Being broke means sourcing out creative spots to dine at for under $20. Halloween night on the Granville Strip meant a trip to “The Factory”, where majority of all the food and drinks go for $5.95.
Despite its smaller entrance and narrow bar, the place was fairly deep and grew wider the further back you went. Brick posts and tiled walls separated space, and a mirror helped to give the illusion of more room than there actually was. Seating comprised of hightops, booths, and stools by the bar. The walls were covered with photos of graffiti on a brick walls, black and white screen size portraits, and coloured posters of concerts past. Several strategically placed flat screens broadcasted old movies, that no one was really paying any attention to. And your classic neon bar signs were in full effect. The dim lighting came from the glow of several dozen hanging lightbulbs, dipping from cords in between wooden beams. A tiny disco balls in the corner refracted the light and set the party mood. This was paired well well with the rows of liqueur bottles on the top shelves decorating the back; and the ones reused for the dispensing water. It was a little misleading to see a couple with a clear bottle of Jack Daniels by their water glasses.
The music was loud and bass-full, from metal to rap, “System of a Down” to “Wu Tang Clan”, and all the Hip hop you only hear at a house parties in between. Despite the volume conversation was not hindered thanks to narrower tables. They allowed you to be face to face, and much closer to your guest. There was no need to lean in or shout at arm’s length. I really liked the music. But hearing Kendrick overhead hurt a little. (I had Kanye tickets, and was here as the concert got cancelled, twice)
The menu listed everything I liked, making it difficult to choose when I wanted them all. Bar classics like beer battered prawns, pizza bread, chilli chicken, bacon cheese burgers, and baked wings. Home cooked entrees like pastas, shepard’s pie, rice bowls, and an order of half a chicken breast with a side of vegetables. For those wanting something a little more exotic they could try the soy ginger salmon, or enchiladas & antijitos.
Tonight’s drink special were cans of “Lucky lager” for $3.50. How could I refuse? The cheap Asian in me was sold. It tasted surprisingly light. And despite its watery flavour, definitely had the 5% buzz you’d expect. I wished I picked up a six pack for home.
“Poutine”. Golden French fries smothered in cheese curds and gravy. Poutine is always a safe bet, and a definite crowd pleaser. The gravy was a thick brown gravy. It was good for potatoes, but not quite what you would expect in poutine.
“Pulled pork sliders”. Pulled pork, chipotle BBQ sauce, jack and cheddar cheese, topped with a honey lime coleslaw. Despite its juicy description the burgers were a little dry. But at $6 it was still cheaper and better than other sliders I have had.
“The Anaconda”. Something advertised on the entrance of a place must be worth trying. Four sandwiches in one. A BLT, a cheeseburger, and crispy onion strings, nestled between two perfectly toasted grilled cheese sandwiches. The knife through it really added to its already monstrous affect. I can understand why they mentioned, “It’s so famous it’s had its picture taken”, on the menu. That was exactly what I did. I was able to get one full bite in before abandoning the hand held method for knife and fork. The pieces of bread were oily. And it was honestly too much bread to eat without guilt. The burger patty was a little dry, onions could have been crispier, and I prefer my cheese a bit more stringy. But for what I paid I was thrilled with what I had.
Would I come back? – Yes.
Their seasonal menu, called the “rocktober fresh sheet” tempted me with their “taco in a bag”; nachos made with Doritos, crafted into a nest, then smothered in salsa and sour cream. And “deep fried pumpkin cheesecake”, fried in tortilla. I can only imagine what twists the next season’s menu would bring. Plus shots and cocktails for $6, this would make a fine drinking destination next weekend.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Looking back, it was obvious that this was owned and operation by younger individuals. They know what their generation wants and is prepared to bring it to them with cheap food and drinks on the side. A dark space with a party ambience. A great place to pre-drink and eat a little before you party on Granville Street. Given the pricing you don’t expect much from the food. But what you do get is the filling of full with enough money left over to buy a round.