Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sir John's Public House

Last summer we spontaneously went into Sir John's Public House for lunch.  We were sorry that we didn't have our camera with us because our lunch was delightful so we vowed to return.  What better evening than dinner at a Scottish Pub and then off to the K-Rock Centre to watch ladies national curling (the "Scotties") later at the K-Rock Centre?

When we arrived at Sir John's, they were seated at capacity.  The waiter's were very courteous and were so apologetic about the fact that we had to wait for a table.  However we did not have to wait long.

The establishment is very intimate and embellished in the style of an old pub.   We love the ambiance of Kingston history when we go downtown.  It would be nice to see even more establishments exploit the theme of the Historic Limestone City.  If you've ever been to Savannah, Georgia (where the downtown core maintains their architectural heritage) you know what I mean.

Jo-Anne's take - The menu is pub style Scottish fare.  It offers a great special of appetizer plus entree plus dessert, however I was not hungry enough to take advantage of this option.  With its generous portions, this would have been a great deal offered for a flat rate of $20.

I ordered the Angus Burger and Caesar salad for $14.  We did not have to wait long for our orders in spite of a full house.  Before any mention of the burger I have to comment on the Caesar salad.  It was created in the traditional way a Caesar Salad is SUPPOSED to be made.  Fresh romaine in a creamy (not too much) dressing with LOADS of real smokey bacon, delicious croutons and generous shavings of real parmesan cheese...  I was in heaven right then and there. The meal also came with a side of crispy delicious marinated slaw.  It was a classic bacon cheese burger assembled with a hand-packed Angus beef patty, a slice of tomato, lettuce, dill pickles, rings of red onion, mushrooms, strips of smokey bacon and melted cheese.

I'm embarrassed to say that I'm not usually a fan of burgers that have a huge patty.  That's until I had this burger.  A generous amount of beef with not a lot of filler.  The meat was flavoured with an amazing array of spices (garlic, cracked pepper, rosemary, and oregano to name a few).  It was cooked perfectly with ample juiciness complemented with a fresh bun.  The smokiness of the bacon added flavour "to die for".

This is a pub so be aware that if it's busy you will be seated in close proximity with other tables.  The bar is in the centre of the pub.  We were comfortably seated next to a couple from Syracuse.  As we engaged in conversation we learned that they came to Kingston often and were regular patrons at the Sir John's.

So that's my take on Sir John's... nice ambiance, great, friendly service and it's fairly obvious that I really liked this burger!

Stephen's take - As Jo-Anne mentioned, we had dropped in to Sir John's late last summer and were very impressed with the atmosphere as well as the food. We are both absolute fanatics of the history we have in Kingston and whenever we can frequent any of the downtown establishments who have embraced either their own or the cities heritage, we will happily partake!

Now I probably shouldn't do this but I have to mention that in our first visit to Sir John's, we had both ordered the Aberdeen Angus Burger Plate and there was one element of that early burger that was missing from this current version... home made lime zest mayonnaise! Wow... it was delicious. We loved it so much that it has become a favourite we often make at home. (Jo did mention to the Chef this evening, how much we loved that element of the previous burger and here's wishing, it makes a return.)

Now I ordered my Angus Burger with a side of fries and as you can see from the photo above, it was a plateful! Jo mentioned all of the trimmings piled high on this burger and I also, as I always do, added mustard and ketchup. I also cut my hamburger in half to get a better grip on this monster and was surprised to see just how big this burger was. The all 'Angus' beef patty was cooked perfectly and was at least an inch thick in the centre... yes, an inch thick! Definitely a hand-packed burger, seasoned well,  juicy and very, very flavourful. What an excellent meal, great surroundings, very accommodating staff (including the Chef who Jo spoke with after our meal), and an all around positive review.  Thus we both highly recommend Sir John's.

Now I can't stop without adding a little more of our experience and more to the point... what we will be ordering the next time we visit Sir John's. As Jo mentioned we struck up a conversation with a nice couple from Syracuse NY who are frequent visitors to our city. They both took advantage of the $20 all inclusive meal Jo mentioned earlier. But, I have to add a little more to that fact. For appetizers, he ordered the Scotch Egg plate and she the Deep Fried Haggis Fritters. Both looked fantastic and in our conversations back and forth... our neighbours thoroughly enjoyed every bite. For their main course, he had Balmoral Bangers and Mash while she had the Highland Lamb Shank and again... rave reviews all around. Yes, they both had a dessert course as well but Jo and I had to get going to the K-Rock and missed our new found friends' dessert review. So yes, we will be returning and I can taste that lamb shank already!

Sir John's Public House on Urbanspoon

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