Pluckers Wing and Crab Shack

One of the first reviews I wrote on this blog was for JTPluckers, back before I thought to bring my camera when we went out to eat. Thankfully, Pluckers recently opened a new location in town, and I thought it was a perfect opportunity to redeem my blogging ways and go back. I would have gone back to the original location I reviewed on Walkers Line, but it closed for renovations (though I have it under very good authority that it is re-opening soon).

The new location is in Aldershot, an older part of Burlington that seems to be rejuvenating itself with the addition of new stores and restaurants. I hope the area is revitalized, I grew up in the area, and the church I’m going to get married at is also in the area. It deserves attention – North Burlington’s been stealing the thunder for too long, and it’d be nice to see the area West of IKEA get a facelift.

But I digress. The new Pluckers (notice that the JT has mysteriously dropped from the name) is where the old Chaps used to be, and has been given a pretty sophisticated makeover. There are no chickens flying airplanes here, but there are lots of televisions, a gorgeous bar and an even more gorgeous fireplace. They’ve really classed it up, and it now looks like a modernized sports bar.

On the night we came, the place was full of people watching the hockey game and a few local softball teams as well. That being said, we were seated right away, and the service was friendly and timely. We had a fantastic server, and although I don’t remember her name, she was awesome. She knew the menu inside-out, and was attentive to our every need.

To go along with the new decor, the menu has been amped up significantly as well. There are still the same items as before, but there are some neat additions like the Lobster Poutine – which we had to try. When our server brought the dish to our table, I was shocked at the size of it. Plated on a long rectangular plate, there was a mountain of fries, light peppery gravy, plenty of cheese curds and a surprising amount of lobster and crab. The fries were hot and crispy, so the cheese melted into delicious strands as you pulled it away from the plate. The sweetness of the seafood, the saltiness of the cheese and the pepper in the gravy made this a fantastic dish. I have never seen a seafood-based poutine before, and after tasting this one, am waiting to see it start popping up on menus everywhere. It was delicious and I highly recommend it for anyone who likes poutine.
An order of Cheese & Bacon Biscuits came four to an order with a side of same gravy used in the poutine. For under $2, we thought that it was good value and ordered it for fun. Unfortunately, the biscuits were a disappointment as they were dry and crumbly. My idea of a perfect biscuit requires it to be buttery and flaky, and these missed the mark. The taste was odd; almost like a dried herb seasoning was heavily mixed into the batter, and there was no cheese or bacon to be seen.
Remembering how much Jersey liked the wings on our last visit, we ordered a pound of wings in the House sauce, and a side of their hottest sauce, Mayday, on the side. The wings were large with just the right amount of breading on them to give them a slight crisp but not overwhelm the meat. They were juicy and came to the table piping hot in a mini fry-basket. The sauce was as good as we remembered; slightly sweet, smoky and peppery. Mayday sauce was indeed spicy, and even I couldn’t have more than a few tastes of it. I’m glad we asked for it on the side because I have no idea how someone could order their wings tossed in that. It makes my eyes water just thinking about it.
We wanted something different and our server recommended the Po Po Boy: hollowed out baguette halves stuffed with fried seafood, coleslaw and a mayonnaise-based sauce. The dish comes with a side, and we asked for a garden salad, but alas, the salad never did come. (So if I ever get scurvy, you can’t say I didn’t try.) The sandwich was sadly, our least favourite item of the night. Jersey was sad at how few ingredients were used to stuff the bread, as there were maybe three chunks of fish per half loaf. I was more disappointed in the bread, which tasted stale to me due to it being hard and tough. With so many other items on the menu that caught my eye, this will be a dish that I will pass next time.
Finally, I have to mention the fantastic service we received – not from our server, but from the owner of the restaurant, Todd. He came by when he noticed I was taking pictures and we had a nice chat about how the new place was going, plans for the Walkers location, and so on. When the food came, he made it a point to ask us how things were going, and I was honest with my feedback. Here is where I was really impressed: instead of making excuses or placating me, he took my feedback humbly and openly. He didn’t try to tell me I was wrong, or that it must have been a bad night because they’re always perfect,  rather, he took what I said and really listened. It was probably the most sincere reaction I’ve received when giving feedback, and I appreciated it. Now, will changes be made because of me? I don’t know, but I am so impressed that he took the time to genuinely care and want to listen to what I had to say. That, my friends, is good management and great customer service.

Pluckers Wing and Crab Shack
355 Plains Rd. E., Burlington


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