From the folks behind La Buca and Pied-à-Terre, comes their new “progressive tavern”, The Abbey. I’d call it an upscale pub, but that doesn’t quite do it justice. I guess “progressive tavern” will have to do until I think up a better descriptor.
The Abbey is located in the old Wild Rice space on West Pender.
Stained glass motif.
Some very neat specials.
I looooove local sardines. What’s a “pickled mayonnaise”?
I had a whole bowl of ramen (plus all the soup) before this, so we stuck to drinking snacks and the sardines 😉 Full menu is available on their website.
They have decent beer on tap! 16oz glasses of Driftwood Fat Tug in the foreground and Parallel 49 Tricycle Radler in the background. The P49 radler is a blend of grapefruit juice and beer. It’s only 3.5% ABV so it’s great for when you don’t want to get hosed. Beer geeks get their noses up in the air when people say “radler” but I think it has its place 🙂 Works a treat for boozy weekend brunches! Driftwood Fat Tug is a classic Pacific Northwest style IPA with lots of fruity hop character. Full of flavour and accessible.
One of their daily specials: Local Sardines on Toasted Baguette with Pickled Mayonnaise and Pea Shoots (and radishes too). I’m really glad to see local sardines on menus nowadays. We really need to appreciate the good, local, sustainable fish that’s available in BC, instead of stuffing ourselves with that farmed Atlantic salmon shit. Cheap sushi is cheap for a reason. Anyways, the “pickled mayonnaise” was basically like tartar sauce, but it added a critical acid component to this delectable small plate. Distinctly unwimpy toasting on the baguette adds a nice charred note and crisp texture to the oily sardines. Very enjoyable for sardine fans.
Housemade Sausage Rolls with Colman’s Mustard.
Biting into this sausage roll was like eating a ground meat pastry cloud. The lightest-feeling sausage roll I’ve ever had! Instead of a stodgy, heavy, dense, salty experience (as is typical with the usual bakery sausage rolls), this sausage roll had pastry that was flaky, airy and soft, with sausage meat that tasted of pork and seasonings, not just salt. An angelic revelation! Praise the monks that wrap these in the back room!
Free Run Chicken Karaage with togarashi mayo.
Closeup shot for shits ‘n giggles. Mostly giggles.
They really hit that classic gingery chicken karaage flavour. Big juicy pieces of chicken with a crunchy, not-too-thick not-too-thin coating. Seasoning spot-on.
Funny that The Abbey and The Fat Badger opened up within a couple months of each other because both places have British-inspired pub fod. However, The Fat Badger is full-on British (with only British beers on tap) while The Abbey brings in other influences, like the Chicken Karaage and a more open beer selection. I have yet to try The Fat Badger, but right now I’m liking The Abbey and want to come back to try their mains. Friendly and perceptive service too. Kudos!