15740 Redmond Way
Redmond WA 98052
South by Southwest is the Name of the Plot
By: Steve G
As I entered Canyons Restaurant in Redmond one thought immediately leapt to mind: Caveman meets HDTV. Littered amongst all the caveman art are strategically placed TVs around every corner. It's not a surprise that every table has a least one or two good views of a TV, which are all tuned into ESPN or Fox Sports Northwest. Matched with the earthy tones and Anazasi style stone paintings, the high tech luxuries are a strange pairing. For the ancient caveman who needs to have his sports fix, Canyons will cater to your needs. Redmond's Canyons (one of three locations in the Puget Sound area) boasts one of the most tech savvy joints in the area with its Business Technology Center. Offering Wi-Fi, a JBL sound system, and a stand-alone high-speed server that can display presentations on any of its high-def plasmas, the business minded caveman can truly exercise its every desire.
Fusion is the name of the game at this joint and it doesn't stop with the decor. Canyons offers an eclectic mix of food items that will have anyone scratching their head. Don't get us wrong, Canyons does offer traditional items like the Sizzling Fajita Platter, Canyons Burger, Carne Asada steak, and Smoked BBQ Ribs; all with a southwest twist of course. It's the off beat items that can be a bit puzzling like the Prawns Pomodoro and the Coconut Prawns. When did the Italian influence come to the Southwest? Even more so, when did the Thai influence arrive?
We ended up ordering the Fish Tacos($12.49), Coconut Prawns($13.49), and the Sizzling Chicken Fajita($13.99). Arriving at our table sizzling hot, the fajitas lived up to their name. The fish tacos are touted as being one of the highlights of the menu at Canyons, but the yellow fin didn't quite fit in. The most offbeat item, the Thai influenced Coconut Shrimp, ended up being the most liked by our team. All in all, the food at Canyons proved to be a very mixed bag, although if you're into fusion and would like high speed internet and sports in high-def while you eat, this might be this place for you.
The pan-grilled chicken in the Sizzling Chicken Fajitas was a little overcooked and a bit grisly resulting in a tough and somewhat dry texture. Although it was described as spicy, the chicken only had a hint, an after thought, or a vague whiff of spice. On the plus side, the chipotle marinade had pleasant hints of sweetness and tasted of lemon, lime, and maybe pineapple. The sauteed veggies were good but the onions were far more abundant than the mushrooms or the peppers. Aside from its Crispness and freshness, the lettuce served on the side was no different than a bag of store bought, pre-shredded lettuce. The sour cream was decent but had the taste of the thin and watery low-fat stuff. Contributing absolutely nothing to the meal, the cheese on the side was dry and tasteless. Although the menu advertised "plenty of tortillas" three tortillas does not qualify as "plenty". If fact, I'd call it a scarcity of tortillas and the tortilla quality was only so-so.
Grant Says :
Canyons' version of fish tacos was an interesting take on the dish, as I've only had halibut, cod or salmon fish tacos. Here, it was made with lightly baked fish covered in red and green cabbage, ranchero cheese, and dabs of chipotle sauce. The sauce seemed a bit bland and this dish as a whole could have used more sauce to help compensate for the dry cabbage. The fish itself was decent, although a bit dry. Frying would have helped keep the moisture in, especially in the case of yellow fin. The serving size was nice and large however, and the presentation was a plus. Guacamole and sour cream cost extra, which seems a little greedy on the part of Canyons. The seasoned rice was decent, but better quality rice would have helped the overall dish. The tacos were supposed to be spicy, but I didn't taste any heat at all. It was somewhat of a disappointment as it was a highlighted and supposedly famous dish.
The prawns were lightly breaded and covered with thick pieces of coconut. When southwest cuisine comes to mind, Coconut Prawns are not in the top 50 list. The peanut dipping sauce also had me a little confused. I was worried that it would be a disaster, but it ended up being the best dish out of the three. The shrimp was very fluffy and tasted pretty good. I was surprised at the portion of shrimp I got which was significantly more than I expected. The fries were also lightly seasoned and had the appearance that they weren't pre-made. The only downside of the meal was the coleslaw that had no hint of taste.