The Old Mill

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I’m actually surprised this place is still open as an event venue, the building is quite nice, but just about everything else is abysmal.

The food seems like the place going back to it’s roots of being a lumber mill, the dry steak, pulpy soup, and rice that tastes surprisingly like wood chips.

The service is also very close to being treated like a piece of lumber. Asking for something makes me feel like Oliver Twist, “please ma’am, can I please have some coffee” and be prepared for a lashing.

It location is beautiful, surrounded by nice houses, trees, a river you can hear but can’t see, and occasionally, a coyote in the parking lot, I hope they have to pay for the parking too.

However the coyote is not going inside, because it can probably smell the out-dated food from all the way across the river. The food is like they’ve stolen it from a all-you-can-eat joint (and not even a decent one at that) along with the food trays. Then we are reminded by the staff they they want to be here even less than we do, and they don’t even have to eat the food being served. I’ve been here two times both for weddings, the day should be ruined by drunk relatives, or drunk exes (that’s really your fault for inviting them), or both, or oh I don’t know, a meteorite crashing into earth, but definitely NOT by terrible food and even more dreadful service.

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Starting with the oily greens which could only come from, and I really hope they found it dirt cheap, like in the corner of a supermarket with a giant $1 sticker on it: wilted, soggy, bruised and abused. Oh they definitely saved money on not using olive oil though, I mean we don’t want to add any flavour that’s going to mask the natural flavours of the rotting veggies!

I hope you like canned soup, I mean who doesn’t, supermarkets aren’t stocked to the brim with those campbell’s soup for no reason, because that is what you gonna get with the soup. The sad part is, you have just had the best part of the meal.

Now that you have been sufficiently appetized, please do buckle up for the wild ride that is the entrees. The first time I had a beautifully cooked hockey puck, oh excuse me, umm beef? Some sort of beef i was told. “Medium or medium rare?” they asked, how can you possibly tell? They are all in the same tray, “medium rare” responded I and any sensible human being, the server attempts to pick one she thinks is mid-rare (it wasn’t), I am truly curious about how she decided which ones are which.


All the flavour of the “beef” has been leached out of it by, what I can only assume, having it sit overnight in warming trays and heated up in those airplane steam ovens right before serving it up which is barely acceptable on an aircraft, and is absolutely NOT the way to do a wedding banquet. Just eat those potatoes, I did ask for for more potatoes because you physically cannot screw up a potato (but they came VERY close, dangerously so). The steamed veggies are great too, you don’t even have to chew them it’s like a veggie butter, just bland and disgusting.

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Second time around the entrees was MUCH fancier, at least how they were mentioned on the menus. “Basil panko crusted atlantic salmon – roasted pearl onions & oyster mushroom ragout, orange & fennel salsa” My goodness, that sounds like a delightful combination of deliciousness, I do love some fennel with my seafood. However what they didn’t seem to mention in the menus was this was either cooked from a frozen packed they got from no frills, or somehow stolen from a prison or the microwave in a college dorm room.

 

There was no crust to be had; no basil to be tasted or seen, not even dried basil; no roasted pearl onions; and the saddest part, no fennel and orange salsa. My mistake, there was a single sprig of leafless fennel stem, how exciting. The fish, the fish is just sad, again I have been known to dabble in the frozen fish game (especially frozen basa fillets), the fish was firm and taste of ocean, but in a “this is definitely frozen since the last ice age”, and is so flaky it’s like I’m taking apart one of those wooden 3D puzzles.

The chicken breast I am almost sure they got from the same company Subway(R) *eat fresh* with their “chicken breasts”. Four black stripes I think was supposed to be passed off as “char marks” on one side of the chicken, it really just makes it worse because it’s almost like they tried. They say it’s “apple cider brined breast of ontario chicken”, I sincerely hope no one thinks all ontario chicken taste like that; or apple cider taste like that; or brined chicken breasts taste like that (unless it’s brined in canned brown blandness juice).IMAG1010


At this point you are thinking to yourself “my goodness, this is sounding extremely fantastic and I cannot wait to experience this culinary adventure.” I know I know, the anticipation is palpable. However, it gets better. Service with a smile seems more like a crooked inspirational poster collecting dust and never been looked at on the wall. The servers give the impression that their families are being held hostage unless they come and serve here, I’m surprised they aren’t crying.

One of the guests at my table asked if they could have a desert with no dairy as she happens to be lactose intolerant. She was told “oh, it’s too late”, no “oh sure, yeah let me look into if we can get you anything else” or anything along those lines like a sensible service industry professional, she said “too late”? What the hell do you mean “too late”? What is this? A school cafeteria? Or, judging by the quality of the food, a prison really.

For anywhere from 95 to 200 dollars per person I expected good food. I know weddings are expensive and the per person price includes more than just the food, but it’s really not too much to expect slightly better than cafeteria food. The fact is going to the food court would give you a better dining experience than a wedding at the old mill. It’s really sad to say, I wanted to like the place, I wanted to enjoy the wedding and have a good time. I did have a good time despite of the old mill, but I wanted to have a good time because of the old mill.

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