August 31, 2015
The Devil's Elbow ~ great beer and good food
On Beatty Street in downtown Vancouver is the wonderful Devil's Elbow. It's located next door to the new and improved location of the popular Chambar.
The full name for the pub is Devil's Elbow Ale & Smoke House, and it's the Vancouver venue for the Howe Sound Brewing Co. of Squamish. Howe Sound brews some of the best craft beer in BC and the Inn in Squamish has become a favourite spot for Jeem and others too. The Vancouver pub takes its name from Howe Sound's popular Devil's Elbow India Pale Ale.
The place is nice, rustic and simple. There is the full range of Howe Sound brews available, and other local brews too. The restaurant carries whisky products from local craft distilleries too.
We were in the neighbourhood in advance of a Whitecaps FC game and the Devil's Elbow turned out to be a perfect place for some pre-game drinks and food. The atmosphere was fun and lively with a number of the Curva Collective in attendance before the game, so the singing-march out of the pub was an added entertainment bonus.
Service was excellent and the food interesting. The focus is on smoked meat, with the meat smoked in-house. It all went well with the beer.
We shared a couple of appetizers in deep fried pickles and pulled pork purses. The pickles were a nice treat, salty and tart at the same time.
The purses were excellent, though another deep fried item is not exactly what Jeem needed. They featured smoked bacon, smoked pork butt, cabbage and a honey-barbecue sauce.
For his main Jeem had a smoked beef brisket plate, with the meat served in a smoked coffee bourbon sauce. Coleslaw and potato salad rounded out the plate and neither were particularly impressive; both were dry and bland, which probably worked to balance the heavy-handed punch of the smoked meat.
All in all a fine experience. The menu is different from that offered by the Inn in Squamish, and it's a nice change from most other pubs in Vancouver. The beer from Howe Sound is always excellent.
Photos by Jeem. Copyright 2015 by Jim Murray.