If you are looking for a new place to share drinks, enjoy food or unwind after a hard day’s work, you may want to consider the new neighbourhood pub restaurant that has opened up in Clearview Ridge — The Canadian Brewhouse.
It is a chain pub that has eight other locations, all across Alberta. Like any other pub, it serves a variety of beer, pub food and music — all in a very casual atmosphere.
While many pubs today are trying to re-create the atmosphere of pubs from Ireland, Scotland, or England, The Canadian Brewhouse is paying homage to all that is Canadian.
The Canadiana theme is present in all through the establishment. There is a inuksuk greeting you at the doorway, a totem pole keeping watch over the guests, framed Canadian history and sports paraphernalia decorating all along the walls.
With the party-like atmosphere, and so many things to look at when you first walk in, it is a little bit overwhelming to the senses.
Although no one greets you at the door, once you sit down, you are served instantly like they knew the moment you stepped in. You can sit at the bar, at a pub-style table or a booth by the window.
With so many televisions throughout the restaurant, wherever you sit, you can be assured that there is full view of at least one or two huge television screens tuned to a sporting event. The focal point for the place is the giant jumbotron above the bar, resembling a sports arena.
The Canadian theme is also carried through their offerings on the menu and the signature Canadian flag sits majestically on every dish served. If you are looking for a meal, there is Montreal smoked meat sandwich, varieties of poutine, and assortment of burgers that come with maple leaf-shaped patties.
And an RCMP will always be present at this establishment — not the police, of course, but their Royal Canadian Monster Pizza!
If you are looking for a little bite with your drinks, the pub offers some signature appetizers. Their top-selling appies are Steak Bites, Baba’s Ukrainian Perogies and Fried Pickles.
The steak bites are described as “tiny steaks from tiny cows,” and are juicy grilled Angus steak seasoned and served with their famous steak sauce.
Their perogies are tiny bite-size fried pastries stuffed with cheddar cheese and served with grilled onions, bacon bits, fresh chives and sour cream on the side. These tasted as if old Baba herself was hand-making them at the back of the kitchen!
Their most popular appetizer is the fried pickles. I had never had a deep-fried pickle before and I have discovered they are a wicked dish! Be warned, one bite and you will have a continuous craving. Fried pickles are this lovely concoction of battered crunchiness with a briny pickle inside. They are fried just long enough to cook the breading, leaving the defining ‘snap’ of the pickle intact. These delightful appetizers are salty, tangy, and crunchy!
Is it the pub’s own unique creation? Well no and the menu states, “We don’t know who came up with these, but that drunk bastard was a genius!”
I would have to agree.
As Canada celebrates in its ethnic diversity, so does the Canadian Brewhouse’s menu. It offers a Bollywood butter chicken, an entree consisting of tender chicken breast covered in a creamy curry sauce, served with toasted garlic naan bread and steamed white rice. I would have to grudgingly admit that if they eased up on the salt a bit, they would be the leading contenders to my own butter chicken!
They don’t offer many dessert selections, but I still wanted to finish off the all-star meal with a sweet and so I ordered the warm brownie with ice cream. Instead of ubiquitous slice of brownie, they’re small morsels of chocolate, surrounding a scoop of ice cream. When you take a bite, you first experience a crispy outer layer before sinking your teeth into the moist, ganache-like chocolate inside. The presentation is simple but it reflects the true Canadian essence — unassuming on the outside, but real good inside.
They also have very inexpensive specials every night of the week. Some of these specials include $2 Montreal smoked meat sandwich on Monday, $1 tacos on Tuesdays, and $4.80-per-pound wings on Wednesday. By the way, when it comes to wings, Canadian Brew House offers more than 32 varieties: maple cinnamon, Johnny cash, chili-Yaki, chipotle mango are few on my list to try.
Besides the draught and bottled variety of beer, there is also a selection of unique collection of candy cocktails. These include cherry blaster, fuzzy peach and one of my new discovered favourites, the Blue Whale. This is a vodka-based drink mixed with Blue Curacao with a splash of 7-Up. What is the appropriate garnish for a candy cocktail? Candy of course! My Blue Whale came with a whale gummy candy — alluding to the sweet flavours of the drink.
The loud music provides a lively party-like atmosphere rather than a place for quiet romantic night out. If you are looking to go out with a group of buddies, a casual date or a place to watch the playoff games, then Canadian Brewhouse fits the bill!
To keep yourself up to date on the specials, you can follow Canadian Brewhouse on Twitter @TheCDNBrewhouse.
Madhu Badoni is a Red Deer-based freelance food writer. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @madhubadoni. Watch for Madhu’s Masala-Mix blog on bprda.wpengine.com.