I am not a food/restaurant critic, nor do I play one on tv or the internet. If I were however, I would have to give The Flying Dog in Waterloo Ontario at least eleventeen gold stars in all categories: food, service, price, atmosphere.
Last night we took our oldest daughter and her hubby there for dinner for a late birthday present for him, and it was quite possibly the most enjoyable restaurant we've been to in a very long time. From what I understand, it's the location of an old roller rink, completely redone on the inside to give off a sort of an old world feel. When you walk in, it's very dark but lit by tons of candles, with torches on the walls that light up the gargoyles that are quite literally everywhere you look. It almost feels like walking onto the set of a 1930's black and white Frankenstein movie, only it's not at all frightening, it's just very very cool.
The waiter we had last night was quite pleasant with a sense of humor, without being one of those over the top "you're not nearly as funny as you think you are" types of people. Honestly, waitstaff like that can ruin a good time when you're out to eat.
The food was absolutely incredible. There were so many choices that I had a hard time deciding, but I settled on the French Onion soup and Flying Dog Mac & Cheese. Now, lest you think "what, you had mac & cheese??" let me assure you, it's not what you think. Made with bacon and parsley, 3 different cheeses and baked with a delicious crust topping, this is the stuff only grandmas know how to make (and, well, the cooks at the Flying Dog - which may or may not be grandmas, I didn't notice). The French Onion soup was just beyond incredible, it was downright crazy-good. Loaded with toasted onions and cheeses and bread... oh man was it good! I couldn't even finish it all, so I brought it home for lunch today! Yay me. Kev Caryn and Eric all absolutely loved what they ordered too, Louisana Pasta with loads of veggies and seafood, and Pad Thai. I have absolutely no idea what is in Pad Thai, but Caryn and Eric were writing poetry and folk songs about it before we even left, so it must have been quite remarkable.
We went on Half Price Pasta Wednesday, so the prices were just fantastic for what we ordered. For example, my appetizer and entree were less than 12 bucks, and it was more food than I could eat in one sitting. For dessert, there were 2 slices of white chocolate raspberry cheesecake, a vanilla bean cheesecake and a Godiva triple chocolate cheesecake. Yes, the Godiva was mine. So big and so rich I could only eat half of it, and it also came home for lunch today.
All in all, it was a perfectly wonderful dining experience. If you're anywhere near Waterloo Ontario and have never been to the Flying Dog, you really ought to go. Soon.