Monday, December 20, 2010

South of Temperance

My office is literally a 15-second walk from South of Temperance. It opened in the summer after many delays and push backs.  I remember browsing their menu online when it opened and noticing that nothing caught my eye, so I didn't plan on going at all even though it is so close. But last month, my colleagues and boss suggested going to South of Temperance for lunch, so this is the only reason why this post exists. If it were not for them, I would've never step foot in the restaurant.

In the summer, the patio at the South of Temperance is always packed.  Doesn't matter if it's at 11 am on a Monday morning or 3pm on a Wednesday afternoon, it's still crazy busy. Apparently a lot of people in work attire in downtown does not actually have to work (not that I just realized this, but just wanted to put it out there). And before you ask me how I know it is packed and that it must be because I'm there too, well you are all wrong, I walk by South of Temperance in order to go to Winners LOL =D

Our table that day was where the open patio would be in the summer (or part of it) and during winter time, it is enclosed by some glass enclosure. I was sitting right by and man, was it cold; I was freezing the whole time, even with my jacket on. 

I would say South of Temperance is catered to the corporate crowd; you won't just wander into South of Temperance without meaning to go there in the first place for business-related mingling. It tries to give off a casual atmosphere with the high bar tables and LCD TVs, but to me, it's still a pretty "pretentious" place. You can only go so far with that when the crowd they cater to are all in business attire. South of Temperance is a typical downtown hangout for business people and you will definitely never catch me there with my friends besides for work purposes. Blah, I can't even imagine having a work dinner there; in my opinion, South of Temperance is definitely just a business lunch or happy hour place with colleagues.

South of Temperance has the same menu for lunch and dinner: Appetizer, Soup& Salad, Main Course Salads, Naan Breads, Burgers and Sandwiches...

...Pasta, and Main Courses.

Oh and before I go on, I really wasn't going to blog about the South of Temperance but I had my trusty iPhone4 with me and because the place had good lighting, I was able to snap all these pictures with my phone ^_^ 

We had a total of 6 people for lunch. Ordered two bottles of Pinot Noir and also the following 3 appetizers to share:

Bay Street Dip  - Shrimp & scallops, served with naan bread and corn chips. 

This dip was the best dish that day for me. It's a nice variation to the spinach / cheese / artichoke dips that restaurants serve everywhere these days (even though I love that dip, it still gets old sometimes). As well, you can really taste the shrimp and scallops in this dip. The naan bread was also soft. Not sure if the dip wasn't hot enough to begin with or if it was because where we sat was cold, the dip got cold pretty fast.

Spicy Sausage Naan Bread - Mozzarella, caramelized onions, roasted grapes, fresh basil. This was the second, and last, good thing that day. The sausages could be a bit more spicier, but I liked how the caramelized onions gave the naan bread a sweet element. The grapes were also refreshing, however they didn't seem "roasted", just seemed like normal grapes to me. Overall, not bad, a nice balance of toppings. I find it odd how the naan breads have their own section as there were only three to choose from and they were TINY. I think they should be under "Appetizers" instead of after "Main Course Salads".

Temperance Chicken Wings - House-made BBQ or chipotle hot sauce, fennel & carrot slaw. Nothing special about these wings at all, just normal, average. I really have no other comment. The carrot slaw was not good though, no flavour whatsoever and really crunchy and cut way too thick.

Most of us ordered salads that day because my colleagues are very health conscious; they workout and actually most of them have a calorie counter app on their iPhones. I am serious. Anyway, I ordered a salad too because I was having a big dinner that night. 

Portobello Salad - Spinach, arugula, dates, lentils, roasted heirloom carrots, sundried tomato vinaigrette, grana padano cheese. This was my salad and I have one word for it: DRY. Everything was super dry and the carrots were sooo hard (felt like I was eating raw bamboo sticks). They certain didn't look or taste "roasted" to me. Not enough dressing for sure here.

Grilled Chicken Salad - Apple smoked bacon, egg, tomatoes, spicy walnuts, avocado, romaine & organic lettuces, whipped goat cheese, lemon-herb vinaigrette. Two of my colleagues ordered this salad, the salad below did not have bacon (obviously the health conscious colleague ordered this variation) while the other one did but she sat way too far away from me. Basically, the bacon was two long strips of bacon placed on top of the salad. My colleague's comment was similar to mine - her salad was DRY. Even worse, she had chicken and the chicken itself was super dry too.

Blackened Ahi Tuna Salad - Organic greens, hearts of palm, jicama, fingerling potatoes, black pepper vinaigrette. This was the best looking salad out of the three. I should have ordered this one; at least the tuna looks moist. The salad also had nice colours.

Portobello Sandwich - Marinated portobello, grilled red pepper, lentil hummus, avocado, balsamic reduction, pretzel bun. She sat really far away from me so this picture would have to do. Had one of her sweet potato fries and was pretty tasty. I asked her how her burger was and she said it was "OK".

Chicken Curry - Moroccan spices, fragrant rice, apricots, coriander, crema, naan bread. Wow, I just noticed how small the naan bread is.  Anyway, again, didn't feel like asking my boss to turn around his dish so that I can have a better picture of the curry instead of the rice. He didn't comment much on his dish, except this: 

My boss: "This taste more like butter chicken than curry chicken"
Me: "Maybe South of Temperance doesn't know the difference between the two"
My boss: *laughs* "You're probably right"

Really not much else I can say about South of Temperance except the fact that I won't be going during my own time - this thought clearly did not change from before I went to after I went. I wonder how this place is during the weekend? It is in the financial district so I assume that it's quite dead? If anyone knows feel free to comment. If it is still packed, I guess there are people out there that do enjoy going for their food, outside work hours. Maybe their drinks are good?

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