The Thirsty Penguin

Once again, I am stuck in the position of deciding whether to blog about a meal or not. You see, the Thirsty Penguin is not your typical restaurant. It resides in the North Shore Ice Sports complex and if you weren't there already, it is unlikely you'd go there specifically for a meal. So the scenarios that might lead someone to eat there include: playing hockey, watching hockey, waiting for child to finish hockey, skating, figure skating lessons or your car broke down nearby. So what is the value of this blog post you might ask? Hey, I asked myself the same question too! However, as some of my teammates have reminded me, food is food. I blog about food and I guess this counts too (much like the time at Boomer's).

Normally, even if I have a hockey game at the rink, I would rather leave in search for good eats. After all, the single most used equipment in the kitchen would be the deep fryer. Although, fried tasty bites go best with beer on tap! The reason we all stayed for eats was all due to Gadget Girl. She had a large amount of money to spend at the Thirsty Penguin due to bonus from the league. Thus, we all got a portion of the money for food. Hey, it's free food! On that note, I'm sure we'll have the haters that will now point out that since my food was free, I have no right to criticize it. Yah whatever. I pose this question: if you get a free order of dumplings; but they are all raw, do you eat them and smile like everything is okay? Well, if you do, then have fun with the "runs"! Free or not, if it ain't good, I'll say it.

So my strategy was to not order anything fried since I've been eating terribly of late. That left only a few options, which included the salads and sandwiches. I decided on the Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwich with a bowl of Thai Curry Soup. Although the meat itself was a bit chewy, I found the sandwich quite pleasant to eat. Essentially more of a Reuben than a smoked meat sandwich, there was sauerkraut and cheese. About the soup... It was interesting. It had elements of curry and coconut; but didn't taste like any Thai curry I've had before. To be fair, if I just looked at it as a regular soup, it wasn't too bad; but definitely bland for a curry. Holmes and Silent Bob had the Grilled Chicken Wrap. Nothing out-of-the-ordinary with this offering. They remarked that the veggies were fresh and crisp. Furthermore the chicken was decently moist.

Emilicious had the JD Burger, which should not be confused with the one at Cactus Club. The fries were pretty much your generic frozen type. The burger itself was pretty average. Emilicious didn't end up finishing it. Milhouse inexplicably had the Fish n' Chips. When he got it, he was regretting it already since the 2 pieces of fish were really small. He thought the fish were overcooked and rubbery while the batter was not very good. Serves him right though. This place is neither a seafood joint or British... Apu went for a pub classic which was the Beef Dip. It was your typical beef dip; but it appears to me that there is a severe lack of meat. I must give kudos for using real roast beef though. He indicated that the dip itself was not greasy. Mr. Blueberry went for the Mushroom & Swiss Burger. For some reason or another, this one turned out better than the JD burger. Look at it, lots of mushrooms and real Swiss. Nothing wrong with that. The patty was a little less charred as well. Once again, it was accompanied by those pesky generic fries.

Boss Woman went for the Meatlover's Pizza. It sure looked pretty good. I was surprised at the amount of toppings and cheese. She confirmed that it was indeed good with a decent crust. Well, despite my inherent preconceptions about these types of establishments, the Thirsty Penguin seems to have changed their menu to the point that some of the food is actually alright. Naturally there are much better places to eat. However, most people would eat here because they are stuck at the rink. With that being said, at the very least, the food is edible and not very expensive.

The Good:
- Reasonably-priced
- Generally decent portions
- You get to watch free rec hockey

The Bad:
- The food is decent; but honestly mediocre at best
- Not the greatest place to hang out unless you have to
- There is service if you want it; but it's spotty

Thirsty Penguin Grillhouse on Urbanspoon

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