ACMe Food Co. enjoyed a wild ride back in the day: always busy and packed on weekends. Sadly, consecutive changes in ownership ran it into the ground but the most recent owners of ACMe Rib & Seafood House (or ACMe Rib & Steakhouse depending on where you look on the web site) seem to really care about the place and are working to turn things around with the bold proclamation, “the fun is back!” Having spent years watching the roller coaster at the corner of Commercial and Terminal Avenue, I walked in to ACMe wanting to find “food”, desperately wanting “food”.
What I also wanted was a nice, cold dark beer. Our wait for drinks wasn’t long but managed to feel interminable because it was noisy to the point of distraction. Maybe it was the layout but the place was over half empty and the voices from the next table — the elbow-bumpingly close next table — overpowered our own conversation. It was even hard to talk about how distracted we were.
That pint of Hermanns Dark Lager helped things.
The menu wasn’t far off what it has always been: West Coast favourites and sushi. Lots of sushi. In its heyday it was some of the best sushi in town but I’d need a lot of encouraging to take that risk. What did catch my eye was the word sesame in connection with a steak salad. Sold. China Steps Steak Salad it would be.
Sadly the claims of sesame-ishness didn’t pan out. What, you can’t toast a couple of seeds and toss them in my general direction? The quality of the meat was passable but barely so; the soba noodles, gummy; the grilled vegetables consisted of two slices each of grilled zucchini and red pepper, pathetic, bland, wilty things. Most pathetic were the asparagus spears: grilled into submission, like they had lost their will, been utterly beaten.
But the single most pathetic element of that plate was the overall flavour profile. Sesame soya dressing makes me think of bright flavours, of a flavour experience, but there was nothing bright or flavourful there. I couldn’t help but imagine what Gordon Ramsey’s response would have been if confronted with that $17 plate. Profanity, I imagined, and throwing it to the ground.
At least we didn’t pay for parking.
Food or fail rating: Fail