He lives in Toronto, and I am safely ensconced in the suburbs but wanted to meet him in TO and trusted his suggestion of a place for dinner that was “loud and lots of fun, casual. not expensive and the food and beer are great!”. The loud part worried me a bit, but it was just going to be him and I reminiscing, so I figured I could handle it. A couple of casual tweets to the restaurant (@WVRSTbeerhall) about my upcoming visit and I was set. They wrote back that they were looking forward to having me, and I replied that I fully expected hugs when I got there.
When I got downtown, I parked a little north of the restaurant and walked in to, well, a beer hall. Long tables with chairs on either side, and some tables off to one side and yes, it was noisy, but a pretty swanky crowd, well dressed and everyone seemed to be having the time of their life! I settled in to a table on the side with my friend, ordered a Canadian Craft Beer from their extensive list and got to the business at hand of catching up with an old friend.
He went to order our food (yes, you actually walk up to a window and see all the sausages laid in a row and order from an impressive array of sausage all made on site with fresh ingredients and a game list that blew my mind). I ordered the elk with cumin and porcini and Dennis had the Rabbit. I sent off another quick Tweet to the restaurant saying that I was waiting for my hug . Still waiting for Dennis I took in the ambience of the place, sipped my delightful beer, and noticed a tall man approach my table and ask if I was Sarah. ”Apparently, I’m supposed to give you a hug” he said with a smile and I laughed. And I got a great big hug from Bram, the General Manager. As it turns out, the tweets for the bar go to the owner in Los Angeles, who called the restaurant and said that I was there, and was expecting a hug. It gets better. Chatted with Bram for a bit, and he assured me he would come back to check on our food.
Shortly after our food came, along with another great hug from the waitress and we tucked in to our meal. GLORY BE. I would not consider myself a sausage aficionado by any stretch, but this was the best sausage that I have ever tasted, bar none. Fresh, flavourful, and not greasy at all. Divine, with some caramelized onions and roasted peppers thrown on top, and a jalapeño for good measure. Pure sausage heaven. Handcut fries with two dipping sauces and this amazing beer to swish it all down. Just damn good food and I was sold. Bram came back and I asked when they were going to start selling the sausage on its own for me to take home, apparently, its in the works. I will drive from Oakville for this meat. It’s that good.
The icing on the cake was this little gem that I only noticed after I was finished my fries. How flipping cool is that?
If you are in the west end of Toronto anytime stop by this gem at 609 King Street West, Toronto and say “hi” to Bram and make sure you get one of his epic hugs, oh yes, and try the sausage. You will thank me. You’re welcome.