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Cities & Towns > The Starboard Grill - a Review

The Starboard Grill - a Review

DH took me out for dinner last night and we thought we'd try the new restaurant down at Harbour Quay, The Starboard Grill. The decor leaves much to be desired. High ceilings with a purple beam that runs diagonally across the room. Stark, cold light fixtures and either drab, grey or green walls. I couldn't really discern which colour they were. It's only saving grace was the beautiful etched glass half wall of a West Coast scene; whale, trees, mountains. DH had already had a lunch there and told me the food was good but our dinners were not. The place was busy but not overly so. There were four or five empty tables when we arrived. We were shown to a table and given menus. I chose the steak because most of the items involved seafood, which I don't care for. When our food arrived I found a mountain of rice surrounded by a 3" X 3" X 2" chunk of medium-rare meat (I had ordered medium-well), mushroom gravy and an assortment of vegetables. All of it was tepid to borderline cold. I tried to eat fast but even the steak knife was having trouble cutting through that brick of meat. The outer part was OK but the bloody pink centre was like chewing on soggy cardboard. DH's meal was also on the chilled side and although he ordered potatoes he too ended up with a mountain of rice neatly centred on his plate; no spuds. DH enjoyed his dessert of lemon cheesecake and I tucked into a yummy peanut butter/caramel/chocolate concoction that was way too much and too rich for me. I spent a horrendous night trying vainly to sleep with a tummy ache I prefer to blame on that overly rich dessert. We finished our meal with coffee that was good but strong. I should have just had a burger. I can always tell if it's a good place to eat or not by the burgers. The waitress was lovely and she did come by to ask if everything was to our liking. I, as usual, told her yes. Nobody is taking my food back to the kitchen to be spat in. I don't understand it. The chef is supposed to be very experienced and has worked in the kitchens of some fancy, schmancy dining establishments. Maybe he was at home, sick the night we were there. I told DH I need to try this place again. We will have lunch there sometime soon and I will have a burger.
To top it off we were driving home when the earthquake happened and didn't feel a thing. I didn't even know there had been a 7.7 shaker until I got on the computer this morning.

posted on Oct 28, 2012 11:37 PM ()


I have to disagree with you on your negative out look on this restaurant. It's unfortunate that you had such a terrible experience but I've been there numerous times and I would say it is by far one of the best places to eat in Port Alberni. The location is great the pricing is reasonable.
Also if there was something wrong with your food I'm sure the staff would have been more than happy to accommodate you, there are ways of voicing your opinion without offending anyone. Very theatrical of you to suggest that anyone would ever spit in your food. The staff are always pleasant and as far as the sweet deserts, that is what it's all about. You chose to eat yourself into a state of discomfort.

I'll go out on the note that the burgers are absolutely delicious and you definitely should give it one last chance before you waste your time trying to find a place in Port Alberni with the same quality.
comment by charlene on Nov 10, 2012 8:59 PM ()
I agree with you on the location and prices.
The meat was not cooked as requested. If they can't cook the meat as requested by the customer why did the waitress bother to ask me how I'd like it done?
I have known people what actually do spit in returned food.
I did state our waitress was lovely and attentive.
You are quite correct. I should have taken my dessert home in a doggie bag. Hindsight is 20/20.
Finally, this is my blog. It contains my opinions and my experiences. If you don't like what I have to say, you don't have to read it. Why don't you write a rebuttal review on your own blog.
reply by nittineedles on Nov 11, 2012 10:03 AM ()
comment by crazylife on Oct 30, 2012 7:33 PM ()
7.7 is a huge quake. We are all exhausted here. A bad restaurant meal
would be the final insult.
comment by elderjane on Oct 30, 2012 4:16 PM ()
Earthquake? What earthquake, I didn't feel a thing, perhaps because I had taken a sleeping pill that night. If they predict any more I will take 2 sleeping pills that night. Too bad about your dinner being disappointing. Our Knitters group has decided to go to Mrs Richie for our Christmas lunch. I haven't been there since I went with you and Don but they do make good hamburgers, we will have to go there again.
comment by maryc on Oct 29, 2012 10:43 PM ()
I've only felt one little earthquake. It was a few years ago when I was sitting at our dining room table watching the wall in front of me shifting back and forth.
reply by nittineedles on Oct 30, 2012 12:28 PM ()
Wow! That's a pretty strong quake! As for the restaurant, you are very forgiving to give it a second chance.
comment by maggiemae on Oct 29, 2012 9:54 PM ()
There is a place in town that we tried three times over the course of ten years. Even though it had changed hands each time, neither the service nor the food ever improved. We don't go there any more.
reply by nittineedles on Oct 30, 2012 12:24 PM ()
I always enjoy your restaurant reviews. Maybe the fancy chef is working banker's hours, and lunch is better-prepared than dinner because that's when he's there. And then he goes home to the wife and kiddies thinking dinner will cook itself.

I was wondering if you were okay after that earthquake. It seems like the driver of a car might notice something but not realize what it was, and the passenger would be getting ready to make a comment about the quality of the driving. The tremor might just seem like the vagaries of the road surface until the road in front of you disappears into a giant sink hole.
comment by troutbend on Oct 29, 2012 8:49 AM ()
Apparently, it was felt as far away as Alberta. Angel didn't even look spooked, minutes later, when we got home.
reply by nittineedles on Oct 29, 2012 7:54 PM ()
Great review! I'd avoid that place if I'm ever up that way, although I don't prefer seafood either, so I probably wouldn't consider the joint in the first place. A 7.7 is a good-sized quake, but it didn't make the news. Probably would have if not for the storm. Better luck next time with the burger....
comment by jjoohhnn on Oct 29, 2012 6:21 AM ()
I'm not going to write it off until I've tried their burger(s).
It made the news around here.
reply by nittineedles on Oct 29, 2012 7:55 PM ()
With bad food plus an earthquake, I think I'll avoid your neck of the woods. I was thinking about visiting my nephew in Blaine, Washington. Hmmm.
comment by solitaire on Oct 29, 2012 6:07 AM ()
I wasn't too keen to try it as it touts itself as a "family" restaurant. So of course, I envisioned wall to wall brats and disconnected parents. I was pleasantly surprise to find no children there at all.
reply by nittineedles on Oct 29, 2012 8:01 PM ()

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