E: Instead of sooner than much later, one of Victoria’s best known watering holes had to be visited — The Sticky Wicket. James and I have been reluctant to go there much more than the adjoining Big Bad Johns. Both have their distinctive clientage and when I peek in, there’s no cheer to be heard and only the cracking of peanut shells and an odour of clique. I can walk past both operations whenever I cruise to The Vic Theatre to catch an art house film. I’m hardly cajoled into either operation but I can certainly wander in with James in tow. He’ll do anything that I can manage to convince him to do.
J: I’ve dined at the Sticky Wicket and had one of my staff parties there. The food I tasted on those previous visits is nothing to write home about. The point of going to the Sticky is to have a few pints with friends. The wood interior of the pub is to be admired. One has to wonder who the original interior designer of the pub was.
I was more than simply reluctant to enter its premises again. I would much rather review a mom and pop operation than a successful pub in a well-to-do hotel.
E: But we’d be remiss to not say something for those folks new to Victoria and wondering if the Sticky is worth the visit or not. As James noted, there was family who wanted to come in via the Douglas Street side entrance but found a sign instead to enter via Courtenay. They walked the wrong way and perhaps that was the best. The pub food is good but not worth raving about. I went for a spicy pizza and James a lamb burger with fries.
J: The lamb burger was sourced from Alberta. And there again is that magical name for that magical land where the beef (and lamb is good). If I wasn’t so attached to the ocean, I’d swap my runners for cowboy boots and spurs. The za’atar aioli and jalapeño cream cheese made for an a strong taste. But such a taste means that the toppings like aioli and the oven roasted tomatoes went unnoticed.
Instead of fries I opted for the poutine. It was lacking in life. It was bland and added nothing to the meal. Worse still I found a hair in the poutine before reaching the one quarter mark.
E: I thought James was gonna hit the roof when he saw that. The last time was over a hot dog, and to see him inspect between the sheets in the hotels we’ve stayed in made me feel like Doctor Watson to his Sherlock Holmes. No apology was made by our waitress, and that made me quirk an eyebrow.
I chowed down on my square-shaped pizza and while I appreciated the thin crust baked to a crunchy edge consistency, the fire was not hot enough. I’ve gotten used to nibbling on ghost peppers, so it’s going to take a lot to heat me up. Not even a watered down soda can cool me off.
J: I almost did hit the roof but I realized, hey it happens. Sadly I have learned to expect such things when it comes to food. But if the server takes my plate and doesn’t ask me where the hair is, then it should mean she acknowledged that it is there. If she hasn’t acknowledged this then asking is a simple solution. The hair wasn’t the shock, being charged for a meal I didn’t finish was.
I could only come to two possible conclusions from viewing the bill and that is either the server didn’t believe me thereby breaking ‘the customer is always right’ rule or the server didn’t care.
There is a third possibility: the level of service at the Sticky is low. I could have complained louder or even made a scene but we’re food bloggers and like any good bloggers things may be acknowledged faster when seen in print.
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