Taste of Nova Scotia at Portside Pub (With Bonus Round at Alibi Room)


Wandered into The Portside Pub while waiting for Alibi Room to open on a Thursday afternoon and saw that they changed their menu to a more Nova Scotia-focused one. Before they had fun snacky stuff like dim sum, hot dogs (“red hots”) and popcorn. Now, sadly, that’s all gone.


Hey, they have a Four Winds beer! Four Winds are a new brewery located in Delta that opened up last summer and already have a reputation for well-executed and interesting beers, without resorting to gimmicks. They’ve started bottling now so if the drive to Delta is too far for you, you can pick up some of their beers at the better private beer stores around town (eg. Brewery Creek).

The Oat Porter was a masterpiece. So creamy and smooth. I would drink this in the summer! It goes down so easy. 16oz “sleeves” were on special for $5.75 that day, so pretty good deal. Sorry, no photo of the beer…I was so focused on the menu:


It wouldn’t be a Nova Scotia menu without Halifax donair sauce! Roasted Garlic Fingers are like “crazy bread” or “cheesy bread” you get from pizza places, except served with the must-have donair sauce. We went with the Baked Potato Skins this time…


I got fixated with the Chris Brothers Fried Pepperoni. I have memories growing up of my mom buying those fat farmers sausages and pepperoni from Safeway and I’d peel off the casing, cut them into slices and fry them in a non-stick pan and eat them with rice. I was excited to see how this Nova Scotian pepperoni would compare.


Keeping with the East Coast theme, they also have The Nova Scotia Lobster Roll. A bit expensive…I wonder how the usual Portside Pub crowd will take to it?


Lotta big talk on this menu.


You can eat this guy, if you want.


Sailor hats. The stupidest thing you can think of during the day, but the best idea ever when it’s late and you’re drunk.


This bottle selection on display gives a good sense of their total beer selection…a mix of good with dreck.


They really ran with the nautical theme here, and now with the new Nova Scotia menu, everything “fits” now.

This place used to be the old Twilight Zone nightclub back in the early 90s…probably my favourite alternative/techno club back in the day. The layout is still similar though, how you can see the lower floor from the top floor.


Some good stuff on tap.


Hey, a Persephone Brewing growler! New brewery from Gibsons, BC. I’ve liked everything I’ve tasted from them so far.


Portside Pub has a membership system where you can get free cover for any of their shows etc, but also get a mug of your own to use and, uh, personalize.


Baked Potato Skins. These were actually pretty good! Potato skins are usually dried out, sad pieces of potato leather but these tasted fresh. Bacon bits were just right. Good drunk food but also good as food food.


Chris Brothers Fried Pepperoni with donair sauce (top) and honey mustard (bottom). Looks a little bit overdone to me. Tasted way less salty than I thought it’d be…even a bit bland. Definitely on the dry side though. Were these freshly fried for us? I have some doubts… The texture was curiously dry and not juicy or fatty, although the outside glistened with oil. Bit of a disappointment but I don’t know if this is the way it’s supposed to taste or if we were served dried out, refried pepperoni. Sauce hides a multitude of sins though…or does the sauce contain sins of its own?


Perhaps it’s best that this mysterious sauce remains a mystery.

So this is Halifax Donair Sauce… This is my first encounter with it, but I’ve heard about it cuz I used to eat donairs back in university and knew “Halifax Donairs” were bit of a cult thing. Why is the sauce frothy/bubbly? It tasted creamy and sweet. But not creamy in a cream way, but creamy in a carrageenan sort of way. I tasted it again and again and couldn’t identify anything beyond generic sweetness and creaminess. Perhaps it’s best that this mysterious sauce remains a mystery.


An adequate honey mustard sauce. Really mild mustard flavour.


There are so many awful jokes you could make about that donair sauce.

I think the rest of the menu deserves a fair shake in the future, but I have my doubts about that pepperoni. But I’ll definitely keep their $5.75 drink specials in mind 😀

The Portside Pub on Urbanspoon


Alibi Room was our real destination before being sidetracked by Portside Pub. Just a relaxed, chatty afternoon over drinks.


The easy-drinkin’ side.


The hophead side.


My selections (L-R):

Persephone Citra Hopped Pale Ale: Bright ‘n fruity. The kind of beer that makes me pay attention to the brewery.

Fuggles & Warlock v. Big River “River City Handsome” Citra/Amarillo Dry-Hopped Belgian IPA (7.5%): I had huge expectations with this one cuz I LOVED their previous Super 8-Bit IPA collaboration with Alameda Brewing. Unfortunately this one just didn’t work for me. Overwhelming taste of sweeeeeeeeeet and tasted too challenging for a 7.5% beer. Might work better paired with food, but for that moment when I drank it, it was too much.

Matt (of Persephone) Best Bitter: A hop-forward English bitter. Hint of roastiness. Dry. Good!

Deschutes Pine Drops IPA (6.5%): Fruity/piney/sweet. Not very distinctive. Meh. Disappointing because some of my favourite outright drinkable/sessionable beers are Deschutes (Twilight Summer Ale, Red Chair NWPA).

Drinking buddy's fratbat was the better selection :P
Drinking buddy’s fratbat was the better selection 😛

Friend’s selections (L-R):

Driftwood White Bark Wit with orange peel and coriander: So fresh-tasting and delicious. Lovely colour. I should revisit this beer more often. Driftwood are definitely in the top tier of BC breweries.

Four Winds Pilsner: Dare I say it, a masterpiece? Smells “pilsnery” 😛 I like my pilsners to be confidently bitter and finish clean, and this one succeeded. Four Winds are really kicking ass.

Occidental Brewing’s German-style Hefeweizen: Good standard hefeweizen. Nothing amazing but nothing amiss either.

Jolly Pumpkin Bambiere Oaked Farmhouse Session Ale: Woody, hint of tart smell. Slight perfuminess. Enticing. Delicous. Right up my alley and would order again!

When will I learn to not order the big ass IPAs when I’m not eating at the same time?

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