We wanted a quick meal before catching a movie at the nearbly theatre, so we opted for the Cactus Club, since Shane had never been, and I'd only been once before years and years ago. What I remember from my visit last time wasn't the food, but their roomy and high tech bathrooms (rotating plastic toilet seat covers, step flusher, and roomy stalls = awesome). Anyway, I'm not so fond of chain restaurants where their hiring policy seems to include dress size and cuteness, you know?
Check out the exterior. It's kind of Gothic, and rather kitchy. The interior is kind of similar, with art and chandeliers mixed with wide screen TVs--very anachronistic. Cheesy post-modern?
The restaurant was crowded when we arrived, and we had to wait for about 10 minutes for a table. We were seated at a huge booth that could've fit about eight people, even though we were just two. That was pretty neat. One thing though--the place is loud. Music, people talking--it's like eating at a night club or something.
For food, we opted to share a couple of the 'Rob Feenie' dishes. The first one was the short rib sandwich ($15.25), and I substituted their yam fries. The short rib sandwhich came with caramelized onions, and also came with chipotle aioli and beef jus. Ok, to be honest, when this arrived, I was a little disappointed at the size. The sandwich seemed really small. In terms of taste, the short rib was pretty darn tasty--the meat was tender and braised really well. The caramelized onion was a great addition. The only thing I didn't like about this was the type of bread used--it seemed way to thin and puny to hold up to such a big taste (especially to be eaten dipped in the jus). The yam fries were okay; for some reason it didn't taste 'yam-y' enough.
We also shared "The Burger" ($14.50), which came with cheddar, bacon, mushroom, and red pepper relish. The burger was good, though it was quite messy. Nothing really stood out to elevate it to next level of burgers, but it was an enjoyable meal. I can definitely say that relish made the burger stand out a little from the crowd, but it felt a little too much--perhaps there were too many components? Having tasted Rob Feenie's original burger at his "Feenie's" next to Lumiere a while back, this burger is not in the same range in quality. Perhaps it's not fair to compare, since they are/were not the same type of restaurant, but he has his name on it, right? So I would say "the Burger" is a good burger...for a chain restaurant.
I don't think I'd come here again, even though the food was tasty enough. For some reason, I'm not sure I enjoyed the whole Cactus Club experience. A lot of people do, so good for them. Sail on....