This weekend we went to Yaletown Brewing Company, a brew pub in the middle of Yaletown. Apparently, the restaurant is part of the same Mark James family as other brew pubs such as Taylor's Crossing in North Vancouver and Dix in Yaletown, among others. It was a beautiful sunny Saturday afternoon when we arrived. There was a large and busy L-shaped patio that lined Hamilton and Mainland streets, but we chose to sit in the quieter inside. However, the doors and windows were fully open so we could feel the breeze move through the restaurant. The space had a pretty nice atmosphere--wooden tables, comfy chairs, exposed ceiling ducts and pipes, and typical beer decor, ie. metal kegs transformed into light fixtures.
We had just eaten at Nuba a couple of hours earlier, so we weren't that hungry (side note: check out the updated Nuba entry here). Shane is a bit of a beer enthusiast and wanted to try their brews, so we got the Flight, which is a 6 once sample of each of their 7 brews in the cutest tiny glasses, plus their seasonal brew.
The glasses of beer ranged from light (Mainland Lager), to very dark Guiness-type (Warehouse Stout), to wheat-y (Hills Special Wheat), caramel-y (Downtown Brown), and fruity (seasonal Raspberry Ale). Shane's preferences veered towards the dark beers, while I mostly enjoyed the lighter and fruity brews, though we both liked the wheat beer. I must admit, I'm not much of a beer drinker--I'm more of a beer sipper. The weird thing was that there were no prices on their beer menu, so we were a little surprised to get the bill and see that the Flight sampler was a cool $14.
We ordered a couple of appetizers. I was surprised to see fried green tomatoes ($7.99) on their menu, because I never see it on menus in Vancouver. Maybe I'm wrong, but it doesn't strike me as a common dish. I have a particular fondness for fried green tomatoes. I learned about it after seeing the movie of the same name and learned how to make it. It's pretty delicious. Unfortunately, the dish that came was a big disappointment. There were four slices (maybe one tomato?), and it was on top of some pink mayo dressing ("red pepper rouille"), drizzled with balsamic and topped with slivers of basil. It was wrong. First of all, the slices were way too thick, and so it was really soggy to eat. Second, the tomato wasn't as green as it should be, which also made it soggy. The thin "panko" crust kind of just flaked off in large pieces. There was no tomato flavour; green tomatoes should have a tartness to it, and this tomato was a resident in Bland City. We both hated the sauce. It was weirdly Thousand Island-ish, and just didn't go with the tomatoes.
The hot wings ($11.99) were better. They are "southern buttermilk battered", and the batter was really good, quite different from the usual wings you get in pubs. However, the bad thing about that is that when you drench it in sauce, you kinda take away the crispy buttermilk batter crunch that is just so good. It was a conflicting mix of mostly soggy and sorta-crunchy. The hot sauce was a nice Louisiana style, so it had good flavour. The dish was a bit of a contradiction. I think it would be better with sauce on the side, as a dip. The batter should be the star here.
I can't say too much about the food here, as we've only tried appetizers, but I can say that Yaletown Brewing is a pretty good place if your wallet is feeling fat and you've got a hankering for good beer.