Although we have family in Nanaimo, Shane and I rarely eat out in the area. However, we did hear about this English style pub called the Crow & Gate pub that was nearby, so we decided to pay a visit when we were out their with my mom. The restaurant itself is outside of the Nanaimo area, and is actually located in Cedar. It's definitely located in the middle of nowhere, and the entrance is not very noticeable. The pub itself is impressive; it's almost like you were driving into a Tudor estate, with immaculately green lawns, and distinctive white and dark-beamed buildings.
Surprisingly for a mid-afternoon, the place was packed. The interiors were what you may expect in an old English pub: lots of beams, dark wood, benches, and a real crackling fireplace. Very cozy.
The menu itself was small and written on a chalkboard. Like a lot of pubs, you seat yourself and order at the bar. The food then will be brought to your table. The menu items were reasonable, though not cheap; soups were under $8 and mains were from $10 - $14. I was disappointed to see non-traditional English stuff on their menu, but I suppose this reflects what the people demand.
My mom ordered the Boston clam chowder, which arrived in a large, flat bowl with a couple of slices of bread and butter. This soup was really good - creamy, rich, and with a really nice clam flavour.
Shane ordered the quiche of the day, which arrived with a side of green salad, potato salad, and some bread. The quiche was pretty good - creamy and cheesy, with a tender though somewhat limp crust, it certainly wasn't the best quiche either of us had ever had.
I ordered the bratwurst pub plate, which had two sausages, the same side salad and potato salad, roll, and inexplicably, a long strip of cheese. I wasn't bowled over by the sausages, to be honest. It was a tad salty and plain tasting. I am not a fan of sweet salad dressings, so did not like their house dressing at all. The potato salad was also heavy on the mayo and a tad sweet as well.
I was also bothered a little by the fact that everyone had the exact same plate (side salad, potato salad, roll), despite the difference in the orders. This probably eases the work of the kitchen, but it would be nice if they put in a little more effort.
That being said, we would definitely come back, just because of the setting and environment of the pub. The place has a wonderful feel. Plus, they do sell the most wonderful beer and ciders on tap.