Sammy J Peppers

*Restaurant is closed*

I sound like a broken record sometimes, at least that's what Viv tells me. But, there are not many more places that I can visit along the Scott Road corridor. It seems like I'm merely pecking away at the places I do not want to go. Today, my colleagues suggested we go to Sammy J Peppers and being the good person (hah!) that I am, I followed along. I haven't been back to Sammy J's for quite awhile. I'm not all that fond of their food, despite the nice "scenery". I really have no problem with chain restaurants in general. They serve a purpose and some are actually quite good. But when a chain restaurant serves up
mediocre food at fairly high prices, I believe that there are better places to eat at.

I know that Sammy J's is known for it's spicier food, such as their skillets and meat items. But I really didn't want to order any of that for lunch. Besides, I've had them before and they are nothing special. Today, I decided on a large bowl of Seafood Chowder and a Beef Club sandwich. Things didn't start off well, the chowder was luke warm. If this soup was kept in a warmer, and this was the prevailing temperature, I'm not sure how Food Safe this is. Moreover, the soup was quite bland. I had to add quite a bit of hot sauce to give it some flavour. The one good thing was that it was packed with seafood. The sandwich itself was a disappointment and I didn't even bother taking a picture of it. Well, not really, I actually forgot. Can you believe it? I was so busy taking pictures of everyone else's' food, I didn't remember to take a picture of my own! I was expecting real roast beef; but what I got was cold cut roast beef. If a restaurant is going to serve this as "roast beef", then I could go to Arby's or go to Superstore and grab a Club Pack. Not only was it cold cut roast beef, there was very little of it. Only good thing about the sandwich was the spicy aioli. Suffice to say, the Beef Dip was no better. Imagine dipping salty cold cut roast beef into salty powdered dip. Not good. The beef dip at one20 and E's Up were way better and cheaper too.

One dish that was pretty decent was the Monster Burger. It was pretty big and full of nicely sauteed mushrooms. The accompanying fries were very crispy, if you like the starch-covered type that is. The spinach salad was alright too, it was pretty fresh and full of toppings. The dressing was flavourful and had some zing. Despite these last 2 dishes being good; overall, I didn't like my meal and past visits to Sammy J's. It's not that the food is horrible; but it's just not great all around. In this competitive market of chain restaurants, the food has to be pretty decent on average. The food at Sammy J's is not as good as Milestone's, Earl's, Cactus Club or Joey's. If you look at the prices of some of their more expensive items such as their steaks, you really can eat anywhere for those prices. I'm in the school of thought that if you want a steak, go to a place that specializes in steak such as The Keg. I know there are better places to get a steak than The Keg, but I'm trying to compare within the same price range. With that being said, the restaurant itself is quite trendy and it's quite possible the food could be an afterthought. It's still a great place to meet up with friends, have a drink and shoot the breeze.

The Good:
- Comfortable, trendy dining space
- Service was quite good
- Large selection of food items

The Bad:
- Food is not only generic, it's not really all that good
- Pricey for what you get

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