Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Feeding a Soccer Team....Mostly Thumbs up for Pub Fare at "The Wicklow"

Last week, it was my job to organize a farewell dinner for a member and captain of my soccer team. Not too tricky of a job- but it's always hard to please everyone in a big group. I was given the guidelines that we needed a fairly central vancouver location with a extensive menu where we could watch the Canucks game.
After calling a few of the large chain restaurants and not being able to successfully make a large group reservation (approx 12-14) with surrounding TV's to watch the game, I remembered The Wicklow, a pub on the false creek seawall, near Monk McQueens, where I've had a few yummy lunches and one of the best burgers I can remember in 2010.
I called to inquire and staff were amazing over the phone and booked us into a private room with large TVs and a pool table without hesitation.
The Canucks lost, the game was actually pretty boring, but it was great to hang out with all the girls and our coaches off the field.
With a big group, we covered a lot of The Wicklow's menu which is pretty massive- classic pub appies (some with an ethnic flavour or creative twist), salads, burgers and sandwiches, british pub classics, pasta bowls and curries, and meaty entrees.
On the table and the team member/coaches review:

yam fries (7)lightly seasoned with salt, pepper, chinese five spice and fennel. served with chipotle aioli.
*awesome- up there with the best yam fries I’ve ever had, tasty dip too!
crab and artichoke dip (11)rock crab, spinach and artichokes blended with cream cheese, topped with cheddar and jack. baked golden and served with corn tortilla chips.

*didn't like this...it was burnt and too cheesy. The constistency was too thick and chunky.
lamb sausage and wild mushroom salad  (14)sautéed seasonal wild mushrooms and grilled spicy lamb sausage served on fresh mixed greens and topped with bocconcini and mint aioli.  
*a good salad. the sausage was really nice but all in all, it was a bit too rich with the lamb and boccocini cheese

sante fe chicken burger (12)
grilled cajun chicken breast topped with cheddar and served on a fresh kaiser with chipotle aioli, guacamole, lettuce, tomato and red onion.
*really tasty and fresh- awesome toppings....LOVED the guacamole and cheddar

jalapeño burger (14)grilled chopped steak burger topped with peppered jack cheese, fried jalapeños and fried onions. served on a fresh kaiser with mayo, lettuce, tomato and red onion.
*was disappointed because he was expecting a lot of spice and strong flavour from the jalapenos…it didn’t deliver and the flavour was pretty average....

<!!!!!!!!I can't believe I forgot to take a photo of my own meal!!!!!!>
grilled lamb burger (13)grilled lamb burger topped with feta and sautéed mushrooms served on a fresh kaiser with roasted garlic and rosemary aioli, lettuce, tomato and red onion. 
*This was my meal and I loved every juicy, mouth-watering bite. I've had this burger before, and couldn't really think about ordering anything else.
* An awesome burger: really amazing lamb, mushrooms were rich and juicy, ordered the feta on the side because I wanted to only add a little (didn't want to overpower the burger patty), and got a little side of hot sauce for an added kick.
*Bun was nice and light, didn't take away from everything going on inside
*they do 1/2 salad, 1/2 fries on the side....love that

veggie cheese burger (12)grilled garden patty topped with jack cheese and served on a fresh kaiser with peppercorn chive aioli, lettuce, tomato and red onion.
*slight curry flavour was nice on the patty
*yummy fries!

tiger prawn gnocchi (15)sautéed tiger prawns, shallots, artichoke hearts and roasted garlic finished with sundried tomato cream sauce and topped with parmesan.
*Nice sauce, yummy toppings, definitely not stingy with the prawns

rock crab sandwich (12)golden fried rock crab cake on a fresh kaiser dressed with tartar sauce, homemade coleslaw, lettuce, tomato, red onion and havarti.  
*really didn’t like this…thought it tasted like nail polish remover

chipotle chicken club (12)grilled chicken breast, crisp bacon and cheddar served on toasted sourdough with lettuce, tomato and chipotle aioli. 
*was pretty average, but loved the chipotle aioli!
*didn’t like her side soup (a tomato vegetable), found it too stewy with over-cooked veggies
bbq baby back ribs (20)a full rack of braised pork ribs grilled and basted with guinness bbq sauce and served falling off the bone.
*polished this off and loved every bit of falling of the bone goodness
*served with a side of snap peas and parmesan spaghetti squash
kentucky bourbon brownie (7)warm chocolate brownie served with kentucky bourbon caramel sauce and vanilla bean ice cream.  
*Amazing texture- a light crispy exterior with a warm gooey inside
*Mint garnish was a nice touch and tasted great with the ice cream

We had an awesome, extremely attentive server who was prompt and efficient and kept our glasses full all night with constant re-fills. Even though not every dish was a hit with those in our group, I would still give this pub a thumbs up for grub, service, and accomodating large groups.

The Wicklow Pub
610 Stamps Landing
The Wicklow on Urbanspoon

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