I went out for after work drinks with a friend on a cold evening in January.  So cold and icy in fact that I ditched my car at home, was picked up so I didn’t have to worry about how much I would imbibe for the evening. I craved some beer, but didn’t feel like choosing one of the “same old” locations.  Lucky for me, he recommended a new beer restaurant that I had never heard of.  Located in an area that may make some a bit uneasy, I was happy that there was plenty of parking on the street out front.

With a healthy beer list, I struggled to choose. I  started with a beer cocktail which turned out to more appropriate for a for a hot summer’s day than the cold evening that it was.

BITTER CHILL (Mill St Organic Lager, El Jimador reposado tequila, muddled ginger, lime, salt and pepper).  Mittens because they were funny.

From my advance research, I’d heard that Bitter served British pub fare-esque food, which seemed like it might be comforting on that cold winter’s eve.  We ordered in waves since we didn’t know how big the portions would be and how much the beer itself would fill us up.

Pretzel – wasn’t as deliciously chewy as one I’d had in Bellingham earlier that week, but the zingy-sweet mustard made up for some of the pretzel’s weakness.
Chicharron(cracklings) – The perfect beer snack in my opinion and I could have just eaten these all night. But I had to stop at 2 plates because the sharp fried edges started cutting up the roof of my mouth.
Pork Rillette – I regretted ordering this as the stringy pork was tough and lacked seasoning.
Scotch egg – If you see a scotch egg on the menu, don’t you have to order it? The breaded sausage outer casing was nicely seasoned and offered nice protection to  the perfectly cooked egg inside.

Cassoulet – We really wanted to the sausages, but an order has 5 links, which seemed like overkill at that point in the evening. The sausage and duck confit in the cassoulet were both tender and flavourful, I just didn’t care for the hard beans underneath.
Feeling a bit like dessert, but not feeling like anything on their menu, I settled with a Milwaukee float with Lighthouse stout, Kahlua and espresso.  

I enjoyed Bitter, but more because of the beer than the food.  I’ll be back because I think their beer selection is really good, and as weak as I thought some of the dishes were, the menu was still stronger than Biercraft, (Stellas) and with a hipper vibe.

Bitter – 16 West Hastings St @Carrall, Vancouver

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