When looking for a quick pint at a bar, with no wait to be seated, this one is pretty decent. Having been told there was a wait list and a wait time of over 30 minutes at a few other neighbouring establishments we found ourself here. Though wasn’t my first choice as I remembered that that the food isn’t that great. And sadly I would be reminded of that fact again during this visit.
When looking into their windowed front you can see all the empty seats. We walked in, helping ourselves to one closer towards the back. We sat a booth away from the live band performing folk songs and across from the showcase of Guinness memorabilia. It was a three shelf wide display featuring Guinness logo-ed signs, old Guinness bottles, green and brown bumper stickers, and other collectables they no longer manufactured. It was all very nostalgic. And as with my first visit, I was still enamoured by it and still was curious to know how much it all went for.
I still appreciated the cleanliness of the place. It was well lit and well displayed, varying from the more common dark and dank bar scene. The decor was fairly modern. The pub lead in with their handsome bar, followed by red brick walls, hardwood floors, and a cozy fireplace. The bar was well stocked, glass bottles on dark wood stained shelves, and a lone man tending to them all. Above the fireplace stood ceramic soldiers in blue and red, they were on guard in pose. On the brick wall hung large canvas paintings of patrons similarly enjoying themselves at a similar bar. It looked to be painted in a wide fish eye lens perspective.
My vegetarian guest was interested in trying their vegan take on poutine. It came with smoked tofu, onion gravy, scallions, peas, and kale. As a lover of junk food it looked a little too healthy for me. Too much green in what was intended to be a brown and yellow calorie laden Canadian classic. Therefore I cannot be a good judge of his one. I missed the cheese. I didn’t like the textural pairing of crumbly tofu, gritty peas, and wilted greens in a heavy gravy with starchy potatoes. Though my guest who ordered it found it decent and ended up polishing the bowl.
The vegan “ultimate grilled cheese sandwich” was one that I shared with my other vegetarian guest, though it wasn’t any more exciting. They simply took a classic grilled cheese sandwich and to it added more cheese and some mushrooms. Aged cheddar, Brie, harvarti cheese, and a local mushroom ragout. It was good, but nothing deserving the title of “ultimate”, nothing felt like it was taken to the next level. The earthy mushrooms dominated and all the grease of the cheese pooled. It would have been nice to accompany this with some tomato soup, to break up the heavy taste a little.
Though we choose the salad over the only other choice of fries as our side, and sadly were disappointed by it. It was more like a creamy coleslaw, but without the expected tang of mayonnaise and the thick creaminess that you want. Quinoa, chickpeas, red cabbage, and lettuce. It felt like work getting through it. It was healthy and looked it, and therefore wasn’t much fun to eat with decant cheese on white bread.
Would I come back? – No.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – No.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
I only came back because my guests wanted to. Next time I am in this position again I will stress going somewhere else. The drinks are great and the setting enjoyable, but drinking is best while grazing and the food just didn’t measure up. Don’t deny your cravings.