Walking in Gastown always has a cozy nostalgia, the flickering lights reflected on the wet cobblestone road. The Flying Pig is an extension of that feeling, with a friendly warm atmosphere welcoming you in from the rain. The large windows on the exterior are a beacon to those strolling by, intriguing locals and tourists alike to the refuge from the weather.
Recommended to me for their delicious breakfast by a coworker, Marc and myself popped in on a Tuesday evening after work. We were greeted and asked whether we’d like to join either the jam-packed lounge to partake in happy-hour, or the relatively barren restaurant devoid of the happy-hour benefits. We decided on the lonely restaurant side and were immediately impressed by the overall hip but laid-back atmosphere.
Two friendly servers, one most likely in training, approached and explained the menu and made a few suggestions. Cocktails were in order – a Stanley Park beer flight ($8) and Bison Sour (sans egg white) ($9.50), which is a vodka twist on a Whiskey Sour (a personal favourite of mine). A bread and balsamic oil combo was brought out along with our beverages. My favourite part of the Bison Sour was the cinnamon shaken on top, something I hadn’t encountered before.
For dinner we decided on Mount Lehman Roasted Half Chicken ($19.50) and their well-known Crispy Brussels Sprouts ($6) to share. While we were waiting for our meal, we soaked in the scene, as the restaurant side started to fill up. The tables were situated a little close, but it wasn’t uncomfortable. I decided to try another cocktail and went with the Maple Mint Julep ($9.50). I was expecting more mint than maple, and found the maple-infused alcohol slightly overwhelming.
Our food came out fast. And I mean fast-fast. We both semi-suspiciously commented on the speed to ourselves, and started to notice that other tables were getting their food incredibly fast as well. Marc certainly wasn’t complaining, he was hungry. But the food itself was a bit of a let down in comparison to the delicious drinks and outstanding service we had received so far.
The Mount Lehman Roasted Half Chicken came with a buttermilk mash, roasted tomato (my favourite yum!), with natural pan jus, was fairly good. Not mind blowing delicious, but fairly good. However, the Crispy Brussels Sprouts, with lemon and topped with parmesan and capers, were so incredibly salty that we barely touched them.
The waiters quickly noticed and inquired, insisted they take them away and off our bill, and communicated to the kitchen to remedy their error for future dishes. The level of service we received made the experience excellent. They were interesting, funny, interactive, and a real treat to have.
To Try Next Time:
Bone Marrow Cheezy Bread ($6.50)
House Salmon Sampler ($9.50)
T.F.P Signature Pork Rack (pulled pork poutine, apple cider reduction) ($25.50)
Gastown – 102 Water Street