The Cactus Club has over 20 locations in BC and Alberta and features an eclectic menu selection that includes steaks, rice bowls, dinner sized salads and more.
Went there on a busy weeknight which surprised me. Must be due to the X-mas shoppers. Appies tried included calamari, ribs and yam fries. All very good. Had the Ahi Tuna entree. Done perfectly and the rice pilaf was also very good with pine nuts, corn and cranberries in it. Good overall experience but the the prices in the mid $20's for entrees, this should be the norm.
I had already written a review of the lougheed location and generally only write one review for a chain. However I've dined here many times now and my experience has been better than those days at lougheed and others.
I used to really dislike their hamburgers but either the JD burger has gotten juicier and tastier or I've grown to like it. Other items are usually pretty good too. Not gourmet dining but it's sure better than white spot so 4 stars is deserved I think.
Service is always quite good here. My only complaint recently is that while they have a multitude of hostesses there to greet and seat you, they can't seem to deal with more than one customer at a time. In a fairly empty restaurant 4 hostesses were all helping one customer with some reservations or something while we stood there for a few minutes wondering when we'd be helped. Seemed a bit silly and awkward.
The ambience is what really keeps me coming back here. The bathrooms are AMAZING. I mean I don't know what most restaurant bathrooms are like because I avoid them like the plague. But these are so nice I might look forward to a visit to them. Other restaurants could really learn from this and I hope the trend catches on. When not going to the bathroom there is the usual eye candy to look at as well. I think they've done about as well with the decor as possible given the location and price point.
Mrs. C and I were on the way back from the ferry, and our stomachs were grumbling. We saw the Village (not the horror film, but the new mall), and decided to find a restaurant. CCC had a patio, and in we went. We were given a pager disc and waited about 10 minutes, then were seated. I found the wait staff to be the ususal all-in-black servers, and they seemed to be very competent.
I had the beer special, which was a tasty house lager. Then we dug into our burgers: I had the bacon cheeseburger, and Mrs. C had the Cajun chicken. My burger was beefy and juicy, with a lot of toppings and a nice bun that didn't fall apart. My beloved dining companion said her chicken burger was also well-topped and juicy. We also had an acceptable Caesar salad and some very fine yam fries.
The ambience was very nice, and the patio faced a little wading pool full of frolicking kiddies. Perhaps CCC is cultivating future customers? We also saw that guy from Stargate eating there. I was so tempted to shout "Jaffa Kree!", but I kept my cool.
We got sun, had food and beer, and left happy. This place wasn't the best restaurant ever, but it was the right place at the right time.
I have eaten here a couple of times, the food is good, but the servers don't seem friendly.
Today I was wanting their chicken wings, ribs as my snack with strawberry lemonaide. I picked a really good time around 4pm, it wasn't too busy and wanted to stay indoors for air conditioning.
I found when I was ordering, my server kept looking at me as I had two heads on me, and seem puzzled as I was talking gibberish to her. I didn't find her to be warm or friendly, and lack interest to why I walked into this place.
The hostess that greeted me, brought my dishes, which wasn't a long wait. I got my extra napkins for my chicken wings, which where good and like the ribs, it definately hit the spot.
I like this spot, their washrooms are worth checking out, its not often I walk into places to say impressive.. As for the service, I wish it was better and learn what service is from their Robson location.
Son and I took Mom out to the West Van Cactus Club for her birthday dinner. Arrived at 5:30 and had no problem getting parking or a booth. Drinks were a Bellini for Mom, microbrew for son and water for me. Had to ask twice for the water but that was the only serving glitch. Ordered calamari as an appie to split which came quickly. Tzatziki and chipotle mayo for dips were good and the squid was nicely battered and crisp. Mom had the braised rib sandwich which she described as pot roast in a bun....she liked it but it was very filling. Son had the bbq duck sandwich which he described as rich and messy. He didn't seem very impressed. I had the creole chicken which was blackened, rich and spicy...best of the three entrees I think. Total bill with tip was $95 for three....could have been a lot more if we had gone with the more expensive entrees and dessert. Overall the food is good but it can be a bit pricey if you don't have a coupon, drink a few or ignore the menu prices. But the bathroom is worth the visit.....
I came into this location just after 7:00pm tonight and ordered a chicken sandwich and requested a Caesar upgrade. Order came out wrong, with fries instead, was not in a rush so waited for correct order.
I later noticed that the total bill seemed unusually high, I later approached the front counter to verify the cost of the salad upgrade. I handed over my debit receipt, was told only tax was added and was assured multiple times that it was correct.
I felt I was likely being scammed, so I demanded the original bill. A short time later the front counter attendant returned (without it) acknowledging that it was in fact $1.75, not $4.25. She only gave me $2 back (I was overcharged $2.50+tax). I again demanded to see the bill. She finally came back with it, this time relenting and crediting me.
Twice my server did not check over what I ordered. Will not do business again.
This review is applicable to any Cactus Club in the lower mainland... I've been to about 6 of them and I will give them this... the chain is very consistent, but that's not necessarily a compliment.
Over the last several years I've been back to the various CC locations because when entertaining clients it's an easily recognizable meeting place and is "posh" enough to entertain clients and most locations are nicely accessible. Those are the positives.
One of my few non-business related visits to CC in West Vancouver I ordered fish tacos, touted as a Rob Feenie creation. Well, Rob Feenie has become more of a public relations addict than a chef but I still wanted to believe that there would be some magic in this dish. After all, fish & Mexican... 2 of my favourite things in life, how could it go wrong? Well, first, the dish was cold... but not supposed to be. The fish was dry and tasteless, oh... it's too painful to go on. It's one of those dishes that returns to haunt you in your mind for years and years everytime you think about ordering something similar in another restaurant. If I were a "Chef" and they put my name to this dish I would crawl under a rock for at least a month. Poor Rob, did he ever taste this dish? But he sure got paid for it, no doubt.
Onto other visits... I order the Rocket Salad usually because it's a salad and a safe bet. It's very big, very mediocre and very soul-less. Onto the service... I can't help but notice that all the waitresses look exactly the same and they all dress in exactly the same tight style of black clothing with slilettos which is oddly uncomfortable looking. They are all trained to be pleasant but many times they forget things and you just smile and repeat yourself whenever you need to. Nobody really seems to be there to work hard, they all look like they're looking to pick somebody up. If I was there with my date, I might be tempted to peak at the cheque to see if the waitress wrote a cute little note with her phone number on it (but I'm sure that's forbidden in the employee handbook).
Unfortunately, this chain is a sad indication of where our society is headed. This is upscale fast food chain where everybody looks good and doesn't know anything about truly good food & service. The decore is exceptional and it lulls the average customer to buy in that the food must be special too.
I feel like like a fraud everytime I go there because we make Hollandaise from scratch at home for our eggs benny and we drink wine from crystal goblets on a Wednesday night in our sweat pants if we feel like it.
I don't like these places because I think they cater to the tasteful but tasteless crowd, like people with gourmet kitchens who never cook. But Cactus club is probably here to stay and I will probably still go there whether I like it or not.
Great: I love the food at this restaurant. They will accommodate any special orders even if it means cooking something for you and just for you. The food is delicious, not greasy and looks good. It looks like their chefs use quality ingridients. I enjoyed the salad and the chicken.
Great: The service was kind and considerably nicer than most places. Our waitress was bubbly and very willing to serve. She was dressed very well and said yes to everything we wanted. She was tipped appropriately.
Great: way cool ambiance. Nice gents, nice ladies, nice seating and of course it was happening. It is a happy atmosphere and thankfully a later hour ensured no kids were around. Don't know if they come for lunch but it was wine sipping time and its only possible without toddlers and infants of course. They do have big screens but that means nothing to us being into our own convos. Also, no disrespect meant, but no greasy men were ogling or trying to disturb us.
Disappointing: they already charge a pretty penny, but they charged us for relish and horseradish and mustard. Seriously! $5 for condiments? Dont think I didnt hate it and didnt notice they are charging for something thats free at any restaurant. Mustard is free at any burger joint. But they charge for it at a $100 meal table at this restaurant. Are you serious?
On entry, we were ignored for a moment as a host chatted with another young person. Despite failure to make immediate contact, a host seated us pleasantly and a server approached quickly.
We ordered dry ribs and potato skins. Ribs were overcooked but not greasy. Skins too had too much heat applied or sat too long under a warmer. Both tasted good though so the product design works, the kitchen simply needs tighter QC.
Caesar salads were well presented on chilled plates and the dressing was bold and full of garlic taste. Portions were satisfactory.
The server was friendly and efficient and did all duties well. Good coffee was provided and the bill quickly settled with a portable bank card device. (Every place should have those.)
Cactus Club, like its associated restaurants, seems always to employ young, very attractive servers. Since the BC Human Rights Code restricts age and gender discrimination, I suppose only young and beautiful people apply for jobs here.
I know Cactus Club quite well (I would estimate conservatiely that I have patroned the chain's various locations 60+ times but, then again, that's spanning 18 years) with the first shack on Pemberton in North Van.
The reason I'm choosing to write a review now is because the last couple of visits to the Park Royal location have not been quite right... the quality of the food seems to be declining. Although Cactus Club has never been known for its food, you come to expect a certain level of satisfaction with your food.
There is a new menu item - Hawaiian Tuna Poke ($10) - that was good but tasted a bit cheap. It's an appetizer with sashimi tuna, tropcial salsa, avacado, wonton chips, etc. It was presented well with a fair portion but something was amiss. On a previous visit, the Chocolate Lava Cake was not that great and my Veggie Burger (what I have ordered many, many times) was dull and not very fresh.
The restaurant layout and atmosphere of the Park Royal location is not the best Cactus Club has to offer. My favourite location is Broadway & Granville. It's always very busy at the Park Royal site and it's hard to get a seat even in the bar/lounge.
Service is always pretty good and consistent so they must have a good training program for the staff as regarless of location the service and attitude are about the same.
Overall, I still enjoy Cactus Club however it just may be the Park Royal location that needs some fine tuning in the kitchen. Otherwise, it's a great place for a casual relazed bite to eat.
Everything was fine about the restaurant - good food, excellent service and a pleasant environment. Unfortunately there is one thing I cannot stand and that is being ripped off. The meals are hardly cheap - two of us had a relatively quick meal and a couple of beers - totalling around eighty dollars including a good tip. I noticed an item of 60 cents on my bill and it turned out that I had been charged extra for the mustard I asked for (I had steak). Apparently they also charge for ketchup. I don't remember seeing it priced on the menu, although maybe it was. I complained to the manager but what's the point....... I hate hidden costs, and this is simply petty - especially since the meals are not cheap. I'm NOT going back.
No complaints about this place. They have a nice outdoor seating area and it feels like you're at peace with the scenery which slightly resembles the village of Whistler. There is a nice pleasing atmosphere that makes you feel energetic and thrilled about being there. The food was fine; the service was adequate; the prices were a bit steep; the electricity was ecstatic.
We just visited Cactus Club in Park Royal for the last time. Several months ago, they decided to remove the best potato skins off the menu, to make room for more new items. Now today we discover that they are not using caesar salad dressing for their caesar salads any longer.
The two main reasons we would drive from UBC to West Vancouver is for the potato skins and the caesar salad. When they make silly changes to the menu, the customers will not return. At least now we will save the gas to make the trip.
I ate at the Park Royal Cactus Club on Saturday, and it was as good as always. My experiences here are quite consistent. There are some items on the menu I really enjoy: Tuna Poke, Jambalaya, Soft fish tacos, quesadillas (all three), and some innovative salads. Service is decent too. Sat in the lounge this time. It was better than usual because the TV sound was off. Just images. Plenty of people energy and perfect for conversation.
As for ambience, I make a point of asking for specific tables. I like the booths against the openwork brick wall on the east side. The duo booths in the middle are way too small. Love the sixties modern decor! And the bathrooms are so cool. Patio in summer is excellent, too.
The only recent complaint I have is that they brought out the carpet sweepers before the place was closed. Talk about the classic "Are you leaving yet?" statement. Not a huge issue though. Also, recent problems with improperly rinsed glassware seems to be resolved. No more bleach tainted wine.
All in all, I really like this place.
This is the second time in 3 months that I have ventured into The Cactus Club. I usually think of it as a run of the mill restaurant, along with The Keg, Milestones and Earles (all about the same) Not so anymore! 3 months ago I had the pleasure of eating Halibut which was equivalent to any 5 star restaurant without the huge bill at the end.
Last night I had the salmon with dijon mustard on barley. Fantastic!! Really, I have to say it was better than my home cooked salmon. Lightly done to perfection.
If you have tried Cactus Club before and were disappointed you may wish to give it another go!
I took a few girlfriends there for lunch. "The Cactus Club !! " they screeched !! "You Know we are restaurant snobs". Well guess who keeps going back ? The cactus club owes me ! The salads were fabulous, ( Seasonal greens with cajun chicken , dressing on the side to keep us svelte) fish tacos were amazing... ( Had some on an other visit) and the huge bowl of won ton soup is to die for. Wonderful fusion of east/west dishes and So west coast. I took a california foodie there who proclaimed the salad with dates the best she had ever had. High praise indeed. Cactus Club keeps on improving and with the gorgeous and knowledgeable Feenie onboard it's hard to go wrong. Speaking of Feenie I think that he should be declared a national treasure. He put northwest cuisine on the map as far as I am concerned.
Went here late night (about 10pm)with a group of friends for a drink and some bites to eat. Nothing big, nothing fancy. Part of our group was already seated out on the patio. We stood with the six of us to see if we could move a table over. No one even greated us !
So we moved inside and were given a big round table by a manager. We sat there for 15 minutes with no one greeting us. No water, nothing. We thought we might have a couple more people join, so we asked someone if the table next to us, which was bigger, was available. We were told sure, but they would have to clean it first (well, duh!)
So we waited. Turned out we wouldn't have more people so I got up and told the manager we wouldn't need the bigger table after all, but that we would need someone to take a drink order from us. "Well you weren't sure if you were moving or not." okay, I'll give him that, but SOMEONE could have stopped by to greet us and offer water while we waited.
So we ordered drinks and food at the same time ("Wait, I'll have to get a piece of paper"). Food arrived and was okay, but no real service. I think we ended up being served by a manager instead of a server. No refills offered, no additional drinks suggested (wine or cocktails) The idea is to increase how much we spend, right???
The new location in the Park Royal (I mean the NEW location that assumed the old Steamworks pub in the South Mall), is excellent for sporting events. If you want sports, the back room, the poolroom is great because they can turn up the sound for you. The sound remains off in the rest of the place as it is a restaurant after all! Fair game. The food is ok, but for sporting events, this place is our latest favourite. Check out the new location, andi you are sports fan, you will love it.
I came here with a few girls, unfortunately the hostess wasn't very pleasant and looked like she was really forced to be there, but as we got to our table things started looking better. Very nice restaurant, the service was okay nothing special. We ordered some drinks and everyone seemed to be really happy with those. I got the burger with yam fries and it was very very very good !! Definitely happy with my food, the restaurant was a little too busy and loud for my liking but over all a good time!
We had originally headed out to eat at Milestones at Park Royal but after waiting 15 min to be seated in a nearly empty restaurant we decided to exit and head across the lot to Cactus Club. Glad we did! We received great service, we were greeted and seated right away ( and it was very busy ), had our server recommending wine to us within a minute or two and she had it in front of us within another couple minutes. I think her name was Poppy .. if you can get her you will see what I mean.
Didn't think it would be such a great time for a 'chain restaurant' usually we get mediocre service at Milestones and are used to it and pretty much expect it.. When you do finally get good service you notice (such a lack of it these days). We never felt rushed we enjoyed ourselves very much especially due to the attentive service we received.
I will go back there for sure now instead of Milestones. One more thing.. I had the steak and it was much better than the Keg.. Keg is so over rated!