Our lovely Airbnb hosts recommended Saint Houblon as a local micro-brewery staple, so we gave it a shot.
A tall, two-storey space with modern, narrow sans-serif sign, was located on a lively street with silhouettes dancing in the streetlight outside. Together many little patios it set an energetic vibe, before we even entered. Upon entry, we noticed that the mezzanine level, with a balcony overlooking the downstairs, could use a feature pendant of sorts to highlight the space through the large clean windows. Perhaps a design opportunity missed?
SWIRL & NOSE
There was nobody over 35 years old in here; and this Thursday evening felt more like a Saturday night!
The logo was a veiny angel heart, although we thought it could have been a hop or acorn with a halo… The same logo on the menu was slightly different - there were knives instead of a halo and wings. A battle acorn, perhaps?
Our waitress Camille was quite attentive and checked in frequently. She recommended a Raspberry and Grapefruit cocktail for Ma Cherie. There was plenty of beer on tap (20 brews) proudly displayed on screens all around. The recommended stout was Bilboquet Corriveau - a coffee-flavoured variety.
Our yummy Scotch Egg with Pork Rillette, Cornbread, and Aoli came in an oval bowl-like dish with tons of space on a plate. Unfortunately, the sweet cornbread was stale and dry, scattered in large uneven pieces surrounding the egg. The splattering, sweet mayo sauce was thick, slightly zesty, while a bit of a green onion was the much-needed addition. As for the scotch egg, it came breaded with plenty of layers of delicious shredded pork. The process of the pork preparation was called Rillette - it was a meat preserve/spread similar to paté.
Our second dish was Lechon Kawali, made from a pork belly. The fatty meat cubes topped a file of veggies. While the dish originally came with a shrimp paste, we asked our waitress to skip it due to Mon Cheri’s sensitive palate. It was an appetizing winter dish, almost a stew, but the pork belly was crispy all around. This dish was a great pairing for the heavy coffee stout.
Then we asked for a Canard Confit burger - a bit of a twist on a standard fare - topped with goat cheese, cranberries, and caramelized onions. The flavours were quite intense, however, a light said on the side helped refresh out the palate.
Finally, we gave their Cheesecake a go. Made with goat cheese and pumpkin and spice flavours, it was a seasonal delight.
We heard French everywhere, and it appeared that the place was full of locals. As far as options for brewpubs go, Saint Houblon is a great option; not merely a tourist attraction.