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Nov 6, 2007 07:33 AM

Ric's Grill - St. Albert

Finally tried a meal at Ric's Grill, and had mixed results.

The starter salads were good, but I couldn't taste any Dijon in their Dijon vinaigrette. The bread was very yeasty despite looking fully baked. The meat was fantastic - my friends and I really enjoyed our prime ribs and New York steaks. The accompanying carbohydrate sides were way over salted (rice pilaf, different kinds of potatoes). The desserts were very good (creme brule, ginger cake, cappuccino ice cream).

After this experience and a past bad one at the Sorrentino's there, I'm starting to wonder if I shouldn't eat in St. Albert except at places that have only one location.

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  1. haven't tried the ric's in SA, but went to both downtown and Terwilliger locale, the first time we went, we were very impressed, it has failed us each time since then. For a steak a would rather hit Von's, they were much better and about the same price point. have not had a great meal at sorrentino's for a long time. I really believe that once you start going into a chain the quality drops the bottom line is all that matters, and they don' t seem to hire chefs anymore, you are talking about 20 yr old cooks. we stay away from the chain restaurants where ever possible. which is difficult here in edmonton, you have to go downtown to get anything original, unfortunately we live in a fast food/chain restaurant city. that being said, we have so many favorite places that we frequent that never let us down. just not as many choices as calgary :(

    1 Reply
    1. re: cleopatra999

      I actually think our selection isn't too bad. But they're all so spread out that unless you're willing to drive from one end of the city to the other you end up stuck going to the same places (and chains) over and over again.

    2. I have not ventured up to St. Albert either. I have been to the one in the Metals Building downtown and my experience has been much the same as described by cleopatra999. The first time was fairly good but thereafter [usually lunch not dinner] mediocre.

      Too bad because I have been to Kamloops BC location on several [they have two, I have been to the one in the Sheraton Hotel near one of their malls, Aberdeen I think as one heads west out of town toward Merritt] and it has been very good.

      Excellent meat and fish. Terrific wine list with some well selected options from the Okanagan whereas the one downtown here in Edmonton was disappointing.

      Are the Edmonton locations privately owned or "company" i.e. chain "stores"?

      7 Replies
      1. re: Bob Mac

        i had heard that they were privately owned that is why we were recommended the terwilliger one, but i am not sure, maybe that has changed.

        i am getting 'called' on the 'edmonton has fewer choices' opinion on another posting too. :) I guess it seems like when i go to calgary there is a new restaurant to try, i also grew up there and while i love the restaurants that we frequent, and it would be interesting to debate overall quality b/w the 2 cities, the originality and number seem lacking up here. I feel that this is especially present in the midrange (under $25 entree), funky, young, hip restaurants. There are a great large handful of expensive restaurants that i wouldn't trade!

        This does seem to be changing though, for instance i went to bacon for dinner tonight, was very impressed. it is a very tiny place in the highlands, open for about 5? months now think. i have only been there for breakfast, this was the first dinner. every thing they make is with local produce/meat (we'll see how they fare in the winter months). started with the borscht, not what i am used to, more of a tomato/cabbage soup with potatoes, v.g but different, my main was braised lamb with coconut red lentils and brown rice....fantastically tender lamb in a moroccan sauce. highly recommend, but make a reservation, it is tiny and fills up fast.

        1. re: cleopatra999

          As requested, im here! For the other posters, i was the one calling out Cleo for being too hard on Edmonton in another post :)

          Anyway, im in the complete opposite position as you - as i grew up in Edmonton, and live in Calgary.

          I don't mean to hijack the thread, but food establishments in Edmonton i wish were down here:

          New York Bagel Cafe
          Skinny Legs and Cow Girls
          Pagolac/Oriental Noodle House
          One of the good Thai restaurants
          Churros King

          and any number of the solid higher end restaurants (Blue Pear, HWG, etc...). And that's just stuff off the top of my head. I know im likely missing 20 more.

          1. re: yen

            I guess we have gotten a little off topic would make an interesting thread...where is the better food, edmonton or calgary. not that we need something else to be competitive about.
            places i wish were up here in the chuck...
            diner delux
            ti ti
            oriental phoenix (still can't find a comparable spring roll)
            living room
            cafe koi
            belmont/galaxy diner
            big fish (i think that is the name, same owner's as diner delux)
            plus all the new restaurants that have started since i moved 4 yrs ago that look fantastic!
            btw...what is betsy's?
            and i don't blame you for missing culina & bacon, i was just at bacon last night and i am hitting culina tomorrow... ;) not to rub it in or anything.

            1. re: cleopatra999

              Betsy's - South African butcher and deli. They have boerwors, drowoers, chili bites, and a bunch of other great SA foods that i miss.

              I find some of your choices interesting. For example, Belmont/Galaxie/Diner Delux? I'd take the Edmonton trio of NYBC/Culina/pick one - Barb and Ernies/Silk Hat/Blue Plate/Cafe Select etc... over that anyday.

              Thi Thi - there's nothing like it.

              For sure. Bistro's arent as good either, though the Living Room has gone a bit down from a food perspective. Their staff keep leaving and going other places. Brava would be nice. But i'd toss Savoy or Suede as places to people watch, with tasty food up against Brava. Better wine by the glass at Brava though.

              To me, there is no comparison in Italian. Calgary wins hands down. No point having that discussion.

              Oriental Phoenix!? We'll agree to disagree. Doan's is probably a rough approximation of it, but i hate both places. I like Edmonton's Vietnamese better. More consistent, better size serves, cheaper, better flavour. As for Thai, there's no comparison. Edmonton wins hands down.

              Don't forget you guys have Ukrainian and good Greek as well. And real donair. Not Shwarma, but the greasy, gooey, slick, dripping, street meat.

              Anyway, lots of pluses to both cities. Which is all i was trying to point out. :)

                1. re: anonymoose

                  sigh. How sad. Things keep changing...

              1. re: cleopatra999

                Oh, and it's not which city has better food. Let's not make this a flame war. For me, i'd be more interested in which city has the better restaurants for each "ethnicity" or type (Breakfast, Pizza, greasy spoon, fine dining, bistro, etc)

        2. We live in St. Albert and have removed Ric's Grill from our list after a disasterous meal there. The service was merely adequate, the entrees were disappointing (my husband's steak was fine, and I was served a cold rack of lamb), and our desserts were hideous. I have never had creme brulee that was both scrambled and runny before; I was "privileged" to have it at Ric's. When we spoke to the manager, we were treated in a most perfunctory way; our server did give us half off coupons for our next visit, but both she and the manager seemed entirely unconcerned that our experience was so bad, and seemed to feel that the coupons would "fix everything". There are far better places to go in St. Albert. I would recommend The Riverhouse Grill (Contemporary Canuck), Haweli (Indian), and Louisa's (Italian) anytime over Ric's Grill.

          3 Replies
          1. re: kali_MM

            Thanks for providing some alternate suggestions in St. Albert! It's always helpful pointing out restaurants that are disappointing / not as good as they used to be / don't live up to the hype, so other hounds don't have to waste time or $ there, but not enough people go the extra distance and post some positive options after critiquing a place.

            1. re: egon61

              For St. Albert I would also recommend Thai Mekong. I think it may be new (had a Now Open sign on the outside). I'm no expert in Thai food at all but it is so great to finally see St. Albert getting some decent restaurants with mains that are under $20. Ric's was nothing special last time we went, and the East Side Marios and Original Joes are not much to be excited about in my opinion. I was thrilled to see the Haweli, but haven't been there yet. I have heard good things though...

              1. re: CourtJ

                Anyone know if the Haweli is owned by the same people as the Edmonton downtown one, and how does the quality compare?

                When in St. Albert I usually end up going to the Cajun House, although I do have the Riverhouse Grill on my to do list.