While attending a function at the recently re-launched Crowne Plaza Hotel (formerly the Executive West), Lynda and I stopped in at the Blue Horse Café — a somewhat more upscale restaurant inside the hotel than whatever was in there before the renovation. The restaurant and the hotel itself looks much nicer than the last time we were there for a convention, so I do have to give the place good marks for appearances.

We were seated and promptly attended to by our waiter, who took our drink orders and quickly returned with them and took our dinner orders. My wife decided to give the $13 buffet a try and I went over to look at it, and it while it did look very nice, I just wasn’t interested in ribs or chicken, the only meat choices on the buffet. Instead — and I should point out that the menu was lacking in dishes that I would like — I ordered the Bacon Burger, but with explicit instructions to leave the bacon OFF (yes, I am weird in that I absolutely abhor the taste and even the smell of bacon) and to cook it WELL.

Lynda returned with her plate from the buffet and pronounced the all of it excellent — especially the ribs. The veggies that she brought back did look very tasty and I found myself wishing that I had decided to forego the meat and had done a veggie excursion to the buffet line. My burger finally arrived and of course, it was smothered in bacon. I recoiled from it since it was smelled strongly of it and told the waiter to take it back and have it redone and he asked if I could just pick the bacon off, to which I replied, ABSOLUTELY NOT. He reluctantly took the offending burger back to the kitchen. A few minutes later he returned with a fresh burger, sans bacon. The burger was a generous sized patty of beef but the bun was tremendously tall; I don’t think I have ever encountered a thicker bun anywhere. The accompanying fries were presented in a glass tumbler lined with wax paper and of course, they were only semi-warm, being on their second trip out from the kitchen. I bit into the burger — after inspecting it to make sure they hadn’t just peeled the bacon off in the kitchen as it seemed that it hadn’t really taken very long to bring out a well-done burger — and the first bite was overcooked and very dry. I am sure Lynda was wondering why I was staring at it dejectedly and shaking my head. Oh well, better overcooked than not cooked enough and I was starving, so…

The sautéed  onions beneath the burger was starting to cause a sliding problem with it starting to scoot out of the bun, so I turned it around to try to even things up and bit in. Bloody raw! Instant appetite-killer! Apparently, the grill chef had thrown the burger on the grill’s hot-spot to expedite the burger’s return to the table, but I am guessing only half the burger made it on there, as I can find no other explanation that could account for how you could get a burger cooked biscuit dry on one side and oozing blood on the other. That was a new experience.

The manager came over and apologized and comped us for my meal and honestly tried to make things right by offering me something else, but my appetite was ruined. I suppose I should cut them some slack, since they have only been open about three weeks, and I hope they get things ironed out before we return next year.

So, it was a split decision from us:

Lynda gave them 10 out of 10 stars.

I gave them 1 out of 10 stars.

Blue Horse Café on Urbanspoon

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