Monday, March 26, 2012

beer & Hartbreak

I don't know if you're down with the whole groupon/teambuy/whatever-you-call-it craze but I've gotten some pretty sick deals. But then again, I really only buy the ones I know I will use. Like those for local restaurants. Most recently I purchased a teambuy for The Hart & Thistle, a gastropub and brewery in Historic Properties right on the waterfront. We'd never been and what better way to try it than with a sweet discount. Somehow lucking out big time and getting off work early this past Wednesday when it was over 25 degrees, we took the opportunity to meet downtown in search of a late lunch and a cold beer. Teambuy to the rescue. Unfortunately, but totally understandably, the patio was closed. It was after all only March 21st. But with those giant windows facing the water, we were still able to enjoy both the summer weather and the stellar view.

Now on to the most important part, the beer. I generally am not a big beer drinker but on hot days such as this, ain't nuthin' like a cold brew. The Hart & Thistle actually houses a small brewery so we were excited to try their specialty but surprised they only offer one. Today's was a double IPA. Being huge IPA fans, we were stoked. Hoppy and yummy and cold and exactly what we were looking for.

For our starter, we ordered the sweet curry battered scallops only to find out they hadn't gotten their scallop delivery.  No biggy because they had calamari, one of our go-tos. Served on a cool black slate with sweet chili mayo and tomato jam, the calamari was crispy and tender yet not as flavorful as expected,  almost like a frozen product. It was also apparently panko crusted but considering the appearance and texture of that crust, it must have been more of a panko flour. The best part, that sweet tomato jam.

For a main, Brent ordered the Thistle's Bigger Burger with a grilled Italian sausage, peppered havarti and the usual fixins. But wires got crossed somewhere and he was served the Hart burger with aged cheddar and smoked bacon. So, the server brought the sausage almost instantly (hmm, precooked perhaps) and voila, a fusion burger. I don't know about you but Brent and I like condiments on our burgers or at least on the side. But for Brent, who didn't want to call the server over again, settled for old reliable, ketchup. Unfortunately, Brent's burger was overcooked, dry, and almost burnt.  Very disappointing. And, I wish I could say the place was busy but with maybe three other tables, it sadly was not.

check out that sun!
I chose Josh's Big Crunch Chicken Sandwich served on an onion bun with ancho chili mayo. While the bun was fresh, it didn't have that typical sweet onion flavor I associate with onion buns. The chicken certainly was crunchy but the crust was curried, something the menu failed to mention. Good thing I like curry. And the ancho chili mayo was so mild especially next to the curry that it could easily have been plain ol' mayo. The sandwich was tasty but overall nothing special. Plus, our fries were so heavily salted, they were almost inedible.

The Hart & Thistle is certainly a cool spot with great wooden details and a fab location on the waterfront but it misses the mark on the food front. Reading the menu, I expected more than your typical pub fare but was given just that. Ah well, at least we tried. Despite the burger mix up, the service was pleasant and that double IPA almost made up for the food. Well not really, but it sure was refreshing.

Hart & Thistle Gastropub And Brewery on Urbanspoon