Thursday, April 21, 2011

Canoe Brewpub

Address: 450 Swift St.
Phone: (250) 361-1940
Price: $12-20 entree
Notes: Split between a pub side and a restaurant side both offer great food and excellent beer!

Canoe Brewpub & Restaurant

I call this place the Canoe Club - not sure why. I feel like perhaps the name changed, or that it used to be the canoe club space for the marina on the doorstep. The pub side of the space can get a bit noisy, in fact I don't know how I always end up on the pub side when the restaurant side is so much more relaxed and quiet. Not that the pub side isn't fun - you get a great view of all the beer!

I would also be remiss if I didn't mention the bathrooms - the sink is different than any other I've seen before! It's built with a hole between the mens and the women's side, so you may see mysterious hands peeking through while you wash. It's startling the first time, but makes for great conversation at the table afterwards!

April 20, 2011
This was hands down some of the best service we've had in a while. They were slammed because there was a "Cask Off" (More about this below) and it took ages to get our beer, in fact our food came first. The waitress was incredibly apologetic and comped us our beers despite our protests. She was the ultimate multi-tasker, and once showed up at our table with spoons for dessert at the exact moment our dessert arrived. I feel like she must go home at night and feel like I feel after an epic session of Diner Dash. She even let us use our Groupon despite the fact there was a special event - which was really smart actually because otherwise we would have just ordered beer and appies and gone home because the full drinks + dinner + dessert wasn't in the budget.

April 20, 2011
We came to the pub tonight because it was the first "Cask Off." It was a friendly 'competition' between Saltspring bringing an unfiltered wheat ale with essence of elderflower and Canoe bringing an espresso stout with cognac. Both beers were Excellent! We cannot complain in fact we just wanted them to do it again.

For those of you yet unfamiliar with casks, please get yourself down to Spinnakers on a week night and try one out. It's a small batch of beer, sometimes the same beer you normally get, sometimes brewers get creative, but pulled by gravity instead of pumped through the tap system. The first time I had cask, we ordered a tap and a cask version and tried them side by side and the cask was just infinitely more drinkable. None of the fizz and I noticed for a first time there was a bitter aftertaste present in the tapped beer.

Orechiette with Galloping Goose Sausage via

This was my dinner - a pasta. I looked up Orechiette and it literally means pasta shaped like an ear. It was incredibly simple, and very earthy. There was no "stand out" taste though. I almost wanted more parmesan which might mean I wanted more salt, but whether or not something is salted enough is my weakness in food, I just can't always tell. 

Short Rib & Blue Cheese Burger via

This was my partner-in-food-and-life's choice. It was a hard choice between this, at $17.50, and the Shortrib entree at $18.50. Really? $17.50 for a burger? That's closer to $20 than it is to $15 which is kind of my line between "burger" and "insanity." Reportedly it was worth it, however. I had a few bites and they did really mesh the flavours together well... the mustard and the blue cheese and the bacon and the meats and I'm drooling just thinking about it! There was also an amaaaazing coleslaw on the side. Usually I hate slaw because it's overly mayoed but I don't even think this had mayo on it. 

I almost don't want to talk about the side because it was the weak part of what was otherwise a really great meal. Sadly, the fries were nowhere near as good as I remember in fact they were kind of soggy like take-away fish & chips. Their "homemade ketchup" clearly had that sweet chili sauce in it which  confused me because to me homemade means from scratch. Maybe she said "house" not "homemade" which would make more sense.

Babe's Honey & Lavender Creme Brulee via

Oh Em Gee this was amazing! Especially when comparing it to the last brulee I had which was pretty bad. All the technique was there in this one - perfectly made custard, freshly bruleed topping. I think the topping might have been where the honey came in, because I couldn't really taste it in the custard. The flavours were very subtle, this isn't "I am eating soap" lavender at all. I savoured this for probably half an hour. NOM.


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