Handle Bar, Lock Road
I had heard a few things about this place in the past and finally came by here to check it out. Tucked away in Gillman Village (1 Lock Road #01-01, 6475-9571), this very casual place has a decently big patio and a not-as-tacky-as-it-could-have-been biker-bar-themed interior (it only dawned on me later why this place is called the Handle Bar...get it?).
Anyway, with so much discussion about fish & chips lately, this was pretty much already on my mind when we arrived. It generally turned out all-right, with some decently sized portions and a piping hot and crispy batter. This wasn't without a bit of localization though. The batter had some pepper in it (although definitely not as heavily as at Chippy's), and malt vinegar was nowhere to be found. After I walked to the kitchen to ask for some vinegar, they poured it into a little dish for me, which made it a bit interesting to try to douse onto the fish. At least it wasn't in a spray bottle.
We also grabbed a few starters like the jalapeno poppers (or as their chalk-scribbled menu outside called it, Bad Attitude Jalapeno), as well as their blooming onion (or as their menu called it, the Blossom Onion). The jalapeno poppers were better than El Patio's as they used the whole jalapeno rather than just half, thus packing in a respectable amount of heat (although they still used cream cheese, interestingly). The blooming onion was decent as well, although I could also sense a bit of that pepper in the batter, and was still short of Black Angus' version (or even Tony Roma's onion loaf...oh God, have I decended into chain restaurant hell?).
Anyway, the gist of the story here is that while the food was just a tad short of other available places around here, it was still above average and primed for a repeat visit (the burgers, steaks, and ribs looked worthy of a try). They also had some gumbo that I'll have to check out.