Carlo O’Bryan’s

For someone who doesn’t like the taste of alcohol, I sure do visit quite a few bars/pubs. That is primarily because such places often also serve up fantastic food in addition to their drinks. My latest visit was to Carlo O’Bryan’s, an Irish pub located in Kits that has quite a good food menu in addition to an enormous drinks menu. They are probably best known for their Pachos, which are essentially nachos but instead with potato lattice-style fries instead of tortilla chips. They have two varieties, the regular and Extreme Pachos, which comes with extra toppings. I went with their Extreme Pachos, along with half a rack of their Big Hokin’ Ribs.

Extreme Pachos ($16.50):

This consisted of lattice-style fries with cheese, beef, onions, peppers, tomatoes and jalapeno, and is served with a side of Emerald Isle. The fries weren’t exactly crispy, but were well-seasoned and had a nice, slightly chewy texture. What really made the dish for me was the dipping sauce, which was sweet and slightly tangy, and went fantastically with the fries. Personally though, I didn’t feel that the other toppings added that much to the dish; I think that the regular pachos probably would have just been as good (for cheaper). Even though they have options for a double serving, I found that the single version was already quite generous, and probably enough for two if you’re having other dishes.

Half Rack Big Honkin’ Ribs, with hand-stuffed champ potato ($21.75):

This comes with your choice of rice, potato, or lattice fries; I had their hand-stuffed champ potato. The ribs were quite tender and came off the bone. Unfortunately, I didn’t really care for the bbq sauce, which was too tangy for my liking. The potato was tender and luckily seasoned; it was a bit bland on its own but went pretty well with the ribs.

The pachos at Carlo O’Bryans are seriously fantastic; I think that they are better than nachos. The ribs were just fine to me, nothing to really rave about. The only thing that could rival the pachos was the server I had, who was very sweet and welcoming. Though I haven’t tried any of the drinks, but the pachos are definitely worth visiting the place for alone.

Food: 3.5/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: 4.5/5
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Pachos
Carlos O'Bryan's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Wolf and Hound

Wolf & Hound is an Irish Pub located on Broadway, near Alma. I’ve passed by the place several times on my way to and from UBC, but being a non-drinker, I’ve never had any particular interest in visiting the pub. Not too long ago however, my supervisor organized a research conference at UBC and he was looking for pubs for the attendees to hangout post conference since scientists appear to have a great penchant for alcohol (guess that’s why I’m never going to become a successful scientist). One of my co-workers (who is French) suggested Wolf & Hound, claiming that the food there is delicious. Seeing Wolf & Hound has a stamp of approval from a snooty French person (she’s seriously one of the nicest people I know), I was now interested in checking the place out. I’ve finally had the opportunity recently. In spite of being a pub, they have quite an extensive menu filled with classic comfort/pub food. I had a 1/2 Order of their Beer Battered Cod and Chips and Homestyle Meatloaf.

Beer Battered Cod and Chips, 1/2 Order ($11):

This came served with a side of tartare sauce. The batter on the fish (which is pacific cod) is wonderfully crispy. The quality of the fish was not the greatest – I did find the texture to be a tad mushy, but not fishy. I really enjoyed the fries, which were again wonderfully crispy while having a somewhat starchy interior. The tartar sauce was wonderfully thick and tangy.

Homestyle Meatloaf ($19):

This came served with mashed potatoes and vegetables. The meatloaf was tender and well-seasoned, and had a nice sweet glaze. The potatoes were well-seasoned and quite smooth and creamy. The vegetables, which consisted of zucchini and carrots, were simple and nothing to write home about, but well-cooked and not overly bland.

I really enjoyed my trip to Wolf & Hound. Even though I haven’t tried any of their drinks, their food is absolutely delicious. Service-wise, the waitress I had was relatively friendly but a bit slow; I can’t really blame her though since she was the only person present and there were several tables that she had to manage. This is definitely a place worth a visit.

Food: 4/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: 3.5/5
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Beer Battered Cod and Chips, Homestyle Meatloaf
The Wolf and Hound Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato