With temperatures starting to dip, Edmonton AM food critic Twyla Campbell dipped into the newly-opened Rocky Mountain Ice House on Jasper Avenue. The Texas-inspired spot promises southern food and an elegant dining space –but in the end, she didn't warm up to it.
Listen to Twyla's full audio review:
Drinks: A wide selection of beer is available – the vast majority of which are from craft breweries. However, the staff don't seem informed on their own beer menu, confusing a "red-brown ale" with a wheat ale. Long list of liquor, shooters and wine also available.
Pig nuts: Tasty spiced sausage wrapped in bacon, glazed with BBQ sauce. Good contrast between sweet of the sauce and the salty bacon.
Decor: They've done interesting things and created a beautiful-looking space.
Crab cakes: Promised soft, large cakes with healthy chunks of crab. Ended up with flat, deep-fried little discs that taste of oil and aioli.
"It's that over-handled crab that is pureed into nothingness and formed into those flat patties."
The food in general: uninspired, unauthentic southern food that relies heavily on the deep-fried goods. Cajun offerings seem out of place with the Texas icehouse theme. Disappointing gumbo and thick jambalaya made for a not-so-pleasant visit.
The service: A staff meeting while the restaurant was half-full left only one server to handle the room. Staff did not seem knowledgeable about what was on their beer menu or what went into the food.
The Final Verdict
"Start by knowing the products and knowing what ingredients are in the dishes. Show customers you actually care what you are charging them for. I mean, it's a great space, but the food and the service fell flat."