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Arts in Review

Outside the (take-out) box: AfterMath

All in all, the atmosphere was pleasant with an enjoyable music selection and the staff was attentive, yet not overly-so. The food, though, could be better.

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By Amy Van Veen (The Cascade) – Email

Date Posted: October 11, 2011
Print Edition: October 5, 2011

Prices: up to $12.50
Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

To be completely honest, my time at UFV thus far has not once included a stop at that little student hang-out formerly known as Casey’s, so it was with slight trepidation that I entered AfterMath, the part-apocalyptic, part-mathematic on-campus social house.

The first thing I noticed on my Friday afternoon lunch stop was how incredibly empty it was. Apparently I picked a time when everyone was either in class or not on campus and therefore had the whole place – and staff – to myself. Three servers came at three different times to either take my order, check on how I was doing or offer me anything else (like napkins) and all three servers were friendly, attentive and, thankfully, not in my face about my meal. They obviously know the art of letting someone eat, which is sadly an art that many servers in the restaurant industry have yet to learn.

One thing that struck me was the duality of themes going on. As I perused the menu, I couldn’t help notice a great deal of mathematical attention, though the restaurant itself seemed to favour what can only be described as an attempt at an apocalyptic theme with a Death Star wall decal right next to a random globe of our world (somewhat ominous, though perhaps not intended) and a happy face, half of whose face was a skull. On top of all that was the rather obvious attempt at appealing to a younger crowd with their menu choices such as the Jersey Shore panini, the Epic.Meal.Time burger and, of course, the Ridonkuliss Burger. Since so much fuss has been made over this last one, I felt it was necessary for me to try it (and split it – I could never manage one of these on my own).

When the Ridonkuliss arrived at my table, it immediately demanded my attention: it was held together with a knife to keep it from toppling over and the burger itself was almost as tall as said utensil. This particular menu selection has two beef patties, cheese, lettuce and tomato all bundled within two grilled cheese sandwiches that act as the top and bottom of the bun, topped off with a deep-fried pickle. In a word: ridonkuliss. In true mathematical style, this burger seems to be something that, in theory, would be a big success for an overly-ambitious patron, but in reality it was a bit of a mixed bag. The grilled cheese, on its own, would have been delicious. The bread was soft and full of flavour, but unfortunately after spending some time with the cheese and the two rather fatty patties, the bottom sandwich became a soggy mess. Whatever sauce they used on the burger would have been deliciously paired with perhaps a single beef patty burger or a chicken burger – it had hints of orange tanginess that was a pleasant surprise for the palette. Unfortunately, it got lost in the overwhelming quality of eating one burger that could have easily been four separate meals. Each ingredient on its own, or perhaps with something a little more minimalistic, would have been fine, except for the burger patties. I’m not entirely sure what was going on, but it had a textural quality that could not be placed – not something recommended for any meat in a meal.

Out of this entire dish, the one thing I would suggest is the fries. Fries are often a wild card in burger dishes. Sometimes they’re too thick resulting in raw potato in the middle; sometimes they’re too thin with the risk of breaking a tooth on their crispiness. These fries, though, found a happy medium in being crunchy on the outside and perfection on the inside: the kind of fries where you could easily eat an entire plateful without realizing it.

All in all, the atmosphere was pleasant with an enjoyable music selection and the staff was attentive, yet not overly-so. The “themes” could have been worse by actually becoming full-fledged themes, but where they linger now on the fence between an “aftermath” and “after math” is easily tolerable. The food, though, could be better, but if you need a lunch on campus and you’d rather eat somewhere that feels like a break from school instead of the rather institutional cafeteria, you may as well pop by AfterMath and grab a burger for six bucks. (Beware, though, the E=MC2 burger comes out to $6.66 with tax.)

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