Pump House Grille at Port Credit
1st Impression: Perfect Hump Day Spot
Dress Code: Casual
Unique for: Unassumingly Great Vibe with a Side of Eye Candy
Value: Bang On
Mains Price Range: $12-$24
It's hump day, and I'm on a search for a great hump day place to eat and have a few drinks. I had noticed the Pump House Grille Co. a number of times while cruising the streets of Port Credit, but never really gave it much thought, until this particular Wednesday night.
I searched online to find that Pump House Grille Co. has Oyster Nights every Wednesday from 5:30 pm - 9:30 pm and they serve Malpeque's on the half shell at $1.50 each. Sold!
This unassuming restaurant on the Northwest corner of Lakeshore Rd. E and Stavebank Rd., in the heart of Port Credit, took me by surprise. Walking along the quiet and quaint streets of Port Credit was such a contrast to the energy and vibe I felt once I opened the doors to the Pump House Grille Co. It was a distinct scene change and is a place like no other in Mississauga. It boasts an upbeat and lively atmosphere and I liked it!
There was so much going on - from the huge centre stage bar, to the giant TV screens showing tonight's hockey playoffs games, a great selection of top-40 music playing at the perfect-I-don't-have-to-yell-volume, to the seats at the windows and the rest of the seating along the sides of the restaurant.
The crowd was a good mix of people and ages, including the Port Credit locals that frequent the place as their local watering hole, a few professionals that just came from work, couples enjoying a night out, and last but most definitely not least, a number of pretty boys in groups of about 3-6, between the ages of 20-28, that came from, I really don't know where. It could be a combination of the great energy and good looking waitresses that brought them over, or perhaps they work or live nearby, but whatever it is, you gals should check this place out for a side of good looking eye candy.
The menu features everything that you could imagine a corporate chain in the late 90's or early 2000's would include. It is a seemingly unimaginative menu, yet caters to every palate. Included in the menu are steaks, butter chicken, asian stir fry, maple glazed salmon, lettuce wraps, quesadilla, blackened chicken fettucini, blue cheese burger, wings, and a beef dip sandwich. One thing that the Pump House does right, which the corporate chains could never come close to, is the execution in their dishes. The menu could use some updating and tweaking, but for sure, the menu is clear, it offers a huge selection for a variety of palates and their execution is on the mark!
We started with the daily special featuring the half shell Malpeques, a glass of vino and a cocktail. The oysters came with a side of sauces, lemon wedges, and horse radish. This is a great Wednesday night spot to fill that oyster void. I will definitely be back for Malpaques at $1.50 per shell.
We couldn't help but notice that during our wait for the mains, the annoying large TV screen above our table continually scrolled through a number of advertisements. Lucky for me, I was sitting underneath the TV. However, my friend had the displeasure of having to face this god-awful screen and every 15 seconds, I would see the reflection of the ad change on his face. This screen is invasive and quite annoying, perhaps moving it to the washroom or front hall would make that particular seat more favourable. Or how about removing it altogether?
For my main dish, I ordered the Basa. Any time I see Basa fish on a menu, I just have to get it! The buttery silky fish is just so delish that I take any chance I can get to savour that flavour. At $16, the basa dish was a generous portion; the fish was lightly blackened and served with a side of grilled vegetables and a side of house-made tzatziki that was thick, garlicky and creamy - 3 characteristics of a kick-ass tzatziki. A variety of zucchini, red and green peppers, and eggplant was the bed to the silky fish. The presentation on the plate, house-made tzatziki sauce, medley of vegetables, and the generous portion size makes this a winner in my books and is something I will definitely come back for.
My friend had ordered the second most expensive item on the menu, a $24 Rib and Wing plate, which included a side of fries and coleslaw. The wings were a trip to old school days, pre-steroid injected Duff's wings, with a side of honey garlic sauce. The wings could have used more seasoning, such as salt and pepper, but other than that, they were great. They had a nice crispy outer layer and a soft and juicy inner layer of meat. The cole slaw, which I'll bet is another of the Chef's signature creations, was a twist on your standard cole slaw - sans mayo and with a dash of dill.
One thing to note is that the Pump House Grille Co. only accepts cash, but they do have an ATM located near the entrance. This inconvenience, and the fact that they probably own the ATM machine (to make a quick buck) along with the annoying Pump TV, does leave a bad taste in my mouth.
The Pump House Grille Co. is a great local spot for drinks, great food and a fantastic atmosphere. Kudos to this restaurant's Chef who takes the time to create in-house specialties - these really make the difference and adds that special touch of detail that places it above your average casual dining experience.Pump House Grille Co.
40 Lakeshore Rd. East