Dried and Fried, or, Fine Dining in Oil Country

So I’m spending a a few days outside of lovely Weyburn, Saskatchewan (“the Opportunity City”)  doing some work related to the oil business. I’ll be here several times over the next year, so I’ll have the opportunity (there’s that word again) to eat at pretty much every restaurant in the town. According to Wikipedia, the population in 2006 was about 9500, but with the high gas prices and frantic activity in the oil sector, that number is certainly larger in 2012.

Consulting one of my go-to apps when traveling, I found that TripAdvisor rates the local Dairy Queen as the second best restaurant in town. I decide to ask the people I’m working with, all locals, for advice on where to have dinner.

First, I must be state that I LOVE LOVE LOVE the people here.  They are hard-working, salt-of-the-earth, and friendly people. I can’t ask for a better group to work with and to have as business associates and partners.  As Weyburn is centrally located, that is one thousand kilometers from anything, they don’t have a great selection in fine dining.

So the first night out, we randomly chose a place called Pump Jack’s Saloon & Steakhouse. We couldn’t find any reviews of the place, but it was easy to locate and fairly new. The inside was warm, comfortable, not too noisy, and had the requisite hockey games showing on several TVs. One thing Canadians really know well is their beer, and the place did not disappoint with the selection or temperature. The wine list was adequate for the pub fare offered.

In our party of six, two people ordered rib eye steaks with steamed veggies, and both guys were happy with their choices. However, the rest of us had more adventure. One woman ordered ‘Chili Chicken’ which was described as a lightly battered, tempura-style chicken with Thai sauce. It turned out to be heavily battered bits of white chicken with some fried wonton wrapper strips, served on plain white rice, lightly drizzled with a pink sweet/hot syrup. Very fried, and very dry. Another man ordered Teriyaki beef, which was small cubes of beef, fried, served with fried wonton wrappers and plain white rice. No sauce, no moisture.

My friend and I decided to order the carnivore appetizer platter to split for our dinner, along with a Caesar salad (iceberg lettuce with Parmesan cheese, two croutons, and some type of Caesar-like dressing).  The platter consisted of: a few of the Chili Chicken pieces, a pile of the Teriyaki beef pieces, some small riblets that were dusted with a seasoning and fried, and some chicken wings.  These were lightly battered and well-fried, and dry.  We asked for blue cheese dressing to dip, which ended up being pretty much the only discernible water content of the food. While the food tasted OK, the words ‘succulent and tender’ had taken one look at the kitchen, chuckled weakly, withered, and died.

We medicated ourselves with another beer, and split a couple bottles of a soft red table wine among us. The waitress was efficient, friendly, and happy to be at work. We had a pleasant evening, but I decided it might be a place to stick with the steak.

Tomorrow: It’s not really Greek.

Categories: Food, Travel

Tags: , , ,

2 replies


  1. Fine Dining in..Cotton Country Cafe | Two Different Girls
  2. History and Chicken in Old Town Spring | Two Different Girls

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