Once in a while it feels really great to just indulge. Whether you stuff your face with a guilty pleasure or clear the calendar for a Netflix binge, those moments in life when you just do whatever the heck you want are essential to maintaining your sanity. One of my favourite ways to spoil myself is to eat as much as I possibly can in one sitting, preferably in the company of a good friend who will not judge me no matter how many crumbs I spill.
Lucky for me, there is a fabulous restaurant right in Lower Lonsdale called Raglans Bistro, which caters to those who enjoy the sensation of being disgustingly full. This funky little bistro, located at 15 Lonsdale Ave., is decked out like a tiki bar and serves up monster-sized tropical drinks along with an eclectic menu of poutine, burgers, “Westmex”, and snacks. With cartoons and sports constantly playing, and a lovely little patio to boot, this is the perfect spot to gather with a friend or two and indulge.
So what does a belt-busting meal at Raglans look like? To help you visualize the experience, I decided to take a friend out for a meal—you’re welcome. First off, appies are an absolute MUST at Raglans. With so many mouthwatering options to choose from, this can be a daunting first task. If you prefer, grab one of their tasty beverages to help lubricate the process—I went with a classic, the Pina Colada:
For our appies, we tried the Falafel Bites and Coconut Prawns, both of which are finger food dishes and wonderfully messy to consume. The falafel is full of flavour and sprinkled with a deliciouly biting feta, packing a serious savoury punch. Accompanied by a light and fresh tasting tsatziki, this appy provides a wonderful treat for the taste buds. The prawns are equally surprising in flavour and far too easy to gobble up. They are nicely cooked with a satisfying crunch, and are well complimented by a sweet mango dipping sauce.
For our mains we went with two very distinct flavours. First up, the Cajun Fish Soft Taco Platter. Forewarning, this dish is a definite space hog! It comes as a build-your-own style meal, with grilled fish, corn tortillas, and a beautiful rainbow of toppings arriving on three separate plates. Toppings include the usual suspects, as well as some zesty coleslaw and chipotle sour cream. While the fish itself was slightly mushy around the edges, when paired with its taco fixings the combined effect was definitely tasty. It’s a great option for sharing, and travels well if you end up having to pack some to-go.
Our second entree was the Veggie with Miso Poutine. This meal, which provides a unique gluten-free miso gravy/veggie packed alternative to the standard option, has a distinctly saline edge to it. The portion size is gargantuan, and includes an impressive abundance of gooey mozzarella and spicy sauteed veggies—definitely not for the feint of tummy! In the words of my dinner companion, consuming this dish is “like eating a bowl of miso raman, but with french fries!”
So next time you have that urge to indulge, get your butt off that couch, grab a friend, and head on over to somewhere like Raglans, where the belly ache comes guaranteed!
Note: Raglan’s also serves up a mean breakfast menu, however the website is currently under construction and their menu has been updated. Check it out in person or hit up the Raglans food truck at the Shipyards Night Market—you won’t be disappointed!