The Beaver & Mullet Canadian Bistro
1184 Denman Street
1168 Denman Street
I have started to wonder… Have I blogged literally all the restaurants in Denman Street? Nah, wishful thinking! A lot of times restaurants come and go and we always play a catch up game. Of course, there are also restaurants that I haven’t visited for other reasons. For example, in that area, I haven’t been yet to Westender Korean Cafe, Vina Vietnamese, Central Bistro & Lounge, et al. Why? In some cases, because the restaurant does not entice me; in other cases, the food type does not entice me. Of course, I might be overlooking something and, if so, I will always appreciate if readers point those places out! But back to this post. On a Friday, PO and I were looking for a good eats place in Denman and we walked all the way from Robson towards English Bay and then we remembered The Beaver and Mullet Canadian Bistro (Beaver and Mullet).
“Remembered”? Well, it happens that last year, it was under remodelation (don’t remember if it was under the same name) and, when it re-opened, there was a “Pay what you think it’s worth” type special. However, they had no menu outside so we didn’t even know what to expect. We weren’t that adventurous that day. However, when we found out they had a website, we were able to take a quick look at what they offer and, this time, we were good to go.
The day we went, when we arrived, it was almost empty. Given we could sit pretty much anywhere, we ended up on the table closest to the window for natural light. Not sure if it was because of the time of day or what not but, at that moment, service felt quite casual, which works fine for me. After given the menu, it was still a bit of shuffling as to what to order.
Now, notice the full name of the restaurant. What is a “Canadian Bistro”? In fact, what defines “Canadian” cuisine? Given our cultural composition, that’s something I have never been able to even imagine but, instead, just focus what is available. But, of course, if somebody knows, by all means, drop your comment at the end!
But, back to the menu, they had a salmon dish (representing BC?), Montreal smoked meat sandwich (representing Quebec?), grilled cheese sandwich, mac and cheese and a pot pie (not sure but, anyway, if it is there!), among others. However, we had an odd time deciding what to order. How so? Despite these dishes sound generic, the way the menu was listed was actually enticing to order more than one! Don’t know how to explain that, it just happened. In the end…
We started off with their BBQ Guinness wings (other variants include salt & pepper, hot, sweet chili and stupid hot). One thing that stood up right away in an odd way was the size of the wings. Yes, they were really small; however, fortunately, it wasn’t “by piece count”. If it was, I am sure a lot of people would have cried shenanigans by now! As for the wing itself, it was quite evident it wasn’t fried as it didn’t have that crispy texture; however, the end result, at least, wasn’t dry and still juicy to an extent. If it wasn’t because of the size, I would have liked it a bit more. Alas…
Moving to the mains, I ended up ordering their Canadian pot pie, which comes with a salad. While this is something I won’t have ordered under normal conditions, I did so anyway because I was curious as to what makes it Canadian! In the end, it was a chicken pot pie. In a way, it felt “simple” but, I don’t know, it wasn’t… Bad? There wasn’t anything extraordinary but, still, a decent pot pie. The only “complain” was the fact you had to pay $12 for it.
PO went for their mac and cheese. Now, it is not “just” mac and cheese; instead, there was the option to choose three “items” from a list of vegetable, cheese and meat. In other words, this was customizable (their grilled cheese sandwich could be customized the same way). Of course, I had to wonder… If I didn’t add cheese, as one of the three “items”, would it still be considered a mac-n-cheese? Anyway, in this case, PO ordered it with gouda, pesto and chicken. There was some cauliflower on top and the “burnt” crust on top was actually good as it gave some contrasting texture on top. Now, was it fresh pesto? Not sure, but didn’t matter much given it was baked. Instead, it was the fact you could actually taste the basil which I believe is what mattered. As for the chicken… Well, it was chicken… Sorry!
After finishing the meal and settling the bill, we were given some free drink tickets. Not sure if it was because I was taking pictures of the food or a common occurrence. Regardless, what do I think about the restaurant? Well, the food wasn’t bad; it felt home-y. Pricewise, some were better than others. For example, I thought the mac-n-cheese seem to be a good meal for $10 (a side salad would have been great here). Even then, I didn’t “invoke” that pay what you think it is. I am sure they have reasons to set the dishes at that price point. Would I come back? Well, at this point, not sure; but, it might be a good option as a quiet-er sports bar.
After walking out of the restaurant, something happened that might create really odd reactions, specially those who have read this blog long enough: Both PO and I looked at Cupcakes and ended up getting something from them. Yes, sky is falling!!!!
We ended up getting a pre-packed box of mini-cupcakes and took it back to the office. It is something that I wonder: how fresh are these? I took one and… Too sweet? Pointless? In the end, I didn’t change my opinion about cupcakes. While it wasn’t dry, in fact, it was moist, it was just meh. I mean, as I have mentioned before, I would have preferred petit fours over this. But why petite fours over this? Probably because I am not necessarily excited for frosting? Because I don’t necessarily like its texture? Regardless, I don’t understand the hype and, hopefully, this serves me as a reminder why I don’t care.