I got curious about Smiley’s Public House during Vancouver Craft Beer Week, when they hosted the “Brothers In Hops” event. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to make it that night, but it did get me thinking that I needed to check the place out. Now, Smiley’s is a pub, it looks like a pub and it feels like a pub. But, it’s a pub that’s offering up a Fried Chicken & Waffle sandwich! Once I saw that, I knew I had to get down there.
This sandwich is something special, made up of two house made waffles as the bread, filled with butter lettuce, fresh tomatoes, chipotle mayo and two juicy fried chicken thighs. The height alone was impressive, I got concerned for a second that it wasn’t even going to fit in my mouth, but I made it happen.
I’ll start with the waffles, they were good and crisp on the outside and pillowey soft on the inside, had a subtle sweetness that went great with saltiness of the chicken. Now, the fried chicken was also nice and crispy, it had crunch from the house made Phillips Phoenix Lager beer batter, and wasn’t greasy at all. The use of butter lettuce is the perfect choice, because it actually adds something to the sandwich and isn’t “just there”. The thing that marries all this great stuff together is the chipotle mayo, the total right choice, and it adds just a little kick. They really do a great job with this sandwich.
I felt this sandwich needed a somewhat lighter beer to go with it, not a light beer, but one that wouldn’t be too filling, yet have characteristics that would match some of the flavours in the sandwich. I chose Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale, and it was an excellent choice. Deschutes is a great brewery out of Oregon, and the Mirror Pond Pale Ale is what they call “base camp”. It has a hop-forward flavor and a crisp finish, but the hops are subtle and don’t compete. It also has a sweetness to it that paired up well with sweet, salty and spicy combination in the sandwich. This is a great beer for anyone unfamiliar with craft beer, nothing too crazy, just a well made, great tasting beer. Smiley’s is also a great place if your unfamiliar with craft beer, cause they have almost 30 taps with a great selection.
So, if you’re looking for a serious sandwich experience and a great beer to go with it, then head to Smiley’s Public House for This Sandwich and That Beer.
Also, catch my monthly radio feature on, “Just Here For The Beer Radio” on AM 650.