Ice Hockey, beer and great food at the Charlatan pub!
With Canada’s first ice hockey game looming, it was time to find somewhere to watch the big game!
Tuesday brought the city an early gold medal for Maelle Ricker in the women’s boarder cross – superb work! But for many people the more important issue of the day was Canada’s first ice hockey match.
With the centre of town and Granville Street in particular filled to the brim with people and everyone queuing to get into pubs and viewing venues, I was glad to get invited out to 1447 Commercial Drive and the wonderful Charlatan pub.
As I walked up I could see a whole host of beer taps through the window, which for me boded well! Inside a clean, wooden-clad and well-decorated pub beckoned; a real haven away from the main Granville strip. We had a big screen TV in plain sight and our small but happy team assembled ready to cheer….
Fellow Brit Marianne has been living here for 4 year.
Kat is visiting from Northampton and this is her second trip to Vancouver.
Mike has been saving for at least 5 years to enjoy a game filled Olympics all the way from Nova Scotia. Dave has come from Winnipeg decked out in all his Canadian gear, ready to cheer loudly and drink hard.
Ficus is a Vancouverite and his other half Cari hails from Bellingham in the U.S.
The pub has a good list of beers, both local and imported. It was decided (by me) that we should try a variety, so here are a few of note:
Granville Island Winter Ale – definitely the favourite, I tried this first and ended up going back to it at the end…. A dark ale it’s really chocolaty, quite silky going down, flavoursome and generally delicious to drink!
Delirium – this is an 8.5% amber beer…. It was surprisingly easy drinking compared to some strong lagers I have tried before, in that it still tasted of beer and not just alcohol, but it was a bit too fruity for my liking..
1516 – a local pale ale that was on special offer this was easily drinkable but not so distinguishable. A good beer for the house discount though.
We had a delightful waitress called Caitlin and on her suggestion I introduced Canadian Dave to Snakebite – half beer and half cider. It seemed to go down very quickly and with much appreciation.
They had a long menu with a great variety of food on offer and it went down really well! Again, trusting Caitlin’s recommendation I started off with a Jambolaya…. A mixture of prawns, chorizo, chicken with rice and spiced tomato sauce…. Very tasty, well proportioned and with just the right amount of heat; perfect. In the end we were there so long that I was able to eat supper there too….. a pulled pork roll with a special beetroot sauce and chips…. Once again, really good.
The following were also sampled:
- veggie burger – thick, good and tasty
- a pile of yam and sweet potato chips – big portion which went down very quickly with the dip.
- chicken wings at 50cents each on a Tuesday – Mike started out with a standard 12 and they disappeared with ease….. later on he tried a further 8 of the hot-wings…. These really were hot and tested the mettle of several of us, check out the faces in the photo album…. Quite a tingle, but they all went in the end!
So, the reason we were there was of course to watch the ice hockey game and the start approached more and more people arrived to fill the comfy seats of the booths. Thankfully here there was no need to queue for an hour as seems de rigueur on Granville Street…. The scene was set and the game started….. the first third (20 mins long) was a pretty even sided match and Norway were actually damn slick in their play, holding off the big team favourites of Canada. But, from there on in it was downhill… in the 2ndand 3rdsessions Canada dominated and struck up goal after goal with Norway unable to make any dent in the Canadian defense….
There was loads of whooping and cheering in the pub (especially from Dave, check the photos) with each goal and continual enthusiasm for more and more as the lead stretched ahead… in reality it was an expected win for Canada and everything went very much according to plan and there was a pub full of happy viewers….. the perfect start to the defense of the National game. The final score was 8 – 0!!
It was a great afternoon and evening at the Charlatan pub and Caitlin looked after us with speed, efficiency and a glowing smile which was great. We’d arrived at slightly different times and some left before others, yet our bill was quickly and easily split out for us and the prices were very reasonable for what we’d had. It was a super time and were perfectly well fed and watered by the time we left! Dave and his full Canadian outfit headed off to celebrate with a few more beers, Marianne hopped on a bike – Backie-style, while the rest of us headed off to the station…
I hit the sky train to get back to the centre of town and as I walked out onto Granville I was almost run down by the huge number out people on the street…. Everyone was out and about with smiles on their faces and cheer in their hearts…. One of the great things about being here right now is that I walk down the street and all around me are Canadians celebrating together… time after time there are spontaneous cheers and chants of “Can-ah-dah, Can-ah-dah”, high-fives are continuous and people are dressed head to toe in red and white or clothing that has Canada embellished on it somewhere….. hats, scarves, sweatshirts, hockey-tops and red Olympic gloves abound…. The streets are a constant melee of people out to celebrate and have fun and it’s great to watch and experience….
You can see photos from the whole session via the HI competition Facebook fansite here:
Thanks to both Canada and Vancouver – great job I say! With the town already so excitable I can’t wait to see what happens if there should be a Canada vs USA hockey final…… wowsers!!