Aside from White Spot, I’m usually not one to visit those sort of “chain” restaurants, such as Earl’s, Moxie’s, the Cactus Club, and so on and so forth. But being stuck for lunch one day at Park Royal – and not wanting to visit White Spot, for once – Emme and I visited the Milestones over there instead. I used to go there when I was little, and always order the French toast without the raisins… only to have it delivered to me, every single time, with the raisins. I am not a dried fruit person. Given that repeated bad experience, I think I must have resolved to never visit Milestones again at some point in my early years. Nevertheless, every restaurant deserves a second chance… especially when it’s been years since the last visit.
The restaurant was completely dead when we walked in at about half past noon on a Saturday, which was rather odd. Thanks to that, though, we managed to get a great table by the window – perfect for the sunny day it was. The booths here are huge and comfy, so that’s definitely a plus! The nice thing about most Milestones is that they all have quite a nice ambiance inside, and have a classy but hip feel to each restaurant. The music was pretty low-key and pleasant. To top it off, our waitress was quite friendly, although service throughout the meal suffered; Emme and I repeatedly found ourselves asking for our small glasses to be refilled with water. (I’m always tempted to just steal the whole water pitcher, so that we don’t have to keep bothering the servers.) A lot of the waiters and waitresses were a bit fixated on watching the flat-screen TVs, which would explain the inattentive service.
Ambiance and service aside – how was the food? Did my dish suffer the same fate as before with regards to raisins?! Fortunately, no. This time around, I went for the Lunch Duo (I would have gotten the trio, but was not interested in the soup). The sandwich portion I requested was the chicken spinach asiago ciabatta – which has everything the name indicates – and a fairly standard salad on the side. It was… decent. That’s my other beef with restaurants like Earl’s and Milestones: the food is decent, not mindblowing, and kind of expensive for what you get. Anyway, it was a good sandwich. The ciabatta was fluffy on the inside, had a nice crisp exterior, and at least tasted freshly baked. If I could change anything, it would have been to try to keep the temperature of the dish consistent. As it was then, the chicken was cold, the cheese was cold, and the spinach was hot. They were also super skimpy with the cheese. I think it would’ve really helped to have the contents either all hot or all cold – otherwise the sandwich seems kind of… confused. My personal preference would’ve been to have to whole thing hot, so that the cheese could melt and the unseasoned chicken’s bland taste could’ve been masked a little better to let the cheese flavour shine through more. The salad was your average, run-of-the-mill side salad, so not much to comment on there. It tasted relatively fresh.
Emme apparently wasn’t that hungry and just got a bit salad. More specifically, the watermelon, feta, and roasted beet salad. If anything, this was probably the highlight of our visit, surprisingly. There was a lovely lemony vinaigrette drizzled on top with a hint of chardonnay, and a couple of candied pecans sprinkled over it. The feta was, I think, goat feta and was amazing. Should have asked who their supplier was, because the cheese was the highlight for me. There were fried tortilla strips, too, but personally I think the dish could have done without them. They just seemed kind of misplaced, and left a weird, greasy aftertaste in the mouth. The roasted beets were also delicious and subtly sweet, and the watermelon was crisp and fresh. Thumbs up for the salads at Milestones, at the very least, if the quality and flavour of this one are representative of the rest.
All in all, it was not a bad experience, per sé; it just wasn’t a particularly memorable one. I’d personally rather spend my money somewhere else, but Milestones is a fairly good option for dining if you’re in West Vancouver. The food is nothing remarkable, but it is tasty, filling, and the prices aren’t necessarily unreasonable. I wouldn’t go out of my way to visit Milestones, but I certainly wouldn’t go out of my way to avoid it, either.