Sherman's Food Adventures: The Canadian Brewhouse and Grill

The Canadian Brewhouse and Grill

After our foray into Richmond for some new Shanghainese eats at Z&Y located within The Central at Garden City, it time to change it up and do what softball teams do after the game...  No, it is generally not in search of Xiao Long Bao or Sweet and Sour Pork!  Yes, we actually headed to a sports bar for greasy eats to go with some beverages!  But surprisingly, we went back to the scene of the crime once again to The Central at Garden City.  Tucked off to the side facing the corner of Alderbridge and Garden City Road, there is actually a legit sports bar in The Canadian Brewhouse and Grill.

Since the special of the night was the Dry Ribs (for $5.95), we went ahead and got 2 orders for the table. Unlike many places which only served the salt & pepper variety, we could choose any of their wing flavours.  Hence, in addition to the aforementioned salt & pepper, we also got the honey hot.  Due to the moisture of the sauce, the honey hot ribs were more moist and definitely more flavourful with an appealing sweetness to go with a good amount of heat.  As for the S&P, it was pretty typical and of course drier.  We went for another appy in the Face-Off Fried Pickles served with house-made tzatziki.  These were decent with juicy tart spears coated with a medium thick breading.  They were crunchy and the creamy tzatziki was fairly garlicky.

Since we were sharing anyways, we got a Meatza Pizza on thin crust.  Okay, this was more like piles of ham and pepperoni topped with bacon, ground beef and sausage.  The layer of meat was 2 times the thickness of the crust!  About that crust, it was crunchy and held up to all of the ingredients.  Due to the amount of meat, the pizza ate a bit salty and a touch greasy.  However, the tangy tomato sauce did help out in that regard.  Something that caught our eye was the Miss Vickie's Salt & Vinegar Fish & Chips.  Yes, they used crushed chips to batter the 2 pieces of cod!  As a result, the outer crust was fairly firm and crunchy.  Furthermore, there was an inherent salty tanginess.  The fish itself was a bit overdone though and the fries were pretty pedestrian.  The creamy tartar sauce was quite nice though.

Okay, we couldn't resist and ordered The Rita Challenge even though no one was actually going to tackle a six-patty beast of a burger with bacon, cheese, fried onions and mushrooms  on a brioche bun.  We ended up sharing it and surprisingly, it wasn't merely a gimmick.  The thick and meaty patties were well-seasoned and almost juicy.  They were subjected to a smoky char and with the melted cheese between each, we enjoyed them.  I was able to reform a single burger with the soft brioche bun (that didn't really hold up to the amount of meat and moisture including the Brewhouse secret sauce, think Mac sauce).  We could see that a regular burger with all of the ingredients would actually be pretty good.  If one was to take the challenge, they would eat this for free if finished within an hour.

Now that wasn't the only part of the challenge though as one would have to finish a large Poutine on the side too!  For me, this was so-so as the fries were too dense for my liking and not nearly crispy enough.  The melted mozzarella should've been cheese curds instead since the texture was not right.  As much as the thick gravy was the right consistency and did taste okay, there was the taste of flour that was a bit overwhelming.  On a return visit, we had high hopes for the Nachos, but it ultimately was a disaster.  We found the chips so hard, it almost had a stale quality to it.  It wasn't stale because it didn't smell of it, but I almost chipped a tooth trying to eat them.  We also thought there could've been more cheese and less veggies.  The chunky guacamole was pretty tasty and the salsa was rather spicy.

Since we had a thin crust pizza last time, we wanted to give the regular crust a go with the large Greek Pizza.  Maybe it might have to do with my personal biases, but I didn't enjoy this pizza.  There wasn't a shortage of toppings which included tender chicken, feta, onions, olives, tomatoes and tzatziki.  But that was partly the problem as the pizza ate wet and raw since the veggies were not cooked through.  The crust was fine though being more robust than the thin version.  One dish we didn't get to last time was the Short Rib Shepherd's Pie, so we got that too.  It was decent with tender shredded short rib bathed in a flavourful and thick gravy.  Loved the pop of the sweet peas.  It was topped with a thick layer of somewhat dense mashed potatoes.

I wasn't a huge fan of the regular poutine we had last time, but was slightly happier with the Montreal Smoked Meat Poutine.  We only got a small order (should've had a large) and it consisted of fries, cheese, diced pickles, smoked meat and a side of mustard.  I'm still on the fence with the gravy as it was a bit floury in flavour, but the fries were better and the pickles somehow worked.  Surprisingly, the mustard really made the dish with a tangy sharpness.  After these 2 visits to the Canadian Brewhouse and Grill, it showed us that there are some good dishes to be found within the enormous menu.  However, with restaurants of this ilk, there are a fair share of misses too.  If you stick to the tried and true items, your experience could be a good one.

The Good:
- Fair portions
- Attentive service (especially with the buttons at the table)
- Burgers are good

The Bad:
- Really hit and miss though
- Not particularly cheap

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