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Monday 4 April 2011

Soda Jerks Edmonton.. the novelty wears off fast

Rating: 3.5/10

No, its not what you're thinking.  Apparently soda jerks were employees who used to man the soda machines in early 1930's.  Grand opening in early March, we decided to have a go 2 weeks after opening because we've heard mixed reviews from folks, and its a new burger joint.

When you first walk in, you're greeted with slick dark wood paneling, dim lighting, minimalistic decor, classy wine wall, along with an enthusiastic host.  Unfortunately, other than the host, service was pretty abysmal after we were shown to our table.  We noticed an older businessman ordering 2highballs, chased with several beers while he waited for his meal, and only after a cursory attempt at conversation, the two barstaff promptly ignored him for the rest of the night, despite it being completely obvious that gentleman was hoping for some human contact.

Moderate range for wine choices, though you would look pretty hilarious trying to be a wine snob and biting into a mediocre burger.  They did however have a good selection of soda pop and brewed sodas that you can easily find if you stop off at Planet Organic or Sunterra.

the FOOD
At first glance, the menu looked promising, with a small section that listed out nutritional info for the calorie counters, a few meal salads, with chilli and mac and cheese thrown in along with a list of burgers.  We had the aptly named heart attack platter for the appetizers - a slightly oil oozing plate of soggy fries with half of it poutine-ized and the other side swimming in chilli.  While the gravy for the fries was passable, the pseudo cheese curds were awful - mushy chunks of bland cheese.  The chilli was watery with no discernible bits of meat and a few beans. Our order of onion rings had a thick unseasoned batter that oozed oil if you merely looked at them.  If you really enjoy "juicy" onion rings that gush oil into your mouth, have at it or just over-fry McCain's frozen onion rings and leave it sitting in the oil at home.

The Western burger that my fellow foodie ordered unfortunately had a thick layer of off-putting bitter char, and was overcooked.  The onion ring found inside became mush due to the same chilli mentioned before dumped on the burger as sauce.  The bun also suffered the indignity of disintegrating into an inedible paste thanks also to the watery chilli.  After about 2-3 bites, my fellow foodie was strongly thinking that using utensils to finish off this burger was a write off. 

The Traditional burger that I ordered luckily did not come out charred, though it was a bit dry and overcooked. The burger was unseasoned and despite the multitude of toppings, did not elevate the burger past palatable.  Was only able to have one bite of the baked macaroni and cheese side that came with my burger - the mac and cheese while having a lovely browned cheese topping, had a strange powdery and grainy cheese sauce with an off-putting texture. 

Quibbles - poor and indifferent service, charred burgers, watery chili, inedible grainy mac and cheese.  If only the food matched the decor, with the excellent service of the host rubbing off of the rest of the staff.  This new burger joint has a long way to go before their aspirations to become an outstanding burger place can become reality.  What was supposed to be a tongue in cheek name is shortened into an apt description on the staff shirts of the depressed and unenthusiastic waiters that eventually ignored their customers unless the manager or host happened to breeze by.  We didn't have didn't have the heart to tell the manager when he stopped by, what we truly thought of his new burger joint, but it'll be around for a while as people hear about it, and you can judge for yourself.  Just cross your fingers before you order.

Soda Jerks
Address 17520 100 Avenue Edmonton, AB
Phone (780) 486-5375
Hours varies, check website
Soda Jerks on Urbanspoon



Lance Popke said...

Message from the Owner Of Soda Jerks Restaurant I am not always a Jerk........ I notice that in the short time we have been open there has been a lot of criticism and confusion about what we are and what we do. Open – March 7th, 2011 Menu revisions since then – 12 Learning curve – Very High I will be the first to admit that we have made some mistakes and to be honest we will continue to make them. I can assure you that our heart and soul is given every day to provide the best possible food and service.

***Inappropriate advertising removed by Eatyourcity***

Feel free to contact me with any comments, concerns, suggestions or even if you just want to have a beer. I am always listening. Lance Popke M 780-905-2187 T @lancepopke E

Anonymous said...

Who has your host b/c the last time we were there we were sat by the host without her saying a word

nomnomnom said...

He didn't really introduce himself, and with no name tags, not really sure. The floor supervisor/manager seemed to be the only person that cared in the joint.

Anonymous said...

I have been in the industry for a long time. Never in my life have I seen 3 servers breezily pass my the host stand when there are customers waiting, and only give them a god damn half smile. No "one moment the hostess will be right with you" even when they weren't busy. Each and every server could have sat the table in 10 seconds. Service from our waitress was average at best, and her greeting was the exact same at every table she had, literally from when the table sat down to when they left ... It was like she was reading a script, with the same terribly fake tone fluctuations. Build your own burger was the only thing decent. Also, while walking to the bathroom, I witnessed the bartender chitchatting to what seemed to be her boyfriend, ignoring the rest of her tables (there were 2) and expecting the hostess to clean up after her. Sure, you can call that a hostess perk, but not when she's loading the bartenders glasses into the bar dishwasher, having to take clean ones out. The b****y bartender even snapped at this girl to "clean this up".

Anonymous said...

Has anyone been to Soda Jerks close to closing? Me and some friends have. We got there at about 8:00 pm and were shown to a booth by a hostess that well left something to be desired! As we sat down one of my friends stepped on a some fries that were laying next to the seat which was just gross! We then noticed that the floor around us was littered with food, straws, napkins, receipts, things that the waiter or waitress should be cleaning from around their assigned tables so that the restaurant looks presentable. The only thing a customer should see on the floor is crumbs and the occasional thing! We even saw one of the waitress clean off a table and dump everything onto the floor, including some whole fries and a chunk of what looked to be a burger. Then kicked it under the table. Needless to say we got up and left and the hostess didn't even ask why! I don't eat at places that the waitressing staff have no respect for their area! Since going to Soda Jerks last, I have heard some awful things about the place from my co-workers. This is very disappointing on so many levels. I have had the pleasure in going there for lunch which that time was a good/ok experience and never notice the destruction before. I could only assume that the garbage heap grows throughout the day. This restaurant left me embarrassed, I was the one who subjected it!

Anonymous said...

I went to Soad Jerks and felt sick. Service was bad and the food was worse.

Anonymous said...

My wife, daughter and I go occasionally (maybe 4 times in the last two years), and we really like it. We've never had service issues, and the food is pretty tasty. We always order the custom burgers using the ingredient checklist. One day I'm going to build up enough courage to try the Guiness ice cream float!

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