Tag: Beer

Rendezvous Pub

Rendezvous Pub

As I reflect back on some of my favourite moments in 2018, a large quantity of them came from Rendezvous.

As well as being a food judge, I am also a huge metalhead. Rendezvous is like a second home to me.  Calvin, Dez and the rest of the staff have always been welcoming and it feels good to be recognized when you walk through the doors of your favourite pub.

The Vous has stepped it up a lot over the past year.  I can remember the good old days when there wasn’t a lot of choice for what you were drinking when you sat down to enjoy a live show.  Now there are local breweries available on tap. There is a great selection of bottles as well. This beer snob appreciates the chance to enjoy local.

Although the Vous is not renowned for its food, the wings are some of the best that I have been able to find in Edmonton.  Thoughtful right down to the finger bowls, which no one else in the city seems to do any longer. Wing night is Wednesday and they are 40 cents per wing with a minimum order of 12.  You can’t beat that deal!

There is a menu featuring a selection of your pub favourites.  Nothing fancy, just simple, delicious food. If you go for food, be patient.  The kitchen is always open, but there isn’t always a cook for the late night hours.

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Earlier this year, the City of Edmonton had proposed a plan where the building that houses the Vous was to be demolished and the LRT track was going to be built there.  This gave a lot of us in the community a huge panic attack. Calvin and the rest of the crew were not going to stand for it and went directly to City Hall to let them know this was not okay!  Thankfully the decision was rescinded. Way to go team Vous!

The Rendezvous is so supportive of the local live music community.  It’s not a huge venue, but they bring in some great talent and there is a live band just about every weekend.  Calvin is awesome about supporting local charities as well. The Christsmash Eve event complete with Church burning at midnight was awesome for us Christmas orphans. The Edmonton Food Bank was the charity of choice for the night.

I almost forgot about karaoke!  I’m too chicken to get up on stage myself, but I know most karaoke places don’t have a lot of metal on the playlist.  It’s cool to see your favourite front man from a local band belting out some karaoke tune. Only at the Vous.

And we can’t forget about Calvin… Calvin has been the Manager of Vous for as long as I can remember.  He is generally quiet and can appear a bit intimidating, but don’t let that fool you. He works hard for our little community and brings all of his wrestling and Dead Jesus experience to the table.  It’s much easier to book shows when you have actually put in the time on the stage. Thank you for all that you do for us Calvin!

I am looking forward to many more Wednesday Wing Nights with my crew in 2019 and can’t wait to see what awaits the Vous for live shows.

Check out the Vous this year where the wings are hot, the beers are cold and the shows are live!  Tell them YEGfoodie sent you.

The Beer Factory

The Beer Factory

Once upon a time there were a bunch of guys that wanted to start up the craft beer industry in Edmonton.  They all got together and opened up a small brewery in St. Alberta and called it Hogshead. They made some wicked pumpkin spice beer.

Run badly was an understatement.  The 2015 end of Hogshead was an embarrassing mess.  The unfortunate end still continues to add backlash to the new establishment “The Beer Factory”.

Patrick Spilstead was a graduate from the NAIT culinary program that was hired in 2014 to head the kitchen of Hogshead.  When the whole thing derailed, Patrick and his father Richard rescued the operation and turned it into what is now “The Beer Factory”.

They were first on my radar after an event where they were networking and my boss from the Edmonton Muse had a pamphlet on her table.  I perused it and added it to my “hit list” of places to visit. They are most certainly a hidden gem.

Patrick is cooking today because of an unfortunate accident.  He was raised in a family that had a strong culinary background but he went to pursue being a Mechanic.  The accident would plague him with knee problems, so he found himself shifting focus – to culinary.

He was with Chop for several years and disliked the corporate environment of the kitchen.  On to smaller and better things with The Beer Factory.

Everything on the menu is infused with beer or moonshine.  You have some gastropub favourites, and then there are some awesome comfort food options as well, like spicy beef stroganoff.  Note: the menu has changed from what is posted on the website. The daily specials are still the same.

My first visit was because I had to try the Friday Prime Rib Special for $9.99.  That got me in a seat to see the menu and try one of their craft brews, the “Dark and Malty”.  This has become one of my favourite local brews. Not available anywhere but in their taproom. It has the darkness of a stout, but the smoothness of a lighter ale.

They also make a Mosaic Pale Ale, a “hop oriented beer that is a bit tamed”.  I’m not an IPA girl personally. I have not tried this one.

The ambience is casual.  This is more of a pub feel.  The staff are friendly and attentive.  There is a patio area for summer time and an overhead door to let the fresh air in.  You are in the middle of an industrial area in St. Albert, so there isn’t a pretty view.

The Prime Rib was delicious.  They were also putting out information for a special Valentine’s dinner that was taking place in a couple of weeks.  I read over the menu and completely swooned, and made reservations immediately. Patrick was let loose and given full creativity!

The Valentine’s Dinner was AMAZING!

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We had the Elk Carpaccio; thinly shaved Elk tenderloin seasoned with lime and cracked black pepper.  This was absolutely delicious and delicate. What a great way to get the taste buds ready for the rest of the meal.

Ginger Peach scented pork with mango chutney; pork tenderloin rolled in ginger peach tea, served with house made mango moonshine chutney.  This dish paired so well with the wild rose mead that was suggested.

Dessert was raspberry and white chocolate creme brulee, chocolate dipped strawberries and moonshine cherry tea cookies.

Patrick knocked it out of the park!  The whole meal was culinary heaven. The price tag on this experience was $50 for two. Beverages were not included, but what a great deal! I can’t wait until they do the next special event.

I was able to have a chat with Richard.  He is Patrick’s dad and co-owner of the brewery.  Richard is also a Chef. They like to source the menu locally whenever possible.  He was also telling me that they do BBQ in the summertime and they have a huge rig to be able to do mobile BBQ catering. That will be another article in the future for sure!

We have been back a few times to enjoy food and beer.  The taps rotate with local craft favourites and the two brews that The Beer Factory produces on their own.

Fun fact; they are the smallest craft brewery in Western Canada!

Advice for your visit:

  • Ignore the ratings.  There were a lot of angry customers with the whole Hogshead disaster.
  • Be patient!  The kitchen is small and there are a lot of regular customers.  Good food takes time. It will be worth the wait!
  • Try one of their brews!  They may not be geared towards everyone’s palate, but they are definitely worth a taste.

Website:
https://www.beerfactory.rocks/

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/Beerfactoryinc/

Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/beerfactoryinc/

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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

Mr. Mike’s – Tastes of Childhood

Mr. Mike’s – Tastes of Childhood

For anyone that was born on the West Coast in around the 70’s… Mr. Mikes has been a staple.  I have been going to this franchise since I was knee-high to a grasshopper.  (Many, many years!)  The format that they used to have was a buffet style.  You used to go up to the buffet to get your salads and sides as your steak was being grilled behind the scenes, to your specifications.

Times have changed.  Mr. Mike’s has gotten with the times and the experience is now a sit down one.  This particular location is in West Edmonton Mall’s “Bourbon Street”.  There is a mixture of booths and tables.  The decor is of the coast and Haida people.  The atmosphere is a little on the loud side as the restaurant is open to Bourbon Street.

We have never had to wait too long for a table, even with the restaurant location.  The staff seems to be efficient at getting people seated quickly.

I mainly go to Mr. Mike’s for the nostalgia, it brings back a lot of great childhood memories.  As an adult now – the food is pretty decent.  You can get a great steak dinner at the going rate, and the service is usually good.

Mr. Mikes has always been a family affair.  There are crayons for the kids and a children’s menu.

So if you have to brave the mall and you just can’t do the food court one more time – try Mr. Mike’s!  You just might like it!

MR MIKES (WestEdMall) Steakhouse & Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato