Saturday, May 3, 2008

Restaurant Review - Victoria Pub & Grill

Victoria Pub & Grill
1413 S Victoria Ave, Ventura
Phone: 805-650-0060
Cuisine: American/British, Seafood

I took my wife and son to the Victoria Pub & Grill for lunch today. This was not my first visit, but it was for my wife and son. My friend had introduced me to it shortly after he moved to the area, and I have gone back several times.

From the outside the building looks pretty ordinary. Once you go inside though, you see that it has the look and feel of a British pub. There are two floors, and on a typical evening visit the first floor is packed to capacity. This has served my friend and me well, as there are two dart boards on the second floor, and usually we are the only ones playing upstairs.

I didn't go upstairs this time, so from memory I only recall the two dart boards. I don't recall any other games. The downstairs has one dart board that I saw, though I didn't check near the bar. The atmosphere is dark and you can smell the food from the kitchen as you walk in.

We were told to sit wherever we would like, which to my wife and me means somewhere where there is a booth so we can keep my son from roaming while avoiding the fit that would ensue by putting him in a high chair. We found a nice corner to hole up in, and the waiter came by shortly.

I ordered my usual Guinness, and my wife ordered a coke for herself and water for the boy. For whatever reason, it seems pretty consistent that my first pint of Guinness is from the bottom of a keg, and the second pint is from a newly tapped keg. I am not sure how it seems to always work out that way, but the second pint is usually better. I was unable to test my theory today, though I would have liked to. My Guinness was very satisfying, but it seemed to me that the bottom of the keg experience was playing out. I figured that at 11:30 in the morning my chances of them needing to change out the keg were much smaller, so I stayed with the one pint.

I ordered my usual there, the Cajun Chicken sandwich. This sandwich is so good that I crave it pretty consistently. Today I changed it up a bit when the waiter asked if I would like to add an avocado to my sandwich. I ordered my usual onion rings as well. My wife ordered the fish & chips, and my son was ordered a corn dog.

Typically when I eat at the pub it is pretty busy, as I mentioned before. This usually means that we have to wait a bit for our food. This is never a problem, as we are usually busy throwing darts. Today, since it was early, there were no crowds. We got our food much earlier than normal.

I knew I would be talking about the food, so I made sure to sample my wife's and my son's food. The corn dog had a thick, sweet batter, and it tasted pretty good. I wasn't sure what the hot dog was made of, but it almost tasted like chicken. He enjoyed it quite a bit. My wife's fish was lightly battered, though the batter was pretty tasty. She ordered the Halibut, and it was well cooked. I would order the fish & chips if I could keep from ordering the Cajun sandwich. The avocado made a great sandwich tasted even better. The spices were just right, and had just the right amount of kick, that is for the average person at least. I would love for it to have a bit more kick, but it was still really good.

The waiter was friendly and though he was not the fastest in the business, we felt he did a good job. The service gets a 7 out of 10. The ambiance was great, the food was great, and the Guinness was great. The food gets a 9 out of 10. I highly recommend this pub to anyone.

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