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. Many little patios together 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 in here; and this Thursday evening felt more like a Saturday night!
The logo was a veiny angel heart, although, we’d 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 frequently checked in on us . She recommended a Raspberry and Grapefruit cocktail for Ma Cherie. There was plenty of beer on tap (20 brews), proudly displayed everywhere on the screens. 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 a delicious, shredded pork.
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 with a file of veggies. While the dish originally came with a shrimp paste, we’d asked Camille 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 to refresh the palate.
Finally, we gave their Cheesecake a go. Made with goat cheese, 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.