The Mix Steakhouse and Bar (Orleans ON)

Last Friday my wife and I ventured out to find a restaurant… someplace new.  We ended up in the parking lot of a strip mall on Tenth Line Rd. In this strip mall was a steakhouse, The Mix. It is tucked away in the back, hidden behind a Dairy Queen. It does not seem to be an ideal location as it is very much hidden from sight in all directions. The Mix Steakhouse and Bar might be more appropriately names Jekyll and Hyde’s Steakhouse and Grill. Bear with me and I will explain.

Being a steakhouse I was expecting a much more upscale atmosphere in the restaurant. However, on entering I realized that this was nothing more than a tiny little pub with a few booths and a few tables in the back. It was very small and along the side was the bar. This place seemed dingy and a bit dirty. It was far from warm and welcoming. My wife and I were actually about to leave when the waiter caught us and gave us the menu’s. We were already there so why not take a look right?

Oddly enough the menu was that if an upscale steakhouse. They served $15-$20 pasta’s, seafood ranging from $13-$30 and steaks ranging from $22-$36. They even had rack of lamb on the menu. This was definitely no pub menu. That being said if you wanted pub food they did have wings and burgers etc. The special that night was the Fajita’s two for one special. We took the Fajita’s, I added onion rings to start and my wife added soup to start.

The onion rings were perhaps one of the top 3 I have ever had. What made them stand out was the garlic dipping sauce that came with them. It was thick, creamy, and loaded with garlic flavour and went amazingly well with the rings. Then came the Fajita’s. There was a large deep dish of sour cream, Guacamole, and brochette (not the correct name). There was also a dish of rice with a spicy tomato paste on the top. The fajita filling came sizzling hot on a cast iron dish. There was loads of peppers chicken and onions. Not like those places that we have all been to where you get a few peppers and a dish loaded with onions. These guys made a nice well proportioned dish. There was actually a perfect number of shells served as well. Perhaps 1 or 2 more would have been better but there was enough. The fajita’s where very juicy, extremely tasty, enjoyable. I was still astounded by the food offered by this place that looked like a dive and to think i was ready to walk out the door and not even try it! One thing that should have been a giveaway that food would be good was that there were no ketchup bottles on the table. Typically that’s a good thing; it means they know you are not going to want to drown your food in ketchup to make it edible.

I have neglected the service to this point but I will assure the service is great. I mean, how could it not be great, the joint was nearly empty. I suspect that may have to do with it being effectively hidden from any main road in the local area. It is truly a hidden gem. The service was fast, kind, and courteous.

As for the value, I will say that even at regular price these fajita’s would have been worth the $16 each. As a 2 for one the value was absolutely outstanding. The onion rings and soup were also very reasonably priced. I do want to go back and try the fish and chips and a steak. The steak will be the ultimate tell tale for value at this restaurant.  They call it a steakhouse, let’s see if they get it right!

In summary, I am very pleased with this find. It is a diamond in the rough. I hope you figured out from my review that it should have been named Jekyll and Hyde’s because of the discrepancy between the menu and the atmosphere.

By all means, give this place a try. Do not be turned off by the first impression. You will be pleasantly surprised.

Stephen Richardson
http://www.canadafoodcritic.com

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