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Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:21 pm
by iguenard
Its very tiny. Sits about what... 30 people total. Autre Oeil if not during summer also has a VERY limited food selection.

For food and beer, BDT are still youre best option if you dont want to return to Beer Brothers Bistro again.

Couple of new beer places that may be worth a visit... Gainsbourg brewery in Old Hull will one day serve their own beer, right now they have odds and ends draught selection I believe. I may head down there this saturday, I'll let you know. They have a 3000 calory mega burger apparently that is so very "Wreckless Eating" (Youtube it).

Beyond the Pale is a very tiny brewery (under 980 square feet) that make a limited selection of solid ales.

Dont bother with Big Rig.

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:07 pm
by El Pinguino
I have struggled finding a good beer + cheap food solution in Ottawa. I generally end up having to break things up...go for food somewhere first, then beers after.

Posted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:44 am
by rejtable
El Pinguino wrote:What is the Manx like in terms of food and larger groups? Might have 8-10 people with me on my next visit into Ottawa. I want good beer, they want cheap food...
Food is great, although pretty simple menu. Probably pretty average pricing for pub food.

Space is very limited. If you want to seat that many together, you'd better get there very early. I was there on a Monday night. At 5:30 there was maybe one area where you could have squeezed that many in. By 6pm, out of luck. When I left at 8pm there were a bunch of people standing up waiting for tables to clear.

Posted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:51 am
by rejtable
iguenard wrote:For food and beer, BDT are still youre best option if you dont want to return to Beer Brothers Bistro again.

Dont bother with Big Rig.

Slight disagreements on each of these. I mean, yes, BDT is still the place to go, but man oh man I get a lot of either completely crap beers and/or incredibly bad service. Too many bombs for me to wholly endorse it. I had a cask of their Brassin X a few weeks ago, and it was undrinkable. A boozy/fruity mess. Then the waiter decided to take off for an hour after our meal was done.

I also personally can't say I've ever been all that impressed with the food there. It's ok, but not destination food for the price.

As for Big Rig, again, I can't endorse it fully, but the seasonals they've been making have been decent to good. Their standard lineup is nothing special, but if you can get in when Lon has a seasonal on they have been, in my reasonably limited experience, worth it. Food has sucked every time I've been there though.

For me, Big Rig isn't worth the effort of driving across town as a destination, but if my wife is heading to IKEA nobody has to twist my arm to pop in for a pint as long as they have a seasonal going (which seems to be most of the time now).

As always, just my 2 cents. Actually without pennies now I guess I have to round down, so it's free!

Ian, is the Gainsbourg the same people as the Chelsea pub? I thought I read the Chelsea folks were opening in downtown Hull.

Posted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:55 am
by rejtable
Also, as alternatives to Beer Bistro (in terms of price/atmosphere/beer), I'd consider Wellington Gastro Pub and Black Tomato for sure. Wellington can probably match their tap list most days. Black Tomato won't have as good a tap list, but food is usually very good, and they do tend to have pretty interesting beers.

Posted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:39 pm
by El Pinguino
Great additions here. I like Black Tomato, but it's nicer than what other people are looking for price and food wise for my current needs.

Posted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:52 am
by rejtable
Depending how low you want to go on the atmosphere/food range, the Arrow and Loon is of course a great beer destination. Service sucks, food is not strong (nachos/burgers), atmosphere is nothing special, but if your friends are just looking for nachos/beer night, at least you'd get good beer out of it.

Clocktower can also be a decent place to take non-beer folks. Their seasonals have been at least tolerable lately, their standard beer line up is not great but the non-beer people won't really know the difference. Depending on the location the atmosphere can be pretty solid. Food is decent for pub food.

Posted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:03 pm
by midlife crisis
Infrequent but committed Ottawa visitor here. What ever happened to the Barley Mow (near the Arrow & Loon on Bank, but other side of Lansdowne Park)? Long gone? Back in the day it was the craft beer epicentre, with a cask engine (often serving Hart) and everything.

Posted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:28 pm
by Kekumba
Hm, Barley's still there, I personally haven't been since last August but I don't remember being impressed with the beer selection. Mill St, Lug Tread, etc. I did order their "house ale" which finished the keg off and they didn't charge me for it. Fries/chippers are good, as are the fish and chips. Wouldn't go there for beer if my memory is any good. Arrow & Loon is far better.

Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:55 pm
by rejtable
Popped into Le Gainsbourg for lunch today. Pretty impressed. Had the flight of their three beers. Scotch was decent, although I found the body a bit light, blonde was decent enough for style and the absinthe stout was interesting. I'd definitely try the scotch again in pint size. Flight size was right for the stout, not a big absinthe fan so not sure I could make it through a larger serving.

Lots of guest taps. Unfortunately, the Trou du Diable stout had run out before I arrived.

Food was decent, although a bit pricey. Ms rejtable had the burger. It was tasty, but the pretzel bun was WAY too salty. They need to have a non-kidney failure bread option (maybe they do).

I liked sitting there a lot more than sitting inside BDT. The best BDT beers are probably better than here, and BDT probably offers a bigger range of styles. Service was perfect, which I rarely find at BDT. I'd go back for sure.

Great addition to the local scene!

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 3:46 pm
by Brews Phillips
I've been to Gainsbourg twice in the past couple of weeks and enjoyed it both times. It's much cozier and friendlier than BDT. The food, while not served in heaping quantities, is quite tasty. I've had the Gainsbourg burger and the flank steak, both very tasty (the addition of smoked meat in the burger helps!). My wife had the salmon, which was also very good, not overly dry like the way most places seem to serve it. The "Gainsbourg" beers are currently rebranded Brassuers du Montreal beers since I don't think the brewing equipment is even installed yet. Maybe in a few months. But in the meantime there are quite a few taps from around Quebec which pretty much makes it a destination for anyone who wants to try a bunch of different QC beers on tap but doesn't want to make the trek out to Aylmer.

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:35 am
by rejtable
So, that Gainsbourg stout is just the ghosttown stout with their name on it??

I guess I've always been fine with all those pub-labelled yellow fizzy beers that are really just versions of Cool, but I am kinda cranky hearing this news about the Gainsbourg beers.

Anyone else bothered by this?

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:33 am
by Cass
Made it to Gainsbourg on the weekend - great little spot. Very cozy and intimate bistro, but a great lively vibe. Solid beer list including Trou du Diable, B Sans Gluten, Charlevoix, Bilboquet, DDC and the rebranded house beers as they build their own system. IMO a lot more pleasant of a place to sit and drink than BdT.

Very convenient to Ottawa - on the traditional bar strip which is just behind the big hulk of government. Awesome to see another great beer lineup in Hull/Gatineau.

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:41 am
by Cass
rejtable wrote:Anyone else bothered by this?

I'm not so bothered, it's happening here and there with craft beers. Grand Electric in TO rebrands a couple of beers from Great Lakes I believe.

I suppose it's just a bridge until their own system is up and running, but it would be a bit odd if people don't realize that it's not actually their beers, so if/when they brew using the same names/styles they would all taste different!

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:33 am
by rejtable
Yeah, I dunno. One the one hand we have craft brewers and consumers making a stink about proper labelling (craft/crafty), and on the other something like this? I don't like it.

If I'm understanding right, the only role Gainsbourg folks had in putting that beer on my table was putting their own tap handle on the bar. There is no mention anywhere in there that they just relabelled BdM beer. Just because another pub(s) do it, I don't think it makes it right.

If they weren't ready to sell their own beers on their own system, or couldn't make out a contract arrangement at the very least, then why not just put the BdM taps on there as is? Would people really have cared?

None of this is enough to keep me away it's a great spot, but it does sour me a bit.

EDIT: To clarify my feelings... when I go to Grand Electric, I don't expect those beers to be brewed by them, they make no claims to be a brewpub. Gainsbourg is clearly identifying itself as a "microbrasserie" on their website with pictures of active brewing equipment. And then the beers are clearly labelled as "Le Gainsbourg".