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A dozen draughts on tap, three are house brews, one is Pub Chelsea's, and the other eight are rotated from Quebec microbrews.
Menu is reasonably typical Québec pub fare.
Foods from Gainsbourg
2019 Aug 8
They have a lunch menu with a good selection: burgers, sandwiches, salads, poutines. I had the chicken fingers in beer batter over French cut fries with spicy mayo and coleslaw. It was really good. I also had “the pink”, a slightly sour summer beer.
2013 Aug 6
sorry for so many in a row, but I did want to correct an erroneous statement I made earlier - no, not all draughts are $7, they
at $7 for their own beers, then go up to $10.
Last week's selection was: Désinvolture, malted blonde with hints of hops, 5% (house brew); Aguichante, caramel scotch ale, 4.7% (house brew); Noble, the aforementioned absinthe stout, 6.6% (house brew); Traitresse, fruit Tripel, 9% (Chelsea Pub); Fleur d'Oranger, blonde with orange blossom, 5% (Bilboquet); Vache Folle Imperial Milk Stout, 9% (Charlevoix); Corne Du Diable, IPA, 6.5% (Dieu du Ciel); CID, sparkling cider, 5% (Verges de la Colline); Millésime, barley wine "boisé", 10% (Brasseurs de Montréal); Archange, citrusy white, 5% (Bilboquet); Pénélope, czech pilsner, 5% (Les Naufrageurs); Carrick, scotch ale, 9.25% (Les Naufrageurs).
on Saturday, they added a Wee Heavy with bourbon at 11%, I forget the brewery. This one does not mask its strength, and isn't
bourbony, but whoo, it did a nice job on my tongue. I couldn't tell which from the list above it was replacing.
All are also available in 12oz instead of pints.
And the Ganesbourg Burger is like the rest of the food, quite nice, not spectacular, some good bits of flavour, a tad highly priced but not overly so considering the location. I ate the fries-on-wooden-block faster (i.e. closer to normal speed) and as expected, they were fine this time.
2013 Aug 5
And then my main, the pulled pork burger on pretzel bun with salad, with a side of fries added. The pulled pork was slightly tangy, and not very saucy, which is great in this instance - sloppy greasy fare impedes the beer drinking. :)
The salad was very nice as a side salad, nice vinaigrette. The fries stayed warm much longer, being in a metal container, than the previous day on the wood block. Here, the wood block was fine, since the bruger would mostly stay in my hands.
Nothing overly pretentious, well-cooked and tasty enough, with the beer being the star, which may be what they intend. If so, it hits all the good spots. And needs more love. To try.
2013 Aug 5
This was my friend's choice, the appetizer Bundle of Brie: warm brie wrapped in crispy dill bun with bittersweet pear compote.
There wasn't much brie, plenty more compote, but he liked it well enough. Maybe not the best execution of an intriguing concept, but not too filling for an appetizer. A bit expensive, though I forget the price.
2013 Aug 5
I went back on Friday with a friend. Sampled the stout with absinthe on draught... for what it was trying to do, I think it did it very well, the anisy flavour just strong enough but not too strong. As I don't like anis much, it took me a while to finish it - but the stouty taste was good enough for me to finish it!
My friend took a sampler flight (3 x 4oz for $9) and would not let me taste the third, simply saying "order it. you will thank me."
Nuit d'automne from Frampton Brasse. Oh. Oh MY. Ohhhhhhh myyyyy. [/Takei] An "ale noire liquoreuse", or dark ale... there is no correct English word. A description of "liquoreux" is "which feels like a liqueur because of a soft/sweet taste, and the high degree of alcohol". This thing was eminently drinkable, but I didn't want to rush it. Good thing, as it kind of completely masks its 10% strength. And comes in its own branded snifter. Oh yeahhhh.
I'm trying to say more, but I guess the simplest way to put it is that it hit my personal taste profile and pushed many buttons. Repeatedly. Ecstatically. Likely not for everyone, but oh, di it ever work for me. Not overly complex a taste profile, just smooth and lightly creamy and possibly a touch sweet (see previous comment on sweet tooth) and lip-smacking good. Possibly better draught than in bottle. I'll be back for this one while it's there.
2013 Aug 5
Pictured: Fish and chips from Thursday, partially eaten.
Of course, what's to try on the first visit to a pub? The classics. This was the one-piece F&C at $13, with a very nice amount of fries and a mid-sized piece of fish (bigger than pictured - I'd taken two good bites from it before remembering to take a photo). It wasn't the best, it also wasn't the worst. The fries were perfectly fine, and I was asked which of three dipping sauces I wanted (Aïoli, chipotle or another spicy one). The tartar sauce was mostly yelowish mayo, tasted fine, very few bits of whatever it was inside, though.
Like many dishes, it was served on a wooden block. I made the comment and written feedback that unfortunately, for a dish such as this, the wood will suck the food's warmth faster than ambiant air, making the bottom fries cool while the ones resting higher still had some warmth left, 2/3 of my meal through. I did take my time, wanting to not drink the pint of beer too fast, so if you just eat it right up, it should be fine. But still.
The beer: I had their own Aguichante, a caramel scotch ale. Verrrry nice, could even have used a bit more caramelly goodness, but then again, I have the traditional Quebec sweet tooth. All draughts are $7.
I ate at the bar and was able to watch the goings-on, including how they heat-wrap the pourers on all newly-opened liquor bottles. This keeps liquids in for a well-measured pour; no loss for the bar, and nothing getting in for the consumer. Nice. Several cocktails made for clients.
One woman sat at the bar waiting for friends, got a cocktail, then got a text that friends were meeting elsewhere after all, so the bartender offered coupons for free 4oz tasters for her next trip, completely naturally, and she left smiling. Good
and service from all staff that I've seen.
I was encouraged to leave detailed comments, though the bartender said he'd also raise it himself, wondering what could be put over the serving block to get the fish and chips staying warm longer. So I felt my concerns were taken seriously.
Overall, it was standard F&C, and I expected the price a bit higher due to location, but I treat the food here more as a way to absorb alcohol, and the taste was more than fine for that.
2013 Aug 5
After some friends made me realise that the new Hull brewpub I had noticed at the Festibière was actually in Place Aubry, i.e. across from my work place, and after a particularly tough week, I decided to check it out. Glad I did.
Barely opened five months, the place was fairly empty on both a Thursday and Friday after-work hours, a far cry from its previous Typical Hull Bar predecessor. I hope this will change, as it would be sad to lose a type of brewpub that has been missing in this region of the province.
It is first about the beer - Québec microbrews, nearly all of them. Twelve on draught, and 17 bottled (not all of them always available, check with server). And five "domestics" for those unadventurous (includes Michelob(!) and Becks(!!) of all things), all at $5 a bottle, while most of the other bottles are $5.50-$7.00, so really, no reason not to try them.
There's also twelve cocktails listed, with descriptions, fairly standard stuff, but seems popular with a few ladies I've seen - at least they were prepared behind the bar regularly. All are $7.50.
There's a lunch and a dinner menu. Dinner is a nice selection, many different appetizers ranging $6-$12 unless you add meat. The nachos meat options are chicken or smoked meat (properly described in French as "smoke meat"). Several meal salads range $12-$14, burgers and sandwhiches are mostly $13-$16. Mains are $14-$19 and list mainly seafood, a flank steak, and ribs. There are three seperately listed vegetarian options ($13-$14): a sandwhich, a greek pie in rice crust, and a two-cheese lasagna.
Yes, there is a Gainsbourg Burger (not a "Gainseburger"), and I may try it one day: "beef patty stuffed with gouda sauce, smoked dark beer, fried smoked meat, smoked gouda sauce, tomato, lettuce". Unusual, to say the least.
They also have a "burger tower" of their Chelsea (basic cheeseburger), the Gainsbourg, and a pork pattie and pulled pork - one pound of meat.
While the decor has only lightly changed from its previous incarnation, lots of wood panels and a weird layout, the atmosphere is completely changed - much more open and friendly, with the gender-mixed staff having obvious fun working there. One bartender mixed a few drinks and just for his own amusement, because no one was watching, flipped a few bottles before pouring. Could have been practice, but he definitely was smiling while doing it. I found them all very happy and not pushy at all. Major kudos for the owner's selection skills.
Also in the atmosphere is the music, all hand-chosen by the owner, and very random and eclectic. If you don't like the song, just wait a few minutes and something totally different will play. You can have american rock followed by a French ballad, something celtic, a North African rai song, a Quebec oldie... it really keeps changing. (Once I heard the opening strains of Sweet Home Alabama, but it was that bleah newer song that uses it as sample, and within fifteen seconds the staff had turned it down and switched to the next song. Whether it was from my obvious grimace at the speakers, or their own displeasure, but that definitely was nice.) The songs are not volume-normalised, so some are a bit loud while others a bit soft, and I think calculated for a full crowd more than the 2-3 occupied tables when I was there. But it doesn't stop talking at normal volume at all.
I found it wonderfully charming and nice, and there's many menu options I want to try out as I explore the draughts. I find it an extremely welcome addition to the Hull scene, and hope they get more popular as it would be a shame to lose such great access to great beers.
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