The Comrade is a longstanding hangout and watering hole that also happens to serve up some of the most amazing food in its neighbourhood.
Happy hour special cocktails that are better than your average 5 - 7 p.m. libation and snack specials to go along with them reign here, where the bartending is expert and the menu is approachable yet sophisticated.
The place has been decorated top to bottom with all manner of taxidermy. This includes gigantic heads with enormous antlers and birds with wings spread as if in flight. Bookshelves, rustic wooden seating, and exposed brick complete the moody, hip picture.
Beef carpaccio ($13) is an excellent start, acidic and rich, light and indulgent at the same time. It features thinly sliced seared blue ribbon beef topped simply with capers, olive oil, sharp parmesan, pickled shallots and microgreens.
Tuna tostadas ($14) top fried tortillas with mouthwatering chunks of fish dressed with a lovely sweet soy, topped with avocado and a mound of crunchy fried leek strands.
The prime rib burger ($13) is legendary around here. The juicy, flavourful patty is made with a blue ribbon prime rib brisket mixture made special for them by their butcher.
It’s topped with cheddar, special sauce, caramelized onions and pickles, not too much, not too little, just the right toppings to highlight this special burger.
I love the cutely named Texas Panhandle ($10) for a happy hour cocktail (other fave cocktail names include Beck Taxi and Park Life) but today bartender Jess Toombs mixes up a new creation upholding the cheeky name tradition, Boy With Apple ($14).
A combination of mezcal, bourbon, Luxardo, chartreuse, and amargo chuncho garnished with a sour cherry and lemon rind, it’s a liquor-forward drink that still has a fun feel to it.
The bar here is as beautiful as the rest of the interior, and what’s on the shelves is as pretty as what’s around them, so pull up a stool if you can drag yourself away from the allure of the U-shaped window ledge seats and their capacity for great people-watching.
A vintage sign at the back marks the spot where the bathrooms are (even those are pretty), a standout piece amongst antique typewriters and photographs.
Nikki and Dean Fletcher opened this place up about a decade ago, but around the time of my visit had just recently brought Jess on as a co-owner. Also proprietors of Goods & Provisions, these people have seriously helped to improve the food and drink scene in the area.