Baton Rouge

Recently, the boyfriend and I had tickets to a show and had under an hour to find something quick and delicious to eat. Just outside the Toronto Centre for the Performing Arts, we came across Baton Rouge and popped in hoping that we could find a good meal in a very short period of time. After confirming with the hostess that it wouldn’t be a problem (they get asked all the time from people who have tickets to shows if they can accommodate a quick meal), we sat in a big booth in the bar area. 

The restaurant itself is decorated in dark wood everywhere. The entrance doors are large and heavy, and the hostess stand was large and imposing. Everything seemed to be much more oversized than I’m used to, and I felt small in our booth.

There is a promotion on at the moment that is the Mardi Gras Prix Fixe Menu – for $25 you can have your choice of appetizer, entree and dessert, all in the Mardi Gras theme. Both of us opted for the fixed menu since it sounded like the best bang for our buck.

We both started with the Jambalaya Cajun Soup, which came with a side order of sweet rolls. The rolls were rock hard and as cold as if they were just pulled from the refrigerator. Such a shame too, since they actually would have been tasty if they were warmed up, with buttery, sweet dough. The soup was steaming hot and hearty, with rice, sausage, shrimp, chicken and plenty of vegetables. The flavour was amazing from all the different ingredients with the tiniest hint of pepper. It was a good way to warm up after walking in the cold.
The Penne with Shrimp and Sausage was a huge portion of pasta with a side of another sweet roll. This roll was room temperature, so it was a bit better than our soup accompaniment. There were large pieces of sausage that reminded me of the sausage the hot dog cart by my work sells, and a couple of big, meaty shrimps. There were large pieces of carrot in the sauce, which is strange, since I don’t think I have ever had pasta with carrots before, but it surprisingly suited the dish pretty well. The sauce had large chunks of tomato but it was runny and there was too much of it. 
BBQ Pork Back Ribs came with a large scoop of coleslaw, sweet potato fries and a Cajun dipping sauce. The ribs were tender and fell off the bones, but what I liked the most about them was that they were so lean. There was hardly any fat on them, and they were extremely meaty. The fries were hot and crispy, but the dipping sauce tasted like mayonnaise with seasoning salt. I much preferred the fries dipped in the BBQ sauce off the ribs. Finally, the coleslaw, though plentiful, needed more dressing and less parsley. All I could taste with each bite was parsley, and I only ended up eating a couple of forkfuls.
There were only two choices for dessert, and we chose one of each to be able to try them both. The Key Lime Pie was a disappointment for me, but the boyfriend said he didn’t mind it so much. My biggest complaint was that it wasn’t very lime-y. It tasted more like a cheesecake with a slight hint of lime. When I order key lime pie, I want the lime to be the featured flavour (I want it to punch me in the face when I bite into it, was how I explained it to the boyfriend) but this lime was pretty muted. Not to say that the pie wasn’t good, because it was very creamy and smooth and not overly sweet, but the lime was too subtle for me to consider it a true key lime pie.
Finally, the Bourbon Banana Bread was interesting and not at all how I thought it would be. The bottom layer was banana bread and the top layer was bread pudding, and the whole piece was drizzled with a thin caramel sauce of sorts. I was expecting it to be typical bread pudding with banana flavour? Not to say that it wasn’t good, because it was moist and sweet, but it just wasn’t what we were expecting. It was ok, but it was different.
We ended up making it to our show with a few minutes to spare, so we really appreciated the staff for making our order quickly and getting us out on time. I have to commend them because at no point did we feel rushed, or that we were being bothersome because they had to hurry with our order, and it still felt like we had a relaxing meal. Though not a perfect experience, you can’t beat the price, and I would give it another try. The Mardi Gras features run until March.

Baton Rouge Restaurant on Restaurantica
Baton Rouge Restaurant on Urbanspoon
Baton Rouge
5000 Yonge St., Toronto


Laura P said...
March 24, 2011 at 2:17 PM

I went to the Baton Rouge in the AMC plaza in Oakville for New Years Eve. It was really good!Their steak was really yummy and I LOVE their fries. I haven't tried any of the desserts there but the Key Lime Pie looks good. However, I would have to agree with you - the taste of lime just has to be there!

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