Thursday, June 30, 2016

North Brewing Company

Farmhouse Ale (Halifax Nova Scotia)
7.5% ABV

 Picked this up at the Halifax airport, and it is pretty delicious. Darker in colour than I thought it'd be, it tastes a whole lot less bitter than I imagined as well. The bitter comes a bit after, but not in abundance. I like the deep colour. Hold it up to the light, and you'll see the reddish glow that looks pretty nice. The head is quite pouffy.

There's an unexpected fruitiness to it as well. Goes down easy, and high alcohol content (not noticeable in taste) for a beer. It is a bit creamy-tasting. Ingredients are simple, and look at that: "fair traide organic raw sugar"! If that doesn't immediately make you feel better about drinking it, then you're not a hipster. 

Would I purchase again? Yes. It's quite nice overall with simple ingredients that are listed. High alcohol content is a plus for me. Good job, Halifax.

Total damage: Around $6-something for 650 mL? 

Sunday, June 5, 2016


Patria (480 King Street West, Toronto)
Sunday 10:30 a.m.  - 2:30 p.m., 5:30 - close.
Monday - Saturday 5:30 - close.

Those are some pretty vague closing hours.

The following are pictures of the $60 prix fixe meal:

Ibérico de bellota
Fancy, salty, Spanish ham. It is yum!

House-baked bread with fresh tomato and olive oil
While the ingredients may seem basic, it's still pretty tasty. 

Quince jam and cheese
Honestly, I wasn't sure how to eat this. The proportions of the jam, the cheese, and the bread were so skewed, I wasn't sure if they were supposed to go together. Wasn't a huge fan the jam, but I'm not a jam fan in general. Also not sure what cheese that is. *shrug* I suspect it is manchego.

Croquetas de setas
The truffle comes through in the aioli, and really classes up this breaded, mushroom cheese stick. Porcini mushroom and manchego cheese, that is.

They gave us six empanadas for the seven of us, and we were all trying to be polite by waiting for the last one to come. Alas, I consumed the empanada at a lukewarm temperature. It was still tasty, but perhaps it might've been better warmer.

Ensalada remolachia
Many at the table thought that the toasted almonds were the star of this salad. It had a lot of flavour for such a sliver of an item. I liked the vermouth vinaigrette and the goat cheese as well. I'm pretty much a sucker for most cheeses. 

Garbanzos con espinacas
Chickpeas with spinach and migas. Upon the first bite, there were very hard bits that were surprising. I think they were breadcrumbs, and they were kind of too hard and crunchy to belong with this food in my mind. That first bite was a little unsettling, like finding a bone in your Filet-O-Fish. This was probably my least favourite dish of the night.

Gambas al ajillo
There was a lot of parsley. Much of it may have masked the flavour of the shrimp. Otherwise, still good.

Here's the beef, cooked to about medium rare. This was probably my favourite plate of the meal. The meat was deliciously tender, and the crunchy chip bits were big enough for me to see so that they did not surprise me in my mouth. Lots of flavour here. Delicious, meaty flavour with peppers.

Churros con dulce de leche and chocolate pudding
The desserts looked pretty cool, but also looked like a piece of shit... Anyway, the long stick coming out of the poop-shaped chocolate pudding is candied olive oil. What's cool is that at the bottom of the stick is a rounded puck shape and olive oil gushed out of it when it was chomped at. The chocolate was rich and of the dark variety. I quite liked it. The churros were sweet, crunchy doughnut sticks that I have nothing to complain about. 

They brought out about three of each of the pictured plates for our table of seven. Coming into this, I expected to leave hungry, but I was pleasantly full. I enjoyed trying multiple dishes, made with legit Spanish ingredients like the ibérico ham and manchego cheese. Some dishes impressed me more than others, but I didn't not enjoy any of them. And I'm still wondering how they candied the olive oil. 

The place is pretty fancy, and also extremely loud. The loud music and all patrons trying to talk over said music detracted a bit from my dinner.

Would I return? I wouldn't go here regularly due to loud volumes and the fanciness of it all, but maybe on another special occasion since the food was pretty good. I feel like I'd need to try their paella because Spanish.

Credit to Julie for the pictures and cheers to Jenny the birthday girl for opting to eat here!