Beer · Burgers · Patio · Restaurants

Annex Ale Project – COVID-19 dine-in edition

L and I have been hanging out at Annex Ales Project. Lately, this brewery has been my new go-to spot for fries and a pint. For this post, let’s listen to “Can’t Stop Feeling” by Franz Ferdinand.

I normally avoid sugary drinks, but L has gotten me hooked on Annex Ales root beer ($3.25, 355ml can). The flavour is unique – it is an easy to drink beverage but with complex, non-pedestrian root and herbal notes. I actually prefer the taste of this over regular beer, but the latter beverage serves medicinal purposes. L said the Saskatoon Lemon has it going on – it’s light and refreshing and the Saskatoon berries remind him of the prairies.

Photo credit: Annex Ales

While I’m not a true beer drinker, I’ve been enjoying Good Authority Golden Ale (7oz, $3.50; 16oz, $6.50) and the guest tap – Florida Weise ($7, 14 oz). I like the lemony tartness of the weise and the citrusy notes in the Good Authority Ale. The ale has a touch of bitterness that I find almost pleasant.

Recently, we snacked at Lil Empire’s, which is located inside Annex Ales. L ordered the Empire Burger with Cheese ($12.49) and I picked the Classic Crunch Chicken ($13). We shared an order of regular fries ($4) and on a subsequent visit, the Dirty Fries ($8).

God damn – this is a beautiful burger! I could taste the quality of the beef, which was so juicy and flavourful. I loved the contrast between the warm, oozy creaminess from the cheese and sauces to the cool, crunchy lettuce. The buns are perfect – puffy, sweet and not too bready, so it becomes one with the patty and cheese. This burger was so good, I wished I ordered it instead of my fried chicken burger.

My chicken came out hot and crunchy. The batter and thinness of the cutlet reminded me of a schnitzel. The secret sauce was zesty with what I thought tasted like dill or relish. I liked that there was more chicken than bun. Both burgers came with insanely delicious pickles.

The fries are thin and crispy and properly salted. The dirty fries remind me of a hot dog, as it’s loaded with tasty bits of hot dog, mustard, relish and Empire burger sauce. I prefer the regular fries because done right, nothing is better than the simplicity of perfectly cooked and salted fries.

Annex Ales is a busy spot, and for good reason. There’s a nice selection of beers, cocktails, non-alcoholic beverages and comfort food that is several notches above pubs and fast food. As well, there’s a dog friendly patio. We will be back for the cheeseburger, fries, beers and sodas. Hitting the Sauce gives Annex Ales two fat thumbs up.

Photo credit: Annex Ales

Bars/Lounges · Beer · Brunch · Happy Hour · Patio · Restaurants · Special Occasion

Dog-gone crazy at Vin Room West

On Sunday my husband and I wanted to take Brut out for his belated birthday. He turned four years old when we were away last month. To make up for our absence, I decided to celebrate his birthday in style at Vin Room West.

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Vin Room West offers a dog-friendly patio from Sunday to Wednesday. I read about Vin’s doggie dog experience in Avenue Magazine. Picture this – dog owners can sip away from the largest wine selection in the city while pups can snuggle in designer beds, munch on treats and drink from stainless steel bowls.


Let’s start off this post with appropriate blog music. Let’s listen to Snoop Dogg Bow wow wow yippi yo hippy yay.

Brut Bow wow wow yippie yo yippie yay
Where my dogs at? Bark with me now
Brut Bow wow wow yippie yo yippie yay
An’ all my hounds around Vin 
That love how it’s goin’ down say

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When we arrived, there were two other well-behaved dogs sitting on a cushion. Brut didn’t receive a cushion and instead sat on my lap and helped me pick out a beverage. From 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm, Vin offers select $7 wines and beers, as well as happy hour bites.


Brut suggested I try a Spanish non-oakey white, which was Vin’s sommelier wine selection ($7, 6 oz). L ordered Vin’s bartender choice beer pour,  Wildrose Brown ($6).

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L tried the weekly taco – halibut with valentina hot sauce, and pico de gall ($5). I opted for the spaghetti pomodoro ($5). If you’re hungry, I’d suggest getting a dish from the regular menu. My favourite sampling was the chef’s choice cheese and charcuterie ($10).

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The pork rillette was creamy and delicious. The smoked gouda silky and smokey, even more delightful with the fig  jam. The bread was warm and soft with a crusty exterior. Next time, we’ll have to try more of the cheeses.

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If you have a dog and want to share a special experience – I’d highly recommend you visit Vin Room West. Brut had a muttvelous time and told me, “Woof mother, this Brut Dogg came to play.”

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Vin Room West Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato