More than a novelty
A recent sunny weekend had us in Parkville vising the beach and an excellent bookstore (shout out to Fireside Books). For this visit, we knew exactly where we were going to eat lunch. Extreme Eatery, a diner-style restaurant right in “downtown” Parksville, had been recommended time after time in the massive Eat Local Facebook group.
Extreme Eatery reminds us of the famous Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas. The menu is made up of huge cheesy burgers, fried chicken, tacos, poutines, milkshakes, caesars and margaritas, and other fried and fattening items. If you want to clog your arteries, this is the place.
We wanted to partake in the artery clogging too but maybe weren’t feeling quite as “extreme” as the average diner there. Thus, on this visit, for him it was a chicken Fire Burger with onion rings, and for her the 3x tacos – one fish, one pulled pork, and one beef. The day we visited margaritas were on special so naturally we ordered a few of those too.
Let’s just stop for a second to acknowledge the excellent service we received. Getting seated by the hostess was an easy affair, despite it being quite busy, and our server was excellent. She was prompt getting to us, and she did not hesitate to make recommendations from the menu. In fact, we’d go so far to say she was legitimately enthusiastic about the food there. We just don’t see that kind of passion anymore these days, and we were delighted to consider her advice when making our selections. Extreme Eatery’s service was top tier.
Our food came and we were impressed. Extreme Eatery is a diner, so that means checker paper plate liners (or whatever those are called), disposable napkins, and plastic cups for condiments. It takes any kind of pretentiousness out of the equation and lets the eater focus on the food… which we did.
The chicken burger was ordered crispy rather than grilled, and hoo boy was it a monster. Take a look at that picture up above. That piece of meat was a beast. Well-cooked too, with plenty of juice while still being delightfully crispy. We were only a bit disappointed that the buffalo sauce and blue cheese were a little light. Ultimately this was a good burger, but will be remembered for its size rather than its taste. The onion rings were similarly huge and well cooked, and were served with a spicy dip with a flavour we couldn’t quite place. It was smokier than typical chipotle… ancho perhaps? In any case it was a great dip and made the onion rings special.
The tacos were already a bit special as we received one of each fish, pulled pork, and slow-cooked beef, the latter being a rare offering. All three of these were loaded with pickled onion, salsa, more of that great ancho aioli, and cilantro. These were flavourful and fun to eat but incredibly messy. Like, incredibly. Get extra napkins. Despite our server’s love of the beef taco, we actually enjoyed the fish taco the most. A great plate of food.
Our drinks were a funny story. These margaritas were normally $11 each (ouch) but were on special for $6 (better!) We split our order between sweet pineapple and tart lime. Despite these being quite different drinks from each other we both had the same thoughts. They were pretty, delicious, and not very boozy. Naturally we ordered another round.
Our bill for the two entrees, two rounds of drink specials, and a modest tip came to $77. We consider this to be good value, but with a couple of caveats. First, if we’d paid regular price for those drinks, that would have added another roughly $15. Second, and more importantly, it’s big food for big appetites. Waif-y types might find less value as they could be stuck ordering a meal they have no chance of finishing.
We were impressed with Extreme Eatery. This is not merely a novelty diner as we once thought. Despite being a grease-fest the food was actually quite good and not outrageously expensive. More surprising was that we received some of the best service we’ve had in the mid-island from this small diner. The value is definitely there for big eaters too. We recommend it, and advise you do as they suggest and bring a napkin!