Friday, 26 July 2013

Kingston Brewing Company

Whether or not you are from Kingston, the history of the Kingston Brewing Company alone should be reason enough to ensure that it is absolutely on your list of places to visit. Established in 1986, KBC is the oldest brew pub in Ontario and the oldest wine-producing pub in Canada. As they explain on their website (found here), "beers, wines, ciders and soda pops are made on the premises" - and believe me when I say the list is long and pretty much guarantees everyone the opportunity to find something they'd like to drink. To top it all off, home-brews are also included in some of the food recipes. There truly is no other place like KBC in the city of Kingston - which is probably a very good reason behind the constant crowd inside.

At their Clarence Street location, the Kingston Brewing Company offers three seating options during warm months of the year - a front "street-side" patio, a back patio courtyard, and inside the restaurant. For this visit, we chose to sit out back in the courtyard, and I was really impressed by how cool it was during one of the warmest weeks we've seen so far this summer. Decorated with simple hanging lights, plants and tapestries under tarps that provide refuge from the sun and elements, the patio offers a cozy atmosphere for a good number of patrons - in fact, more than I expected would be possible while walking in from the sidewalk. Having been to KBC in the past, I can honestly say that the patio is similar to the inside in one key way - both areas encourage a fun and friendly dining space. 

The menu at KBC is very obviously a "pub" menu when you open it, but it certainly has some things that set it apart from others. As mentioned before, many options are cooked with the "home brews" made on site. KBC also offers a variety of authentic smoke house options, unbelievably delicious chicken wings, and homemade BBQ sauce on the table that, as Todd says, "is a really nice and delicious alternative to ketchup". The other thing about the menu that makes it different from others? Quotes, descriptions of food and sketches of the iconic dragon that show the playful side of the pub and its owners. I won't give any away - instead, I encourage you to head down to KBC yourself and have a peak. While you explore the menu for fun, be sure to find something that you'd like to eat - I'm sure you won't have any trouble. In fact, perhaps the "High Roller Special" would interest you - a bottle of Dom Perignon served with a double order of wings. Who doesn't like a little Dom with dinner?

Todd, Samer and I were on our own this week as Tonia was in Halifax visiting family (we missed you, Tonia!), and here is what we ordered:

Carrie: Torpedo Steak Sandwich: Canadian beef topped with onions, homemade ghetto sauce and mozzarella cheese, served on a fresh baguette with chips. Oh yeah - and I ordered a dill pickle. Because you can. 

Samer: Ghetto Style Dragon Wings: Called "Wings like you wouldn't believe" by Where to eat in Canada, the wings are marinated in KBC's own sauce and charbroiled with their famous BBQ sauce. The wings are NOT deep fried - but the fries served on the side are :)

Todd: Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwich: KBC says that they've taken an American classic and given it Canadian citizenship with this sandwich - topped with coleslaw and their own cranapple cider ghetto sauce, served on a fresh-baked kaiser with a side of fries.

Service at KBC was excellent. Our server saw us regularly, but wasn't a pest - a nice happy medium; which, to be honest, was a surprise given that she was coming in and out from restaurant to patio, and I have certainly been neglected on patios before (is it me?).  Our glasses were kept full and our bellies were satisfied in no time as delicious food was delivered quickly to our table. First impression? Wow... It made me hungry. I could look at any of our three plates and feel my mouth watering. I can say with confidence that I would have eaten any of what was delivered - and I was certainly happy with what I ordered.

So, I might as well get right to it. Here are our ratings:

Carrie: 5 forks. I had no doubts about this rating at all. I was super happy with my meal - it was fantastic. The ghetto sauce on the sandwich is delicious, the steak was amazing and the fries were really good too. I had actually had fries at KBC in the past and wasn't nearly as happy with them as I was on this visit. They were wonderfully satisfying. Oh - and that pickle? HUGE, and delish. 
(I should have put my hand or phone next to the pickle so that you could see the scale... but I didn't think of that because I was in awe. My apologies!)

Samer: 5 forks. Samer has been before for the wings and has liked them, but said that this time they were 100% satisfying and that they exceeded his expectations. "Best unhealthy meal I've had all week!" Doesn't get much better than that!

Todd: 4.75 forks. Todd thought that his food was all very good and that he would definitely order it again. He loved the BBQ sauce, stating "I'm kinda saucy, so me liking the sauce just works"... and I couldn't agree more.

Overall score: 4.9 forks. 

Well done, KBC. Not only will I be back, but hopefully a score like that will ensure that people reading this will venture down too. 

Photo courtesy of the KBC website

Kingston Brewing Company on Urbanspoon

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