The Brighton is one of the newest additions to the neighbourhood and when Sarah asked where we should go for brunch I figured this was a great time to try out the new pub.
It was a bit of a rough start. There was some confusion as the door was locked for over an hour before the waitress realized it was locked because some self-described regulars banged on the door loud enough to get her attention. Did she not wonder why no one was stopping into the pub on a bright, sunny Saturday afternoon? Or why about five of us were hanging around outside? Okay. But we did get inside and the regulars got their $3.99 beers.
The Brighton has a very warm, inviting, excellent pub feel. There are some tables in the window, a long bar with some booth seating and then some more tables in the back. The bathrooms in the back were clean with some really nice tiles. While I was checking everything out I did notice something missing... the kitchen. No kitchen. But they do serve food and a really nice selection of beers and spirits.
I really like the idea of a neighbourhood sourced menu. What a great way for a neighbourhood pub to add more neighbourhood. The menu is limited to some appetizers, sandwiches and pre-made foods. Not having a kitchen, everything is prepared by the bartender in a little space behind the bar. The sandwiches are served with either chips and salsa or, for an extra dollar, salad. Does salad really cost more than chips and salsa? I guess you have to chop things?
Sarah went for a favourite of hers, the Welsh Rare Bit. Firstly, how have I never heard of this dish before? Gravy on toast with cheese melted on top, sounds like toast from heaven.
So, Sarah said that when she has ordered this in the past it has been a thick piece of rustic rye bread soaked with gravy and the cheese was bubbly and crisp from being under the broiler. Since they don't have a broiler, this was not quite what she was expecting. She said the cheese and gravy were good and everything tasted as it should, but not the best choice for a brunch meal as this was it. For 6.00 she was disappointed.
I chose the Coco Bun as the Jamaican beef sounded delicious. And I chose to make the bartender/cook work for the dollar and chop up some salad.
The good news, my sandwich was delicious! The beef was warm and had a nice Jamaican spiciness but not mouth-scorching, the cheese was melty and the lettuce was crisp. There was a nice ratio of meat to toppings. Everything as it should be. If the wrap was crisp, maybe some time in a panini press, it would have put it over the top. I also liked the salad and was pretty happy to see that there was actually some chopped tomatoes and peppers in there with a nice vinaigrette dressing. I did end up giving half my sandwich to Sarah to top up her meal.
What I have come to learn is that there are restaurants that happen to serve some drinks and then some drinking establishments that happen to serve some food to fulfil their licence requirements. The Brighton is the latter. I have absolutely no doubt that on a Friday night when the place is packed and the beer is flowing that this is the place to be. And I look forward to going back on one of those nights to drink some beer and eat some Falconetti's sausage. It is not the best destination for food only.
Live and learn then pass the $3.99 beer!
Want to know where else I have been in the neighbourhood I have been? Check out the full list here.