Home of the Brave589 King Street West (2nd floor)
Date Visited: August 23, 2013
Home of the Brave is a newly opened classic American eatery by the people behind La Carnita. Their slogan: Why can't Canucks make American food?
Reservation policy - drop by and leave a number (for parties less than 10).
My fellow foodies and I went to check on HOTB on Friday night. We showed up a quarter before eight and we were greeted with a one hour wait. We decided to wait and see what all the fuss was about.
Once seated, we took a look at the drinks menu. Surprise, surprise - everything was American inspired from vintage American cocktails (Blinker, Bronx, Honeymoon) to guest book cocktails (The Manhattan, The Wizard of Oz). They also had beer by the bottle. I got a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon ($5).
For my main, I ordered the Fried Bologna Sandwich ($9.00). I love how thinly the bologna was sliced like a deli sandwich. I've never seen bologna presented this way - it's the most refined I've seen it. It's not the juvenile, thick sliced, bottom rung of the cold cut ladder luncheon meat that I am used to - that's for sure! On top of that, the bologna was fried, browned here and there for some great texture. The bologna had a good flavour to it except that it was on the salty side. The sandwich's saving grace? Those toasted pistachios. They balanced out the saltiness of the meat and gave the sandwich an amazing crunch factor. The pistachios elevated the sandwich to another level. Also having melted house made American cheese and spicy sour cream on this bad boy was the right call.
We also ordered the Johnny Cake with Smoked Trout ($14.00): cornmeal griddle cake with savoury cream trout, maple syrup and chives.
This dish played with sweet and salty elements. The perfect bite - sweet yet crunchy Johnny cake with savoury trout and a dab of cream. Great taste experience. Yet, it did get too sweet after letting the Johnny cake soak up more of the maple syrup at the bottom of the dish.
The Smoked Pork Belly Sandwich ($9.00) consisted of pork belly & shoulder, ranch sauce, cabbage slaw, and lemon zest.
Getting to the meat of the matter, the pork belly was melt in your mouth goodness. The shoulder was a great compliment of texture as was the crunchy slaw. And my Achilles heel? Ranch sauce... You can never go wrong with ranch... A solid sandwich!
The sides were more inexpensive if you ordered all three ($5 each but 3 for $12). The whole is greater than the sum of all parts?
Tater tots - they were super delicious! Creamy mashed potato taste with a perfectly battered and fried exterior. Don't miss the gravy on the bottom - icing on the cake.
Swiss Chard - simple, with shallots and garlic. Delicious.
Beets - with lemon, dill, blackberry empire apple vinegar - I wasn't a big fan of this one. Beets were quite hard and I wasn't really enjoying the flavour.
Bottom line: interesting offering of dishes. Not "dinner" worthy in my eyes. I would go back to lounge around, snack, and drink.