We went out last Friday (Sept 18/09) to Henotic. Henotic is a restaurant that is located in downtown Lethbridge in a building that was formerly a firehall decades ago. If you are looking for a night out in Lethbridge, you might want to check it out. Since we are very social people and dine out at least a few times each week, I consider myself a pretty fair judge of what makes a good restaurant and will give you my honest opinion of the place.
We had been meaning to go try the Henotic restaurant for some time and just never seemed to have time or always ended up going someplace else that was prearranged by one of our friends, etc. However, after joining the Henotic Restaurant facebook group and receiving several emails about live entertainment they were hosting, we decided we would give it a try.
The entertainment that attracted me that evening was a burlesque dance troupe from Calgary called the "Kabuki Guns Burlesque", or the KGB for short. I have seen these ladies perform several years ago as an opening act to a late night full participation screening of 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show' and so I knew what to expect. These girls are phenomenal. They give a brief history of burlesque, put on a show, and entertain the crowd. (For those who dont know what Burlesque is, it is dance and Tease part of 'Striptease')
There was also an opening act, whom were a Calgary based rock band by the name of 'Dirty Girl Social Club'. They put on a decent show, although they were a little overpowered for the venue and the crowd lacked enthusiasm for all songs except a Micheal Jackson medley.
The location of the restaurant not great for Lethbridge. It is downtown in an area that has seen many businesses leave and buildings get knocked down or burned down. It is the oldest and original downtown area of the City of Lethbridge. Despite that, the building that the restaurant is in is actually a cool old building and has a great history for those who are interested.
The interior of the building has not changed much through its last 5 or 6 incarnations as a couple of bars and a few different failed restaurant ventures. If you look around you will still be able to find renovations that I helped do to the space about 10 years ago, lol. Still, the space is wide open, easy to navigate, and a mix of historic charm and modern art.
We sat in a both in an area which was actually the original DJ booth back when the space was first renovated into a modern commercial building. I have to mention that the bankette seating was a bit of a do-it-yourself piece of construction, and in this rare case I wasnt the one who made it.
The service was prompt, friendly, and attractive. The young lady who served us was right on top of things, made notes, and never messed up all night. The menu offered a decent selection of items, including a few unique dishes that you don't find at a ton of restaurants (eg. Buffalo steak). Prices were great with a meal ranging from $12 to $14, which is comparable to Moxies, Earls, Cheesecake type restaurants. Alcoholic Beverages seemed to round out to about $5 a piece.
A couple of personal pet peeves of mine when it comes to dining out, and things which this restaurant completely scored big points on were: heavy cutlery, cloth napkins, free pop refills. Those are my 3 big ones and any restaurant that doesnt have those 3 is of suspect reputation in my book, lol. Henotic scored perfect on all 3.
We did have a bit of a wait for our food due to us coming in right behind a very large group and it did not bother us as we were staying all evening. What was nice though, is that our server and the manager on duty both came over to us and explained that there was a bit of a delay. Nice touch. I don't ever mind waiting if I am not left wondering. Great service on this point.
When the food did come, it was beyond my expectations. The presentation on the plates was far above average for a Lethbridge restaurant. It actually appeared to be put onto the plate by someone who cared and not by a guy in a paper hat. Further to that, the quality of the food and the taste was exceptional. I kept having to second guess myself and make sure that I wasn't drunk on either the Whiskey or the fact that I had heavy cutlery and cloth napkins, but it was absolutely delicious.
Grand total: $32 ridiculously low for the meal we had, so we had to tip it up to $40.
Henotic exceeded my expectations in every way. The service was perfect. The food presentation, quality, and selection was fantastic. And even the little details were spot on excellent. Nowhere else in Lethbridge can a couple get a $100 meal for $40. In addition, the live entertainment was wonderful and did a great job.
Lethbridge does have some nightlife, you just have to get off the couch and come find it.
*I hope to return to Henotic very soon for another meal and to catch some more of their nightly entertainment. If you read this article and find yourself going there for a meal or a show, feel free to let them know that you read my review on the internet. I think many people would be suprized at just how much we rely on this sort of info these days.
Robert W May is a Real Estate Broker in Lethbridge Alberta, having now been in the industry for over 23 years. . He was also a licensed Lethbridge mortgage broker and financing expert with Canada First Mortgage of Calgary Alberta for the past 10 years. He is an industry leader always willing to help train and educate others in how to improve their business models for financial and personal benefit.