I picked up my wife at 4:30 from work. She came out smiling when she saw me and I immediately asked “Where do you want to eat tonight.” She said a few of our usual haunts but then asked me “Do you want to try something new?” Since we normally go for either fast food or something we know we would enjoy I countered her suggestions with either East Side Mario’s or Au Vieux Duluth? Haven’t been to East Sides in forever. But I’ve never had Au Vieux Duluth.
I pulled into the driveway and immediately thought this seems out of place for a strip mall. Once I’m done eating, I can buy a lamp or fill up an 18 liter jug of water if I so chose. Hell, this is also where I get my hair cut! I’ve heard many great things about Au Vieux Duluth. That water store better bottle Perrier.
I open the door for my wife and we’re immediately greeted by our host/waitress Joanna. She guides us to a booth, smiling the entire time and asks if this spot is okay. We take our seats where she formally introduces herself and offers us drinks. She comes back with water, then I order a Pepsi and the lady gets a White Russian. She gives us a few minutes to peruse the paper menu/place mats and this is where I begin to take stock. Manager at the counter. Lady working the bar. Pink haired girl working the front door. Only other couple in there at 4:50 looked like an elderly couple by the window. Slow jazz playing in the back ground. They went with a black and baby poop green colour scheme. I think it’s an avocado. You say tomatoes…
I can hear the lady and the guy working the bar. Something about a complaint and how he’s not calling them back. Joanna returns with our drinks and we start with a round of Pita Bread and Tzatziki Sauce. The sauce was subtle but flavorful and we ate the whole plate. We begin our normal meal small talk about our days. She’s so sweet. She always tells me about the stuff she wants to buy at her work before she makes her purchase. I guess it’s difficult watching other women shop all day maybe? I’ve heard of women synchronizing all kinds of weird things, but shopping? I tried a sip of her drink and it had a faint taste of Kaluaha and 0 vodka. That was mostly milk. Disappointing.
Next up our wonderful waitress brought us our main course. The wife ordered the Chicken Brochette. Came with rice, potato wedges, a pepper sauce and she upgraded to a Cesar salad. I had the Filet Mignon (Duluth Style) with a wine sauce drizzled on the steak, plus all the same accoutrement as my lady minus the pepper sauce. After I took my first bite and sat back in my chair to savor the wonderful medium-rare goodness. I thought to myself: I get it now. The wine sauce tastes like someone stole their grandmas recipe and she studied to be a Saucier in France for 80 years. The word exquisite doesn’t do it justice. The rice was a long grain cooked to perfection and the salad while again subtle, suited the meal. I will say I wasn’t much a fan of the wedges. My wife says I’m wrong in typical wife fashion. She loved them.
Whenever my wife and I dine out, we tend to share each other’s meals. We just pass each other forks and by the end neither of us have the original fork we started with. Her brochette was excellent but the pepper sauce is what will bring me back. It’s hot but not really, a strong pepper flavor but not ever lasting. If you like pepper, I highly recommend it. With tip came to about 120.
I rate my Au Vieux Duluth experience an 8 out of 10 gravy boats on the gravy boat scale. The ambiance was private, almost romantic for just her and I. The meal was generous, not to mention delicious. Our waitress was attentive, funny and helped pick between the Filet Mignon and the Manhattan steaks. Worth every penny of that tip. A 1000 gravy boats to the wife for snickering with me when we heard ”That’s bullshit. I’m not calling them back.” My wife says to me “Not a happy camper?” To which I nod and reply “Someone’s not getting any extra tzatziki sauce today.”
The Seeker Newspaper is located at 327 Second Street E., Cornwall, ON K6H 1Y8 -- All rights reserved The Seeker does not accept responsibility for errors, misprints or inaccuracies published within. The opinions and statements of our columnists are not to be presumed as the statements and opinions of The Seeker, and should not substitute professional or medical advice.
ISSN 2562-1750 (Print) ISSN 2562-1769 (Online)