Jack Astor’s restaurant review: fun place for parties but not so much for hungry vegetarians

We’ve all heard of Jack Astor’s and many of us probably have good memories there (especially those of us who can’t draw for beans—yum, beans…OK, I used that cliche on purpose). With their fun drawing-on-tablecloth concept and delicious smelling food, Jack Astor’s is a very popular place! But how do vegetarians feel about it?

Vegetarian options 8.2/10

Jack Astor’s makes minimal effort to support vegetarians. They offer pizza, a veggie burger, vegetable fajitas, a house salad, spring rolls and nachos, which sounds pretty good, but really, it’s not a lot of choice. If I want a healthy, wholesome meal, my only choice is a veggie burger or the fajitas, which aggravate my pet peeve of serving vegetables instead of beans (at least serve both). My vegetarian friend actually ordered pasta off the kids’ menu. See how desperate we are?

You know a restaurant caters to vegetarians when it marks veggie meals with a special symbol and offers a variety of healthy vegetarian choices (e.g., offer us more than 1 salad choice, more than 1 protein choice).

The Food 8/10

My meal: the Bangkok spring rolls,$8.98

I do have to say these spring rolls are easily in the top 3 best spring rolls I’ve had from a restaurant. They are soooo good! They’re very satisfying and do not disappoint.

Of course, spring rolls don’t make for a very healthy—or filling—dinner. They used to come with a small cucumber concoction (which the menu clearly stated I would receive) but this has been replaced with a side slaw (one that I actually like, though, and I usually don’t like slaw).

My meat-eating friend told me she finds the food below par (her burger was very small) and that picky eaters won’t be happy here. A few years ago the prices were upped and the portions degraded in quality. Also, I had the spinach-cheese dip once and it was so bad that I couldn’t enjoy my Caesar salad or pizza afterwards. I probably just didn’t enjoy one of the ingredients in the dip, or I was comparing it to the amazing spinach-artichoke dip at Boston Pizza.

Still…those spring rolls are GOOD!

Grain: 0.5 (can you really call a fried shell a healthy source of grain?)
Fruits&veg: 1-2
Protein alt: 0
Dairy: 0

My 2nd meal: the veggie burger, $10.47

I have to say the veggie burger was delicious. A well-cooked burger (and a good one) is topped with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, mushrooms, BBQ sauce and chipotle mayo in this pretty well-balanced meal. It also comes with a side of fries or the house salad. I neglect to mention the pickle spear because I hate pickles and asked not to have mine. This is a pretty good meal!

Grain: 2 (I suspect the bun was whole grain…)
Fruits&veg: 2 (double if you order the salad!)
Protein alt: 1-2
Dairy: 1

Prices 8.5/10

The meals seem pretty decently priced, though others around me commented that I was paying a lot for spring rolls. 

Service 9/10

I usually get pretty good service at Jack Astor’s. They did a great job handling our large group!

Atmosphere 9/10

Jack Astor’s is great for parties. They have a social, bustling atmosphere that accommodates large groups. (Though my friend would have liked having the hockey game played on a larger screen in place of replaying America’s Funniest Home Videos clips.)

Would I go here again?

If a friend wants to go, I’ll go, and because I have fond memories here, I respect the place. But if I’m hungry (which I always am), this definitely won’t get me excited.

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2 Responses

  1. Veg burger is NOT vegetarian it has Worcester sauce.

    • Tiffany, thank you for sharing that with the rest of us. That would indeed be a problem! I did not realize Worcester sauce has anchovies.

      If you look at the Jack Astor’s menu, the burger comes with vegetables, BBQ sauce and chipotle mayo—no Worcester sauce. Do you know whether the BBQ sauce is really Worcester sauce, is that what you mean?

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