The Hintonburg Public House was the site of my Birthday Lunch last week. I had the pleasure of being taken there by my small but close-knit group of 5 coworkers. Three of us had been before, had ordered a glass of wine, a soup, and a salad, and had thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We looked forward to returning, ordering more substantially from the menu, and sharing the place with our colleagues.
Aside for it being by birthday celebration, and therefore a wonderful time, we were all disappointed.
On the first visit the decor was charming; rough wood tables, mason jar lights, painted pallets on the wall -pretty much Pintrest as a room. On our second visit though, the pallets had been replaced by creepy artwork and the wood table was very wobbly. I still love all the mismatched china and grandma style utensils and glassware. Overall the mood is familiar and casual.
The beer menu is great for having ample local selections, but this is pretty much expected in trendy Hintonburg. The food menu had certainly changed since our last visit. A good portion of the bill of fare is taken up by Bar Snacks with interesting selections like marinated cheese curds and potted chicken liver. Probably worth a try for an after-work visit, but we were here for lunch and thus ordered from among the Mains.
I had the Beef Brisket Sandwich which was topped with pickled green tomatoes and mustard yogurt with a side of bibb salad for $15.
The only thing with flavour on my plate were the pickled tomatoes and the yogurt sauce. Everything else was bland bland bland. How do you take the flavour out of brisket?! The bibb salad was completely dressing-less and the butter lettuce stood almost entirely alone, with a few gigantic pieces of garlic scape to make it more awkward. The bread was nicely toasted but far too thick to eat this sandwich as a sandwich; I had to pull it apart and look like a five-year-old to eat it.
Three of my coworkers ordered Flatbread topped with eggplant, grilled summer squash, pickled garlic scape and pressed yogurt, also with a side of bibb for $14.
Two of them had to send it back; their flat bread was completely raw and doughy on the inside. It was handled well; the server apologized and the kitchen was prompt in supplying them with more thoroughly cooked plates, but it certainly doesn’t make the best impression. Everyone said the flatbread was “fine”.
One of my friends has a milk and egg allergy. The server had to check with kitchen for what was safe for him to eat and the only option was the Fish & Chips without the garlic scape mayo for $14.
Its a good thing we got there a bit before the lunch rush because his was the last dish of fish available. Had we not been so lucky, apparently the kitchen couldn’t conceive of anything else to feed him. At least he escaped the bibb salad.
So all in all it was a disappointing lunch food-wise. The company of my co-workers is always fantastic, and the location and ambience of this restaurant are pleasing. The quality of the food however, especially considering they are putting out simple dishes using many of the same ingredients, is lacking. Consistency in a dinning place seems to be a tall order, but I wont go here again of my own choosing.