503 – Hwy #1 (see map)
Strathmore AB T1P 1C1
Phone: 403 901 0788
While on a long drive heading back to Calgary, we were feeling famished. We hit Strathmore on the way and decide to stop for something to eat. We picked Smitty’s, despite our previous experience.
We arrived at Smitty’s in Strathmore around 5:15 pm on a Sunday. Because Smitty’s is right next to the highway and attached to the Esso gas station, you might expect a lot of customers. But no, the restaurant was empty. Even so, it was a while before the server noticed our entrance, and she brought us to a booth with old food crumbs on the seat.
Our server seemed friendly at first, but her true disposition would come out in the course of our meal. By the end, she came across as someone who didn’t want to be working there. She brought our drinks and then took our order. Our food did not take long, but now I wish it had taken longer.
I got a burger with fries, and my friend got salmon with vegetables. Where to begin? My fries tasted like nothing. I could have put anything else in my mouth and it would have tasted better than those fries. My side order of mayonnaise was lumpy and sour, like it was past the expiration date. My burger was okay. The patty did have the taste of meat, but it was overcooked, tough, and greasy. The excess burger grease should have gone on the fries, maybe, to give the latter some flavor.
My friend’s salmon looked nice, although it was almost impossible to see, hidden under a thick glob of hollandaise sauce. The plate presentation reminded me of a cafeteria line, where food is slapped haphazardly on your plate. The vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots) were overcooked, such that the carrots tasted like baby food. It seems they were seasoned unevenly, because half the portion was bland and the other half buttery. The salmon was cooked from frozen, as my friend could tell from the texture, and the hollandaise sauce was not worth eating.
As she cleared our table, our server dutifully asked how everything was. “It was okay,” I answered. This was met with silence and indifference. It seems she didn’t care to know why it was not good or how it could have been better.
Ambiance-wise, Smitty’s in Strathmore looks cozy and homey. It would be nice if they took more care to tidy up the place. When we first arrived in the empty restaurant, we spotted one table with dirty dishes, which were still there when we left an hour later. Underneath our table, I found some cutlery that had been lying there for some time (based on the collected dust).
Judging from the lack of customers – only one other group showed up while we were there – we should have been warned.
Last thoughts: The first thing I want to say is STAY AWAY. I will never set foot in this Smitty’s again, not even if they have the last remaining food on the planet. After two bad experiences at two different Smitty’s restaurants, I am done with this chain.