I will order the strangest thing on the menu. While my wife is likely to stick to safe (she ordered the cheese pizza this evening), I will find the oddest, most interesting thing on a menu and try it.Tap and Barrel in Vancouver’s bustling new Athlete’s Village district, I had a PB&J Burger. Now, when you order the PB&J hot dog at Tubby Dog, it’s actual peanut butter and jam on your wiener. At the Tap and Barrel, it’s a more creative interpretation of “chipotle peanut butter and bacon jam.”
It’s a good burger. The peanut butter taste is mellowed with the chipotle heat and you never really get an overwhelming sweet sense you’re eating jam, because it’s made with bacon. It was weird, it was good, it wasn’t wonderful. I’m glad I had it once, I wouldn’t order it the next time I sunned myself on the huge patio.
Same with the You’re My Boy Blue, Blueberry Wit from Howe Sound Brewery. While I absolutely love their 4 Way Fruit Ale, this wit came out somewhat nutty, almost as if it tasted more like blueberry stems than actual berries. The color is something to behold too. If that blueberry pie eating scene from Stand By Me still haunts you, stay away.
Now, about the Tap. It’s feels like a little bit of Calgary on the West Coast. The logo is a highway sign, the color scheme is very red, and the patio is sprawling. I’m not going to say it’s ‘redneck’, but it’s not as ‘chic’ as a place as I would have expected to dominate the side of the False Creek Waterfront.
The Olympic Village district, soon to be called “The Village,” I’m sure, is well on its way to becoming the new Yaletown. They have crammed many new buildings into the old industrial district and despite the fact that a 700 sq ft shoebox will cost you $580k to buy or close to $2400/mo to rent, there is no shortage of young urban brearded hipsters ready to pile in to soak up the amazing view. of the water and mountains.
The Tap has capitalized on being the first big opening in the best location. Soon, Calgary’s Craft Beermarket will open across the plaza and I’m sure will give it a run for its money. While I saw two big beer halls in the village, it should be noted I didn’t see one Starbucks.
Beer is the new coffee on the coast, it appears.