Category: Gastro Pub

CRAFT Beer Market – Beer With Class

CRAFT Beer Market – Beer With Class

The new Craft Beer Market is located in downtown Edmonton just off Rice Howard Way.  It is tucked away in the same block as Wood Work and 100 Bar and Grill.  I am a huge beer fan, and “on tap” is the best of the best that a beer drinker can experience.  The original Craft is located in Calgary; my Calgarian friends rave about how much they love it there.  I have been waiting for Craft to open for months and carefully watching the social media feeds for opening day.  Today is the day.

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The Nest – Nait’s Hidden Gem

The Nest – Nait’s Hidden Gem

So NAIT has one of the best culinary programs and that means that the resto-bar should be fabulous right?  Right!

It is your typical gastro-pub setup and decor.  Newly renovated.  Very cozy, with some pool tables and dart boards.  Your menus are already at the table and you seat yourself.

I am a huge beer fanatic and along with some local micro-breweries (Alley Kat) they had one of my favourites on tap which is a Belgian White that pairs well with just about anything, Shock Top.

The menu is imaginative and innovative.  I had the Crawfish Corndog which was shrimp and crawfish sausage in a sweet corn batter served with fiery mustard dip.   I had a side of soup (potato bacon chowder).  Very tasty!

The only drawback to going to The Nest on a regular basis is that there is no free parking.  What you pay will vary on the time of day that you are at the restaurant.

Nest Taphouse Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

It’s All About the Bacon…

It’s All About the Bacon…

Part of the reason that I love Social Modern Pub so much is that the Kitchen Manager, Paul Hoshowski, likes to try his menu items with actual customers before they end up on the menu.  He likes to get honest feedback on his items and is constantly striving to improve the experience.

Our Tuesday Shenanigans group adores Bacon.  It’s all about the Bacon…  Rumour has it that this lovely appetizer is going to end up on the next menu:

Bacon Wrapped Bacon


On a bamboo skewer you have six pieces of Canadian Back Bacon drizzled in maple syrup and then rolled in brown sugar.  This is then wrapped with Bacon strips and drizzled in some more maple syrup.  The skewer is then put under the broiler until the bacon is nice and crispy.

Bacon lovers rejoice!  The angelic choir sings as you bite into this succulent creation!

Seriously though – for fellow Bacon lovers biting into one of these is a marriage of flavours that are perfect for one another.  Maple and Bacon already pair well together – so adding the back bacon just makes the experience that much better!  The crispy outside makes the Back Bacon inside tender and juicy.  The sweet hint of Maple is not overpowering and would go well with a Voodoo Bacon Maple Ale (which Social Modern does not have on the menu – just sayin’!).

So as soon as the new menu is out – I will be sure to share it with you all.  Until then…  It’s all mine!

Social Modern Pub – Raspberry Sorbet

Social Modern Pub – Raspberry Sorbet

We found out a couple of weeks ago that our favourite pub – Social Modern, has a Kitchen Manager (Paul Hoshowski) that likes to use his regular customers as taste testers for when he is coming up with the new seasonal menus. Do we complain? Never!! Always willing to try a spoonful of this and a forkful of that…


Raspberries just happen to be my favourite fruit, seeds and all. There is not much that Paul adds to the recipes for his sorbet, I believe this was fresh raspberries with honey to sweeten it a bit and some corn syrup to thicken it up.

Social Modern Pub – An Undiscovered Gem

Social Modern Pub – An Undiscovered Gem

We have been searching the city for a gastro-pub that can handle a group of between 15 and 20 people every Tuesday.  We had tried Brewsters, Rosario’s, O2’s and all three had failed to provide the service or the quality that we were looking for.  You would think that a pub would welcome steady income on a weeknight – but alas, no go!

Our regular Tuesday Shenanigans attendee, Michael G.  had posted on his Facebook about a lovely meal he had at a gastro-pub that I hadn’t heard of before.  I did the Google search and found them.  It looked like they might be a good fit for our group – even though they had some pretty bad reviews regarding Wednesday nights.  They had just opened in December of 2011 and seemed to still be getting their bearings.  Mike is a fellow foodie with a palate very close to my own, a fellow lover of bacon – his recommendation alone was good enough for me to at least give them a try.

I made my reservation and the Manager, Ian was nice enough to give me an email back to confirm.  They are located downtown, just behind Grant McEwan campus.  The building was “Campus Grill” in an alternate reality.  There is free parking in the small lot behind the building or on the street after 6pm.  They are open daily at 4pm and generally open until midnight on the weekdays.  They have a daily special that is phenomenal – and I am sure I will be posting as many of them as I can get to!

When I walked in I immediately fell in love with the decor – very minimalist done in black leather and red paint.  They are high-backed bar chairs done in red with some booth-type seats in black.  The place is not huge, and not handicapped accessible.  It is well laid out and comfortable.  There are several large screen televisions that play sporting events and they have satellite music playing that has always been a bit too “poppy” for my tastes.

The wait staff was quick, friendly and efficient.  She told us about the nightly special which was that you buy any alcoholic beverage and you get the “Socialite Burger” with fries at no charge.
Of course, you have the options for the extras – the burger pictured above has added bacon and an upgrade to yam fries.  The patties are hand made and spiced to perfection.  I couldn’t tell you what is in it besides garlic – but it is damn good!

The Kitchen Manager/Chef is one Paul Hoshowski.  His menu is thoughtful and creative.  If you have someone in your party that is a Celiac or Vegan – he has ingredients in the kitchen where he can whip you up something that will agree with your stomach!  He is kind enough to come out a couple of times a night to make sure that the food is up to standards and to see if there is anything that could have been done better.

The “on tap” selection is small, but the bar selection is pretty decent.  As you can see in the photo above, there is an “Aprikat” from our local “Alley Kat” brewery here in Edmonton.  It pairs rather nicely with the “Socialite” burger.

Paul is wonderful at the desserts as well.  The menu has a couple of choices for dessert but Paul always has some kind of special up his sleeve!

Creme Brulee – not on the menu – it just happened to be what Paul had for the dessert special of the evening.  It was some of the creamiest custard that I have ever tasted!

Many thanks to Ian, Paul and the wait staff at Social Modern Pub – we <3 all of you and all of us with the Tuesday Night Shenanigans group really appreciate all that you do for us!

And if you are an Edmontonian – you really need to go and give these guys a try!