Food: Edmonton28 Apr 2012 07:19 am

Since I got home, I have eaten out about 10 times, if that. I of course missed some staples in the Edmonton food scene – King Noodle Pho, Tony’s Pizza etc – but I’ve just been too in love with being able to COOK again. Not to say that we never did that in Japan, it’s just way less hassle to meal plan here, and I’ve been loving it.

Mike and I went to a movie at the Garneau last weekend, and I proposed a stop in at the new Three Boars Eatery nearby just to break the eating in cycle. It’s been open about two or three weeks now, and I wanted to see if was any good. “Plates and Pints” never sounds wrong!

When we arrived, the place was jammed. And SO hot. I cannot imagine what the kitchen will be like come August. And it remained hot and jammed throughout our time there. We cuddled into a tiny corner along the window bar and ordered a few pints. I’d love to see the staff install hooks under their bar – then there is no need for a coat and purse mountain taking up precious bar space.

Mike got the black and tan (Mudshark Porter with Anderson Valley IPA) and I got the Anderson Valley IPA. The kegs change frequently, so be sure to check in on their Twitter page to see what’s on offer that day/week. There are six taps in total, I believe, so there is always a good mix of local and more unusual beer. At $8, my pint was not cheap, but it was great for what we wanted, a pre going out drink.

My IPA was great – hoppy and fresh, just like a spring rabbit. Mike’s black and tan was unfortunately pretty “black” and the porter the IPA was mixed with really overpowered it. Not the best combination, sadly.

In addition to the decent beer selection (there is also a hefty list of bottled brews, divided by style) there is a wall of whiskey and many different and unusual cocktails, like highballs made with Fentiman’s soda and a few kinds of shandies.

We ordered two plates of food, and it turned out to be a little less than a meal even though one of the items was from the “main” menu of entrees.

First up was the “rabbit food” menu (Three Boars has a great selection of vegetarian friendly dishes) item of wild mushrooms on toast with an egg. I cautiously broke the yolk and dug into this, nervous. Would it be good? Great? Terrible? The first bite was amazing – yolky creamy goodness over fresh wild mushrooms bursting with flavour. Reconstituted from freeze dried, these mushrooms were not. The fleur de sel on top heightened the golden goodness of the egg and the crunch of the toast under neath worked in harmony with the other softer textures. I wish there had been two toasts since splitting one was a bit awkward and it would have made it more of a meal, but it still worked.

Next is the very unphotogenic lamb’s neck poutine. Fingerling potatoes coated with rich gravy, succulent lamb and squeaky cheese curds. The kitchen often mixes things up and will try new kinds of poutine. I’ve seen liver and onions and oxtail on their Twitter page. (Everything changes at Three Boars – the menu is more of a guide than an absolute, and expect to be surprised by specials when you go in.)

Again – not quite enough to make a meal. I definitely recommend getting atleast three dishes for two people, even if one of you is not that hungry as was our case, because you will want to taste everything more than once. Most dishes run $12-15 so it is not a cheap meal out, but the care in ingredient selection and presentation shine, and it is worth it if you are only going to eat out every so often, and you just want a snack for while you are drinking.

Service was a bit jagged, but probably more pronounced by our need to hot foot it up the street to the Garneau Theatre. If we were here for a longer catch up with friends, I suspect we would not have cared as much. Interestingly, it was the food that was up front and centre and the drinks that were slow to come out. I hope that these kinks get ironed out as they get used to their popularity.

Half way through our drinks, seats opened up upstairs so we went up the steep staircase. Upstairs there are communal style tables, so do not expect an intimate meal. This is family style, more of an upscale pub, and it’s pretty fun.

Overall, I think Three Boars makes an awesome addition to the growing cluster of fantastic restaurants north of Whyte Ave on 109th. It’d be great to do a drink and a dish at each place, then walk across the High Level to burn it all off…

Three Boars Eatery
Excellent cocktail and liquor list, local items used in imaginative dishes and a cozy atmosphere.
8424 -109 Street
4pm til late daily


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