Once a wasteland of boarded up stores, the edge of Gastown is quickly becoming hip again. Thanks to Heather Group, we now have Salt, Judas Goat, Irish Heather, Shebeen, Salty Tongue, Bitter, Fetch, Penn and Everything Cafe. Now, Sean Heather`s expansion in Gastown bordering the Downtown Eastside continues with Rainier Provisions, which is part retail store and part casual restaurant. Occupying where Prime Time Chicken used to stand, the place employs a spartan decor combined with affordable prices.
Meeting up with Vandelay, Rich Guy and Rich Gal, we wanted to see if this latest offering would leave any lasting impressions. I started off with a bowl of Mushroom Soup served with crusty bread. It was a thick concoction which was curiously devoid of rich mushroom flavour despite its appearance and thickness. With that being said, it wasn't bad either where there wasn't a lot of salt dumped in to mask the natural flavours. For my main, I had the Fresh Sausage consisting of Italian bangers with salsa verde, steamed broccoli with slivered almonds and Lyonaisse potates. The sausages were meaty and processed until it was tender. I would've liked them to be cooked with more imagination rather than looking merely boiled. The salsa verde added the much need tang to the lifeless sausages.
Vandelay had the Porchetta with the same sides and condiments as my plate. This was hands-down the best item we had. The pork was moist and gelatinous (from the fat) while the cracklings were crunchy. The sauce was on the saltier side, but that didn't make or break the dish. Rich Guy had the other roast of the day being the Roast Beef served with the same sides again in addition to Yorkshire pudding and horseradish. Sadly, the roast beef was chewy and dry. Even the flavourful gravy couldn't save it. Rich Guy was not very happy with the dish.
Rich Gal had the Fish Pie containing local cod and vegetables, bound with fish veloute, under puff pastry cap. She thought it wasn't bad with sufficiently moist fish in a creamy sauce. I tried it and thought it was fishy and bland. The puff pastry on top was my favourite part. As you can ascertain, the food at Rainier Provisions was pretty average at best (with the roast pork being the highlight) - fortunately the prices are quite reasonable.
- Decent portions
- Food is pretty average