"Bacon Tasting Menu". That alone would stop many people in their tracks or some hearts as well... For me, when I heard that Central City Brewing was doing their take on bacon overload, that was essentially a calling. Problem being is that I rarely venture out to Whalley for dinner. No, it's not because of the area. It gets too much of a bad rap already. Rather, I'm not exactly close by during the evening. Thus, I would need to make a special trip out. No matter, have food, will travel. In fact, Kim and Elaine were intrigued enough with the bacon tasting to do the same trip out. I was a little late arriving and met up with Elaine at the front. When I inquired where Kim might be, she remarked he was getting a massage... Uh... a what? Okay, I'll leave it at that. I really don't want to know. Maybe the bacon tasting is his version of a happy ending? Whatever the case, we sat down first and waited for him to finish up with the massage. While waiting, I noticed some of my co-workers (who had planned to go as well) and chatted with them. Eventually, I would go to their table to take photos of their food. Yes, the shamelessness of it all. Hey, Kim took photos too!
Now, instead of ordering 3 bacon tasting meals, we decided to order one and get other dishes as well. Good thing too because the tasting meal had a beer pairing for each course. 3 beers! Not for me, I was driving! And not for Kim because he's a cheap drunk! On that note, we could see why the meal was $35.00... We started with the Bacon & Corn Cakes. Resembling doughy pancakes, there was a definite smoky, salty bacon taste to these. The sweetness of the corn was a nice balance to the bacon. I would've preferred the cakes to be slightly more crisp and less dense. However, they were good in their own way.
Second course consisted of a Bacon Terrine served with pickled veggies, salad and mustard. I wasn't exactly fond of the cold bacon fat on the exterior of the terrine. The texture is just all wrong in my mouth. For the terrine itself, it was rock hard and practically impossible to spread on the crostinis. Furthermore, there was a severe lack of bacon taste. In fact, I found it quite bland. The accompanying mustard was quite strong and completely overwhelmed the terrine. Was that the intention? If so, that worked in that respect. Before Kim arrived, Elaine had her eye on the mussels. No, not my muscles or lack-there-of... Unless a one-pack counts as a muscle! What we did end up with was the Bacon & Blue Cheese Mussels. As if we didn't have enough bacon already (never too much bacon!), this dish was quite good. I thought the blue cheese would be overwhelming; but there was just enough to declare their attendance without getting a detention for being too loud. That goes the same for the bacon. Definitely there; but just enough for flavour. The mussels themselves were plump, just cooked and all open except for one. A solid offering on all fronts.
A dish that piqued our interest was the Central City Fried Chicken. It consists of a de-boned half chicken stuffed with cream cheese, caramelized onions and herbs coated with a blend of 9 herbs and spices. Sounds good on paper eh? In reality, it looked quite unappetizing when it arrived. Sure, looks can be deceiving; but I really didn't like this one. For me, anything stuffed with cream cheese becomes a goopy mess. This was no exception. Sure, the sweetness of the onions was nice; yet I didn't get a whole lot of flavour from the chicken or coating. It was a little on the overcooked side as well. The horror show didn't end there. The coleslaw had enough dressing to make a whole batch. And, the baked mac 'n cheese tasted like Kraft Dinner. No offense to KD; but I don't want my restaurant-made mac 'n cheese to taste and look like KD.
As if we really needed that much food in the first place, we also got a Pizza Margarita. The ingredients were fresh and the crust was thin and crispy. However, the pizza lacked flavour. In fact, Kim brought up a good point. The fresh basil should not have been cooked with the pizza. Rather, it should've been placed on the pizza afterwards. Personally, I thought the top of the pizza was too wet. The last course of the bacon tasting was the Bacon Cheesecake. Essentially a cheesecake square with bacon bits and syrup on top and around, this was a winner. The cheesecake itself was really smooth and not as heavy as it looks. Not too sweet with good cream cheese flavour, the syrup did not overwhelm. The bacon was a nice contrast. A definite winner and am glad to hear it's on the regular menu.
This was a good end to a meal that started off strong and fizzled in the middle. I really give Central City Brewing kudos on attempting food that is beyond the regular fare we find at such establishments. Of course some items worked out better than others. We weren't looking for perfection and that should never be an expectation. Yet, as a whole, the meal was not bad. I personally liked the decor and the service was friendly (if not a tad slow and forgetful). With everything taken into account, CCB is a decent place to grab some drinks and food while watching the game.
- Dares to be a bit different
- Nice decor
- Friendly service
- Not cheap
- With risks comes hit and miss
- Food and service was a bit slow