125 Sydney St., Charlottetown, PEI – Website
Date of Visit: July, 2016
I walked by this place on my very first exploration of downtown Charlottetown and the menu posted outside caught my eye. In particular, I wanted to try their ‘Clam Po’ Boy’ and so I made a point of returning the next day for lunch…
I arrived a little after 11 in the morning but the place was already filling up for the lunchtime rush. It was quite apparent that things were not moving too quickly and I heard the waiter apologize for the delay to a nearby table, explaining that he was a ‘one man show’ that day.
The interior of the establishment is split over two levels and is quite pleasantly appointed with modern decorations and paintings adorning the plain brick walls. I had two objections though, these being the level of the music, which was way too loud, and the nature of the booth seating, which had uncomfortably vertical backs and were a bit low for the table. Largely because of these features, I went and sat on the small patio outside despite it not being a very nice day. Sadly, the music out there was infernally loud as well and it made me wish that restaurant staff appreciate that the music is not there for their benefit.
Mussels – These are on offer on the menu as ‘Chef’s Choice’ and, on this particular day, it appeared said chef favored cooking them with red wine and shallots. Unfortunately, these were not great. The shallot and wine broth was actually good but the mussels were of mediocre quality and the bread on the side for ‘mopping’ was cheese bread, and a poor choice. I was disappointed and could only rate these at a 2 out of 5.
Clam Po’ Boy – This was a hoagie style bun with fried bar clams, red pepper, mayo, lettuce tomato and pickles and one can order it with soup, salad or fries. The best I can say about this selection is that it was better than the only one I have ever tried making at home. The red pepper mayo was nice, and the clams nicely fried but, sadly, the latter were too sparsely added and it was a lot of bun and garnish without much clam. It was better than the mussels, though not by much, and I gave it a 3 out of 5.
The waiter on duty during my visit was clearly doing his best in a difficult situation, and I tipped accordingly. However, the service was not great and the restaurant, as an establishment, clearly failed here. The uncomfortable seating and loud music also colored my experience, ruining the ambience, in fact, and the food was not all that great. I suppose this is probably a good place for a younger crowd looking to socialize with drinks and food but it didn’t suit me. I gave it just a 2 out of 5.