Monday, December 9, 2013

Hop and Vine - impressive bar food and beer selection

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Hop and Vine Taphouse

1601 Burnwood Avenue, Burnaby

Hop & Vine Taphouse on Urbanspoon

Food: 4
Service: 3.5

I am not much of a drinker, but R certainly is. He is especially interested in craft beers. So when I received a invitation to test out a new menu launch at  Hop and Vine Taphouse with beer pairing, R was really excited.
Honestly I would have never found this place if it wasn't for this event, because Hop and Vine is located in a rather industrial area near Lake City Skytrain station. Although it's may not be an popular area, it was still pretty easy to find.
The restaurant was spacious a warm setting. No matter where you are seated, there is a TV facing your direction. So this would be the perfect place to catch a game.
We were offered 5 courses along with a craft beer pairing, but in reality it was more like 10 courses since they presented us with 2 mini version for each course. Their new menu feature bar style food made with mostly sustainable local ingredients, such as Alberta beef. Majority of their sauces and dips are also made in house as well.
Townsite Brewing Shiny Penny Belgian IPA with Winter Salad and Buttermilk Chicken Strip
- R: this one was strong (8.5%) with a hint of fruity note.
- I loved the salad with their in house sweet honey dijon dressing. The grilled chicken was tender and vegetables were fresh
- The well marinated butter milk chicken was tender with light and crispy coating. The curry ketchup was really delicious, and paired perfectly with the chicken.
Odin Brewing Compant Viking Gold with Mini French Meat Pie and BBQ Pull Pork Sandwich
R: this one was his favorite, it was light with a citrus note, that paired perfectly with these heavier courses
- the filling in the pie was really salty in my opinion, but I guess if you drink beer then it tones it down
- both R and I loved the pull pork sandwich with a crunchy slaw, the meat was tender with sweet BBQ tangy flavor.
Green Flash Brewing Company Imperial IPA with Mini Burger and Poutine
- R: this one was super strong at 9.4% with intense hop flavor, which I guess is why this course is paired with heavy carbs to soak up that excess alcohol.
- hand cut organic potato with onion and bacon. I liked the addition of caramelized balsamic onion, as it balance out the richness from the gravy. Some people thought other wise
- the mini burger was juicy and delicious, but it had tad too much mayo
Steamworks Brewing Company Pale Ale with Italian Meat Lover Flatbread and Chipotle and Chop Salad
R: after the previous strong beer, this was a rather light tasting one.
- after so many heavier course, I welcomed the light chipotle dressed salad with the crunchy tortilla
- the flat bread was loaded with cheese, prosciutto, capicolli and pepperoni. The capicolli added a nice spicy kick. The overall combination was salty, thus it needed the lighter pale ale.
Double Trouble Brewing Co. Prison Break Breakout Pilsner with Deep Fried Lime Tempura Prawns and Butter Chicken. 
R: bitter note with hop flavor
- the batter coated prawns was very fresh with a snap to it. The coating was not thick nor oily. The sweet chili aioli was just too rich for me. But honestly I think I was just too full at this point to eat another bite.
- the butter chicken was rather spicy comparing with all the mild versions served at none traditional Indian restaurants. The sauce was more tomato based than buttery.

Overall R and I are very impressed by their new menu. R's exact comment was "this is not your typical bar food, such as frozen/pre-made chicken fingers and nachos etc, this is actually quality food that pairs really well with beer." In fact, right after the meal he told a buddy and already plan to come back for guy's night out. They had a huge selection of craft beers from all over the world. So if you are looking for some great bar food/beer, than I strongly suggestion you check out this place.

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