The Keg (Kingston) – Pretty good steak in Kingston
Being from Calgary, I have always grown up with steak but I’ve always had it at home. We would sometimes get taken to fancy restaurants as kids (Hy’s, Ceasar’s in Calgary) but for me, the steak has always been an item grilled at home.
When I moved to Kingston, I was surprised to find out that despite having 2 balconies in my apartment, I was not allowed to buy a barbeque. Apparently, barbeques must be on the ground level. My dreams of perfecting my own grilled steaks were dashed.
I looked for a place to replace my beef craving. The Keg was an obvious choice. I recognize that many other restaurants offer steak but I’d usually much rather try any of their other dishes. Steak just doesn’t usually appeal to me on the menu when duck confit or bouillabaisse are other options.
Kingstonites obviously love steak too and like going out for it. The line-up at The Keg can be insane. I often have to eat in the bar (which isn’t bad). The bar has a nice selection of scotch at pretty good prices. Oban 14 year old double for $12 bucks? Not bad at all! They also make a fantastic blue cheese martini (where the olives are stuffed with blue cheese). It does sound kind of gross but it is so so tasty. If you feel like salt, I highly recommend it.
This is the Baseball Top Sirloin (“so thick that medium rare is the most we can cook it!”) for $23.95. Nicely cooked, marinated beef, tender and juicy. The mushrooms were buttery and smooth. The fried onions added some nice crispness. I’ve never really liked double baked potatoes. You lose the joy of the multitude of textures in a simple baked potato. You get the mushy potato, the crispy dry potato skin, the creamy sour cream, the salty bits of bacon, and the fragrant bite of chopped green onions.
This is the Keg Size New York Steak (“Tender New York striploin, the King of Steaks”) for $32.95. I am not sure how much larger the Keg Size is compared to the regular size… but it was pricy for sure. The striploin wasn’t as tender as the sirloin or the filet but it was so nicely marbled that each bite had some deliciously caramelized fat. There was also a thin ring of fat around the entire steak that added some nice beef fat flavour. The vegetables were pretty bland. Oily and somewhat undercooked. The baked potato was pretty standard. I wish they brought the toppings tableside instead of having the potato dressed in the back.
This is the Filet Mignon (“Tenderloin wrapped in applewood smoked bacon. The ultimate in tenderness”) for $28.95. Really tender, moreso than the sirloin and tenderloin, but not quite as fatty or flavourful. Somewhat small for the price. I ordered this steak and was hungry afterwards. One nice touch is that after our meal, the manager asked us if our steaks were cooked to our liking and for the most part, they were.
I’ve been to The Keg 4-5 times and they’ve always impressed me with their commitment to serving a perfectly cooked steak. The cost is somewhat prohibitive to eat there often and to be honest, if I had access to a grill, I would probably cook my own steak rather than eat there. That being said, they have a nice scotch list, they serve a nice martini, and it is sometimes nice to go out to eat. I’ll keep coming back here until I can figure out a tasty way to panfry a steak…
The Keg, 300 King Street East, Kingston, ON K7L 3B4, (613) 549-1333, www.kegsteakhouse.com