Habit Lounge: Crab Cake Sandwich with Unibroue Blanche De Chambly

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Awhile back I featured the Carne Guisada Bocadillo from El Caminos on my blog, after that El Caminos became a place I frequented quite regularly. So, I thought I should hit up some of the other restaurants in their family. This brought me to Habit Lounge, which is only a few blocks north of El Camino’s on Main Street. A modern tiki lounge if you will, Habit is low key, dimly lit and a great place to hang out for some drinks as well as grab a bite.

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I was in for their Crab Cake Sandwich, a generously sized crab cake loaded with crab, topped with crispy bacon, avocado, pickled onions, lemon aioli and greens on a soft, fresh Kaiser bun. This thing is mammoth! The crab cake is probably enough on its own, it’s nice and crunchy on the outside and moist and flavorful on the inside. The smoky bacon, soft avocado, lemon aioli, crunchy pickled onions and fresh greens combine to create a spectacular taste explosion. Each bite has crunch from the crab cake, bacon and pickled onions, and then a great soft texture also from the crab cake, as well as the avocado and the Kaiser bun. This sandwich satisfies on so many levels.

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I wanted to pair this sandwich a nice, citrusy wheat beer, so I was pumped when I saw the Blanche De Chambly by Quebec’s Unibroue on their extensive beer list. The Blanche De Chambly is the perfect partner to the crab cake sandwich, its spice and citrus notes are completely in sync with sandwich’s flavor profile. This Belgian Witbier pours a cloudy pale golden colour with a creamy white head. It has a crisp, champagne like mouth feel and is really refreshing. The fresh orange slice that came on the side of the glass only accentuated the citrus collaboration between this beer and the sandwich. This pairing would be perfect on a bright sunny day, sitting on Habit’s patio watching the uniqueness of Main Street pass you by.

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So if you’re looking an unreal Crab Cake Sandwich paired with a great Canadian made Belgian Witbier, then head to Habit Lounge for This Sandwich and That Beer.

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Check out www.habitlounge.ca and www.unibroue.com for more info, follow them both on Twitter: @habitlounge and @Unibroue, and follow me @TSTB_blog. Check Legacy Liquor Store if you’re looking to pick up the Blanche De Chamblay for yourself.

Also, catch my monthly radio feature on “Just Here For The Beer Radio” on its new home Team Radio 1410AM, the last Saturday of each month at 1:00pm PST.

Photo Credits: Jordan Rokosz

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East Of Main Cafe: Roast Beef & Blue with Central City Red Racer IPA

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East Of Main Cafe sits in the midst of Vancouver’s Chinatown, surrounded by produce markets, spice shops and Asian restaurants. The menu is an eclectic mix of dishes created by Chef Jenny Patsula for dinner and lunch, including a selection of salads, tapas, mains and of course sandwiches. What they are doing is completely unique to the area, and it’s great. Another thing they do that’s great,  is contribute all profits to a free performing arts program for young people living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, Project Limelight.

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I opted to go for the “Roast Beef & Blue” with roast beef, blue cheese, roasted shallot demi, horseradish aioli, arugula and garlic butter on a fresh Portuguese bun.  This sandwich is full of strong flavors, the blue cheese is pungent and the horseradish offers great heat.  The roasted shallot demi is nice and sweet and the roast beef is tender and juicy, and deep in flavor. I love the arugula as the greens on this one, it goes great with sweet and garlic buttered Portuguese bun. Everything in this sandwich made sense, all the ingredients work with and enhance each other in every bite.

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The bar features an array of classic and signature cocktails created by bar manager Colin Turner, as well as well curated selection of local craft beers. I chose the Red Racer IPA from Central City Brewing to pair up with the “Roast Beef & Blue”. I thought the big flavors in this beer would match up great with the tastes of this sandwich. With its intense hop aroma this IPA, like most is a perfect match with roast beef. Its hop bitterness marries well with the subtle bitterness from the blue cheese; the beer is also nice with the heat from the horseradish aioli. Like the sandwich, this pairing made perfect sense, strong flavors are present in both and working together every step of the way.

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So if you’re looking for a really well thought out roast beef sandwich paired a big bold local IPA, then head to East Of Main Cafe for This Sandwich and That Beer.

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Check out www.eastofmaincafe.com and www.centralcitybrewing.com for more info, follow them both on Twitter: @eastofMAINcafe and @RedRacerBeer and follow me @TSTB_Blog. If you want to pick up a six-pack Red Racer IPA then head over the Legacy Liquor in Olympic Village to pick one up.

Also, catch my monthly radio feature on “Just Here For The Beer Radio” on the TEAM 1410.

Photo Credits: Mel Yap