One night, Mike and I ended up at Biercraft Bistro on Cambie to meet up with some friends. The last time I was home, this place was actually called Stella’s but I heard they encountered some legal troubles over the name.When we arrived, I thought we were out of luck since the restaurant looked pretty full. Fortunately, the space was a lot bigger than I expected. We were taken into a different area of the restaurant which was more like an actual restaurant as opposed to a bar.
Similar to Biermarkt and Beerbistro in Toronto, Biercraft has an extensive beer selection. Since I was in the mood for a fruity beer, I went with the Ephemere Apple, something I had previously tried at Bar Volo. It had a strong apple flavour and was as crisp and refreshing as the menu had advertised.
After being seated, we were served a small bowl of complimentary chips, which was a nice change from bread. I just wish they replenished it throughout the night since it was a great snack to go with the beer.My friend, Dave, started out with the Poutine – house frites, Quebec cheese curds, Blanche de Chambly & miso gravy and green onions ($9.50). I first took a plain fry and I wasn’t very impressed. Unfortunately the cheese and gravy couldn’t make them any better. The beer and miso gravy sounded like an interesting combination. Too bad the gravy was much too watery and didn’t really stick to the fries. None of us thought this was very good.
Since Mike and I had already eaten dinner, we decided to only order an appetizer for a light late-night snack. We went with the Pork Lettuce Wraps – braised pork shoulder, Asian cabbage slaw, fresh herbs and sweet chili sauce ($10.25). The “Asian cabbage slaw” referred to in the menu was like the coleslaw in those bags you buy from the grocery stores. Again – not impressed. The sweet chili sauce was the fish sauce used in Vietnamese vermicelli and was much too watery for the wraps. It just ended up dripping out everywhere. As for the pork, this wasn’t anything to write home about either. Unfortunately, this was another miss.The menu indicated that you could choose any two courses (a starter and a main or a main and dessert) for $24. Since Dave hadn’t eaten dinner yet, he decided to go with two courses – a starter and main. For his starter, he ordered the BC Oysters – half dozen fresh BC oysters on the half shell, red wine mignonette ($9). Finally, something I actually enjoyed! Although, you really can’t go wrong with fresh oysters – all you gotta do is shuck ‘em.
For his main, Dave went with the Pork Tenderloin – maple glazed, oven roasted Fraser Valley pork tenderloin pork, porter baked beans, corn bread and apple sofrito. I had a few bites of this, and given how the appetizers tasted, I wasn’t expecting very much. But, this dish surprised me! The pork was quite tender and was very flavourful. Another part of the dish that surprised me was the corn bread. I’m usually not a fan of it, but this one was delicious and paired well with the pork. The dish came with half a plate full of beans, which I also am not a fan of. I don’t think anyone can really change my mind about this one.Another friend came later in the evening and ordered the Steelhead Trout – pan seared steelhead, 3 bean salad, mint & pea puree and roasted corn salsa ($20). I didn’t try this, but it looked a lot like salmon to me (I’ve never had steelhead trout). My friend said it was just okay. He also noted that when he makes it at home, simply pan-searing it, it’s better than what Biercraft had produced.
For the most part, I wasn’t too impressed with the food. However, I thought Biercraft had a great atmosphere and a fantastic beer selection. So, I’d recommend only dropping by for drinks and skipping the food.At a glance:
Ratings (out of 5):