We had previously been to a couple Sammy J Peppers years ago and made a pact to never to go back. When we received a coupon for a free appetizer from the Richmond Night Market this year, we decided to give them another chance at some point.
We arrived home one night and didn't feel like cooking since the temperature in the house was approaching 30C. So, why not go out to a restaurant, enjoy some food and some nice, cool air conditioning? We thought this would be a perfect opportunity to try Sammy J Peppers. We readied ourselves with a fresh outlook. When we arrived, there was plenty of parking. Our first encounter with SJP staff was two of them sitting outside the main entrance on chairs, smoking away. I decided not to mention anything about breaking the bi-law since they probably were going to be cooking my dinner and I didn't want any mishaps with my meal. The hostess was nice and seated us right away. The first thing we noticed was a sticky puddle of drink residue on our table so we had to ask to get it wiped down again. Our waitress came and took our drink orders. A few minutes later, another waitress came by to take our drink orders. So, I can't really complain about lack of service, just disorganized service. Our waitress was friendly but the service was a little slow (which could have been the kitchen but it wasn't that busy). While we were looking at the menu, we noticed it was pretty stuffy in there. I asked our waitress if she could turn the air conditioning up a little since it was getting a little warm. She replied that their air conditioning was broken and hadn't been fixed yet. So much for a nice cool retreat from the heat. We ordered the teriyaki wings as our free appetizer. The wings were actually pretty good. For dinner, my wife had the fish & chips which wasn't bad but it was a little tough (must have been frozen for a while). I had the cheesesteak sandwich. The bread that it came on was very good, nice and soft. The insides were a little hard to keep together so it was a bit messy but nonetheless, pretty good. My daughter had the kids' pizza. The kid's meals are not a great value as for $6, you only get a drink and the entree. Most kid's meals at other restaurants, you get a drink, entree, dessert and sometimes a toy (and I'm not just talking about McDonald's, I mean other casual dining restaurants). All in all, it was not the worst dining experience ever but did not impress us enough that we are tempted to ever return.
When we were walking back to our car, we could see into the adjoining Cactus Club restaurant. It was like a pary in there, with people laughing and having fun, enjoying their meals (and probably air conditioning). I felt like the little boy peering into the toy store at Christmas time and wishing I would have gone there instead.