgers and the meat is quite tasty. The presentation is good with shredded lettuce and tomato slices on the side. The bun was fresh and toasted. I'd try a burger again, but probably not the Peppercorn as it was difficult to carry on a conversation as we were constantly reaching for our beverages to counter effect the pepper. I'm looking forward to other items on the menu next time.

Great - the service! I can't say enough about it; it was textbook. Stacey was prompt and attentive and made some great 'upgrade' suggestions throughout the meal - gravy for the fries, a specific appetizer to share, dessert, coffee... We only took her up on the coffee, and she was right, it is good coffee. Stacey was properly relaxed but not overly casual. She presented the bill with a handwritten thank you card asking us to go the Kelsey's website to rate the service. I will for sure. When was the last time you received a handwritten thank you note from your server? WOW. Even if this is just part of a service program, Stacey has embraced it and made it very personal. She used my name when she returned my credit card!

Kelsey's has risen to the challenge of providing the "Cheers"-like experience their commercials promise; no small feat.

Room for Growth - the fries. I wish they'd been piping hot - they were warm, almost at the "send them back" threshold, but not quite. I should probably be having soup or salad anyway, but having the fries at Kelsey's is not a bad choice because they don't heap 'em up, just a moderate and reasonable serving size.

Will I come back? Oh yeah! The food is always good at Kelsey's but the service in the past has been inconsistent. At Kelsey's in Kanata it was fantastic from the front door greeting to the final farewell. You could videotape Stacey's service from start to finish and present it to all restaurant servers as a flawless "how to".