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Foods from Bier Markt
2018 Aug 9
Was there last week with some friends.
I've been there before, and generally enjoy them as one of the better Sparks St options - especially when you score one of the comfiest patio seats.
I have to comment positively for two more specific reasons:
One - they competently served my friend a delicious blue steak - something that is vanishingly rare in Ottawa. In fact not only did the kitchen make the steak correctly, but the server took the order correctly without any confusion (e.g. not knowing what the request meant) or skepticism (e.g. not believing that a woman would order steak blue).
Two - apparently the hard root beer float is THE thing to order if you don't like beer but do like root beer. It looked weird to me (I don't like root beer though) - the top of the float was both cake and ice cream, but apparently it was super tasty.
2015 Apr 14
This has become my weekly hangout spot with friends. I love the beer selection and the food. I have so far had pretty much every option on the charcuterie and wurst boards, as well as half the appetizers.
I very much recommend this place.
2015 Mar 15
We were there this past Saturday afternoon after a wedding ceremony and before the reception. Everyone was thirsty and hungry for a bite so we ordered a couple of flights and a few appetizers.
There are pages and pages of beers to choose from, ranging from Canadian to American to European beers, from the quick glance I gave the beer menu. We ordered 2 of several possible flights. It's always fun to be able to sample a few beers, IMO.
Food wise, a friend ordered himself the chicken spaetzle soup and enjoyed it. It looked hearty. A couple of us shared the Dunkel Duck wings which are essentially dry rubbed wings. A small portion but they were tasty. Then, we all a couple of orders of pretzels. They were good, not the freshest. They seemed brought in and reheated (I guess that how they all are? I honestly dunno but have had seemingly fresher at other places). It's a fine accompaniment to beers so we were happy nonetheless.
It was pretty busy for a Saturday afternoon in an otherwise fairly quiet part of town. I think the atmosphere was nice with a great décor and pleasant staff. A good addition to Sparks and a great alternative to the existing, tired places along that strip.
2015 Jan 6
Belated review. I went to the new Bier Markt on a Saturday night just before Xmas with a couple of friends.
It was bustling (nice to see some life on Sparks St) at 7.30pm on Saturday, but no so much that you couldn't walk in and still get a table. There was a real good mix of people of all ages and demographics so despite some of its pretentiousness it is actually quite down to earth and inviting.
Its a big space, it used to be a Zellers after all. There seemed to be 3 areas, a lively bar in the front half with TV screens and then a band later on, a slightly quieter dining area with booths towards the back and a rather bizarre "Charcuterie bar" along one side. Fortunately we were in a booth towards the back and happily stayed there long after our food was gone. A band came on about 10pm playing 70s & 80s covers and they were awful/awesome depending on how much beer you'd had. Despite picking apart the delivery of classic Journey & Heart tunes and many arguments of "you know this one, yes you do, no you really do" and equally passionate denials, we all ended up singing along by the end of the night.
The food was good, think upscale pub food, although a tad expensive. My friend & I both had the steak frites which we were pleasantly surprised with. It was a perfectly decent sized piece of meat, but it came out on huge cutting boards with the steak at one side and a cup of fries on the other, with two little pots of (homemade) sauce in between. It was a perfectly reasonable amount of food, it just looked rather odd on this huge platter with lots of space inbetween. I wish I'd taken a photo, but we were far too hungry. Other dishes to other tables looked very good and on normal plates. There was some impressive looking charcuterie going around to the other tables as well (meanwhile the charcuterie bar was looking very lonely). The steaks were done just to our liking and were as good as any I've had in the city. Fries were tasty but a it soggy.
Now for the beer. Oh my. I won't list what they have, you can find the menu here.
There were >40 draught beers on tap, with a load more in bottles & cans. We stuck to the draught beer as there was more than enough choice there, with a good representation of Ontario & Quebec craft beers amongst them. I tried a few (all good) and eventually settled on the Innis & Gunn ale from Scotland, which was unlike any beer I've had before. It's made in whiskey barrels so it gets a wonderful malty,oaky, silky smoothy taste & feel. It was heaven and at 6.6% I was a very happy rat. I've since found it in cans at the LCBO.
Service was very (almost overly) attentive making sure both our food and beer selections were to our liking. At first I thought our server was a bit over the top, gushing about anything on the menu we inquired about. As the night went by she impressed me that this young slip of a girl, who admitted she hadn't heard of 90% of the beers on the menu before starting there, was actually very knowledgeable about all the beers we tried and when asked for opinions she was able to compare what we'd liked and disliked to offer up new suggestions. She had obviously had my oaky Innis & Gunn before because she could describe it exactly.
We were informed the desserts were all made in house by the very talented pastry chef. I had a chocolate mousse cake which hit the spot nicely. My friend opted for the chocolate, bacon and pecan waffles. Yes, bacon. These looked spectacular and I'm informed they were. Despite my friend protesting that she couldn't possibly eat them all, they disappeared pretty damn quickly.
All in all a very enjoyable night, I'd definitely go back. In fact I think popping in for an Innis & Gunn and waffles on a weekend afternoon would be the perfect antidote to shopping in the market.
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