“Bells and Whistles” is a new bar in the Mount Pleasant area, most memorable for its light hearted feel. Cheery with white walls and bleach wood furniture, it sort of felt like a dressier cafeteria with the picnic tables in the centre of the room. The back wall reminded me of a giant scrabble board with the coloured letter tiles on wooden ledges. They spelled out the various beers on tap, where they were from, and what their alcohol percentage was. A strong presentation, right beside a number of growlers dangling, strung up on a dowel. This visual representation of “100 bottles of beer on the wall”.
Around the corner and following you to the washrooms were black and white pop culture caricatures. Notable hip hop artists, athletes in jerseys, and mascots. Donald Duck, 2pac, and Apu from the Simpsons; to easily name a few.
Like their decor, their menu was just as fun. Some interesting options and fun twist on classics. Ketchup flavoured corn nuts, a pimento cheese dip to have with pretzels, a salad with fried chicken and crispy fried noodles, and a breakfast sandwich available all day long. You know a menu is good when you have trouble deciding on what is the most interesting dish to get and what sounds like the best. And sadly there weren’t any happy hour specials to help in our deciding process this afternoon.
So we gravitated towards their “chilli cheese fries” for its absence as a popular bar offering, on other menus. They used “ball park chilli”, a finer gauge mixture of tomato and ground beef. It was sprinkled across the crispy fries like sand. It was tasty, but I would have liked it messier: more gravy and a gooey cheddar cheese pull. This would make a nice pairing with a pint.
However, I opted for a cocktail and my guest some wine, despite the visual emphasis on beer. My “Espresso martini” was served as a slush with paper umbrella, something a little too unique to miss. Made with strong coffee, absolut vodka, amaro, and honey; making it a great mid day pick me up with bite.
We got just as much punch from the “KFC – Korean fried cauliflower”. A thick batter coating firm florets in a sticky spicy and sweet sauce. Served topped with pickled cucumber, green onion, and cilantro for some freshness. It was a tasty flavour to accompany a refreshing drink, which is available for chicken wings as well.
Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
They make a fun destination for a casual meet up with a larger group of friends. Plenty to eat and lots to share. And they also offer skeet-ball and basketball shoot-off arcade games in the back, to keep you entertained. I would not be a-posed to a return visit, in order to try more handheld snacks and to drink much more. Don’t deny your cravings.