Draught Day Champion

Hey Readers,

It’s been a pleasure writing for you guys and I appreciate you reading my blog. I will be slowing down on the posts during the summer months, but I do plan on keeping the blog going.

Enough of the sappy stuff. Let’s see the results!

Thank you to everyone who voted, the results were very close but here is the power rankings:

1) Kings Head Pub

2) Shannon’s Irish Pub

3) Shark Club

4) Rudy’s Eat & Drink

5) The Pint

6) Fox & Hounds Tavern

7) Luxalune Gastropub

8) The Yellow Dog Tavern

9) St. James Tap & Table

10) The Grove Pub

11) The Good Will

12) Hat Tricks Bar & Grill

Congratulations to Kings Head Pub on being crowned the first Draught Day Champion. 

The journey that I took this year taught me that Winnipeg’s bar scene is incredible. I never really had a bad experience on my endeavours and all of these bars are incredible establishments.

Keep doin’ your thang Winnipeg.

Thanks for reading

CHEERS

The Draught Day Championship

Hey Readers,

The NHL Playoffs have started, which means it’s almost the end of the school year, which means my blogging will slow down, which means it is time to crown the best bar in the ‘peg.  After some thinking I came to the conclusion that this decision is to immense to be made alone.

This is where you come in! Attached is a bracket I have created to determine a winner. Your job is to pick your 3 favourite bars on the list and leave a comment, message me on twitter ( @spensyuk94 ), or on Facebook. By Thursday next week I will compile all of the votes and determine a winner. The bars will face off against each other; The one with the most votes win the series. I will decide on who wins if there is a tie. Check out the bracket below.

Draught Bracket

I NEED you to take the time to vote. It will be a lot more fun if I get more than 2 people voting.

Thanks for taking the time!

CHEERS

Vera Pizzeria e Bevande

Hey Readers,

This week I had to do a restaurant review for my Journalism class. If you  were hoping for a bar review I apologize.

Vera Pizzeria opened in South Osborne last December and has been offering fresh personal pizzas, and authentic Italian cuisine to the public since.

The building itself is easy to miss when driving. A plain white building with small red sign reading “Vera” is all the decoration provided by the company. However, the simple decoration relates to the companies personality perfectly. In their mission statement they say, “Our entirety is driven towards offering what we can and making the best of what we have. Keep it simple, stupid.” Which is exactly what they have done.

Walking into Vera is like walking into a stereotypical Italian home. It is loud, full of people, and smells like pizza. One side of the restaurant is an open kitchen where you can watch the cooks prepare the food from scratch. The other side is the dining area, which is quite small. So small that you can’t help but hear everyone’s conversations around you. If you are planning on having a large group at Vera prepare to be cramped. The décor is as simple as the exterior. Pale walls with unrelated paintings. A painting of a motorcycle and a painting of an eagle with American flags behind it confuse the theme. The capacity of the dining room is roughly twenty people, so call ahead.

Since the dining room is so small, the service was awesome. Moments after taking my seat I was greeted by a friendly waitress who guided me through the drink menu and the specials. For an appetizer I started with the Crostini. Very simple, and very delicious. Ricotta cheese topped with basil and a baby tomato, drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette. It tasted extremely fresh and was delivered to the table quickly after ordering. Next was the Basic Green Salad. The name did it justice. A mixture of greens, with a light infusion of Raspberry Red Wine Vinaigrette. Nothing special.

For the main course, I chose the Calabrese Piccante. Topped with spicy salami, red onion, fresh tomato sauce, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese, this was by far the highlight of the evening. I have been to Italy and tasted the authentic pizza Vera is trying to convey. They have succeeded. The fresh cooked dough was soft and chewy, while the salami has enough bite that you notice, but not so bad that you need a glass of milk. The sauce was incredible. It tasted like it came straight from Grandma’s garden. One thing that could be changed about the pizza is the size. Vera only offers a personal pizza, which is roughly twelve inches in diameter. Some people may want more. Just saying.

In Italian Vera means “true”. Based on that translation, the restaurant has stayed to true to its name. They truly offer what they have. They stay true to their brand, and they stay true to the practice of providing an authentic Italian experience.

CHEERS

Shark Club * * * *

 Hey Readers,

I had the pleasure of going to the Jets vs. Rangers game on Tuesday this week. The game itself was somewhat disappointing considering the loss the Jets took, but the pre-game experience was amazing. Now, I don’t usually pick mainstream bars for my reviews, however Shark Club has changed my mind.

On Tuesday my mother and I experienced a problem that happens to a lot of Jets games attendees. “I’m sorry but there is a two hour wait.” We tried lots of restaurants around the MTS centre, but all of them provided the same answer.

Eventually my mother and I entered into Shark Club, which is located inside Cityplace. Once we walked in we saw exactly what we expected, a lot of people, and not a lot of seating. We hovered around creeping on tables, trying to see who was paying their bills. While we waited we stood at a bar top, enjoyed a couple beers, and appreciated the electric atmosphere.

Shark Club is by far one of the most interesting looking bars I have been in. A large square room separated in the middle by a glass wall. One side is the bar area and the other is the gambling area. The gambling area has VLT’s, Black Jack, and poker tables. The lounge side has a massive square bar in the middle of the room surrounded by seating. There is also a balcony with seating above, too many TVs to count, and a real time sports ticker displayed around the perimeter of the bar. A sports lover’s haven.

After about 20 minutes or so we managed to find a seat. It was 6:20 and the game started at 7. Looking around I had doubts that the kitchen time would be under 40 minutes. When the waitress approached us I asked her how long the food wait would be. “Like 15 to 20 minutes.” I immediately called bullshit (in my head of course). There was no way they could turn out food that fast with the amount of people in the bar. We ordered nachos and sliders, and I waited for my theory to come true. All of a sudden, 16 minutes later, our food arrives. I was extremely surprised, and what made it worse was that the food was delicious!

My mother and I ate our appetizers, had a couple more drinks, and were finished in time to walk back to the MTS Centre for the National Anthems.

In addition to the delicious food, they have an incredible beer selection. To keep the bill as low as possible I stuck to Budweiser, but I will leave you this link to their beer options. http://www.sharkclubs.com/menu/drinks/beer

If you are ever hitting up a Jets game and your looking for somewhere to grab quick and delicious food in a great environment, look no further than Shark Club. I only had a couple issues with the bar. The seating was pretty uncomfortable (maybe just where we sat), and the drinks are super expensive on game days. With those two things in mind, Shark club gets a 4 out of 5.

Here’s a link to their website

http://www.sharkclubs.com/locations/manitoba/winnipeg-sports-bar/city-place-mall

 CHEERS

Hat Tricks Sports Bar and Grill * * * *

The “HOJO” is a beer vendor located five minutes from my house. In layman’s terms that means the Howard Johnson Hotel, but anyone who lives in the Westwood/Crestview has never called it that. The HOJO has always been a one-stop- shop for all your beer drinking needs.

Attached to this vendor is a newly renovated bar that I frequently visited when I was employed at a car dealership right next to it. As a bar blogger, I feel obligated to shine some light on this diamond in the rough.

The bar is called Hat Tricks and it is in all ways a sports lover’s paradise. The bar is not overwhelmingly large in any way, but for every square inch it has there is a 60-inch flat screen playing your favourite sport.

There had always been a bar attached to the HOJO vendor, but it never really got recognition until the renovation. The bar now has an open concept with comfy booths and long tables. Hat Tricks gets incredibly LOUD during local sporting events, you have been warned. Above all else Hat Tricks is local and friendly. My view may be biased, seeing as I was raised in the neighbourhood it is located, but every time I walk in I feel welcome.

My favourite thing about this bar is the pitchers. Hat Tricks has the Budweiser Red Light Pitchers, which light up when the Jets score. I’m sure other bars have them too, but so far I have only seen them there. I don’t know why but when anything flashes lights at me I enjoy it much more. Except for police lights of course.

Beer selection and food are nothing special. The typical mix of import and domestic, mixed with a little local. Food choices are your usual sandwiches, wings, and burgers.

I love this place so I’m giving it a 4 out of 5.

I feel as though if you aren’t form the St. James area the likeliness of you visiting is small. However, all of you St. Jamesians (Jamesers? I don’t know) who have not visited Hat Tricks, you should. It’s always a great time.

PS. They have a lot of VLT’s

CHEERS

Hangover-Free-Beer

Hey Readers,

That is not a typo.

“That seems to good to be true Ryan.”

I agree but a bunch of guys in white coats and glasses can’t be wrong.

Australian scientists have created an electrolyte packed beer that eradicates hangovers. The only downfall is the alcohol content must be relatively low.

As I wait for this magical elixir to make its way to Canada I will continue to spend my hungover mornings in bed watching Cops.

Here’s the link to the article!

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/eats/scientists-invent-hangover-free-beer-article-1.1433797

CHEERS

Fox & Hounds Tavern * * * * *

Hey Readers,

I have driven past Fox & Hounds Tavern more times then I can count. I had never had the urge to enter until my friends, Justine Allard and Dave Walker, told me that they have the best wings in the city. I thought that was a ballsy statement so I decided to join them.

Located next to Polo Park, Fox & Hounds has been open since 1928 and has been offering a genuine English pub experience. I had always thought that the Kings Head was the most genuine English pub in the city, until I visited Fox & Hounds. The brick walls, wooden tables, decorative glass, and tacky patterned carpet matched with the dim lighting and a high roof makes for a warm, inviting feel. The bar itself is long, narrow, and full of big tables for large groups of people. Great bar for drinking with friends!

The menu offers exactly what you would expect from a pub: Burgers, sandwiches, wings, and fries. What else could a guy ask for? They also have drink and food specials everyday of the week. Last night was a Jets game day, which means that Budweiser and Bud light are on special. I had a couple of Buds and then moved on to my personal favourite, Coors Banquet. The tap beer selection is nothing special. I would supply a list, but they do not have one on their website. To find out you have to ask your server when you visit (which you should).

A bar doesn’t stay open for almost 90 years because of food and beer alone. The friendly staff and welcoming environment is what keeps people coming back. I can honestly say I have no complaints about this bar. With that said, Fox & Hound Tavern gets a perfect score from me. To check out more about the bar here’s the link to their website.

CHEERS