Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Pulled Pork Perfection at The Brickhouse

So when a restaurant claims to be an Artisan Kitchen as does the Daniel Brennan Brickhouse in Downtown Charlottetown, I'm given to some pretty high expectations. And with all the hype of their local fare and skillfully crafted dishes, I went in for lunch today expecting nothing less than perfect...

And got even better! Is there anything better than perfect? I'm not sure there's an official dictionary definition, but I'd have to say mine is The Brickhouse. Seriously, you've got to try their food. It's a must.

I went for the lunch special today which was their pulled pork sandwich and at the suggestion of Chef Andrew Cotton, took the side Cesar (which you are so totally going to be hearing about). And it's duly noted that I got a mouth watering view of my meal being made by sitting at the "Chef's Table" bar. It made for a truly unique experience that really helped me appreciate the process of creating and plating. It also gave me a chance to chat with Chef Cotton about all the luscious layers that went into the Sandwich. Bonus!

It was so easy to see that everyone at The Brickhouse is incredibly enthusiastic about food, like my wonderfully friendly waitress Alana and of course Chef Andrew.

Just to give all those visual and hungry people out there a little view, here's a snapshot I took. And let me say with the amazing smell of that plate, it took some of my best willpower to bring you this photo!

Oh yes, I see you drooling a little bit there. I don't blame you either, this was one beautiful duo.

Obviously my next action after photo-taking was biting into that pulled pork sandwich. And for me the first bite is the most important. It's like an introduction and like a really worldly, deep and cultured person, this Sandwich left me wanting to know more about it. Seriously, after the first bite I took half a page or more of notes, there was just that much to take in.

Hugged by a house made pretzel bun was herb aioli, local cumin gouda by Chef Jeff McCourt, fried onion and out of this world tender pulled pork. This flavor centric sandwich boasts a complete harmony of flavors. Absolutely everything complimented each other perfectly so that while tasting everything separately as you bite in, there's this sort of magical blend of tastes lingering on your palate. I've never quite experienced tastes complimenting each other so fluently so that in and of itself made me stop and just savor what taste buds were being subjected to.

Even the textures came together into something beautiful, the gentle crunch of the fried onions with  buttery pulled pork and creamy aioli stood out to me just as much as the flavors. A total sensory experience, there was some so complete about The Brickhouse's Pulled Pork Sandwich.

And I've got to give kudos to Chef Jeff McCourt for his outstanding cumin gouda which was probably some of, if not, the best cheese I've ever had. Soft, creamy gouda with the perfect balance of exotic spice warmed my heart. I can't wait to try more of his new cheeses in New Glasgow over the coming season.

On top of that mind blowing sandwich was my side Cesar which was the perfect mate to the Sandwich. Unique with it's Cesar Vinaigrette (the first time I've had a Cesar like this), I don't think I'll be able to go back to creamy dressing ever again! The light and airy, yet completely full flavored house made vinaigrette allowed me to really taste the fresh bacon and croutons on the salad, which made me feel like I'd never really had a Caesar until today. And the greens were so crispy, so fresh that I could swear to you that there must be a garden out back of The Brickhouse. How they magically raise the freshest veggies in the cool Winter is beyond me.

The freshest, tastiest and most flavorful Cesar I've ever had!

My final word on this lunch is that The Brickhouse undoubtedly strives for perfection and goes above and beyond that standard by offering the complete package of deliciousness. Thank you Brickhouse, seriously...thank you!

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