Fable Kitchen: Eggplant Parmesan with Driftwood Farmhand Saison

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Fable Kitchen, the creation of chef Trevor Bird is all about the “From Farm To Table” concept. a concept and name that were created during the “Restaurant Wars” episode of Top Chef Canada Season 2, where he was one of the runner-ups in the finale.  Their craft created menu, made up of all locally sourced products, has a variety of tasty dishes for brunch, lunch and dinner. I headed down after hearing some real good things about the menu’s sandwich selection.

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Fable sits at the former location of Refuel on West 4th in Kitsilano, and uses the same layout that they had before, with the kitchen right at the front. I recommend taking a seat at the bar that sits alongside the kitchen to watch the hard working cooks do their thing. After looking over the sandwich options on the menu I decided to go with the Eggplant Parmesan sandwich. A breaded thin slice of eggplant, fried to a crispy, golden brown, with walnut pesto, pea shoots, pickled onions, and raita sauce on a soft Portuguese bun. The eggplant is crunchy, with a soft and juicy middle. It has a great earthy eggplant flavor, but also has that distinct fried taste from the breading. The pickled onions bring a bit more crunch, and a nice acidic, vinegary punch. The walnut pesto, is salty and nutty and the raita sauce is creamy and rich. The pea shoots are a great accent as the greens, distinct flavor and texture. They really take an eggplant parmesan sandwich in a different direction, and the results are a delicious success! The sandwich also came with tasty scratch made soup and in house potato chips. I also got to try their grilled cheese, and I’ll just say that you should get there and try it too.

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Fable doesn’t have the largest craft beer selection, but the ones they do have are some of my personal favourites. I chose Driftwood’s Farmhand Saison to pair up with the Eggplant Parmesan sandwich. Driftwood is great brewery from Victoria, that in my opinion set the bar real high for BC brewers when they came on the scene a few years back. They describe Farmhand Saison as: “Our interpretation of this Southern-Belgian farmhouse ale uses a partial sour-mash and the addition of freshly ground black pepper. We use a very unique strain of yeast from Belgium to add further layers of spice and complexity to this rare style of beer”. I think the key to this one is the Belgian yeast, it really brings out that “traditional” taste you expect from this style. It pours a golden orange with a white frothy head, and it pairs up nicely with the sandwich. It’s a refreshing beer, with a slight sourness that’s followed by a subtle hoppiness. These flavours from the beer work well with the sandwich. The sourness is great up against the earthy eggplant and walnut pesto and it’s refreshing mouth feel really cleanses the palate between bites.

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So if you’re looking for an Eggplant Parmesan sandwich that takes on a different identity then you’d expect paired with one of the finest interpretations of a Saison from a BC craft brewery, then head to Fable Kitchen for This Sandwich and That Beer.

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Check out www.fablekitchen.ca and www.driftwoodbeer.com for more info, follow them both on Twitter: @fablekitchen and @driftwoodbeer, and follow me @TSTB_blog. Head to Legacy Liquor Store in the Olympic Village to pick a bottle of Driftwood Farmhand Saison on its own.

Also, catch my monthly radio feature on “Just Here For The Beer Radio” on its new home Team Radio 1410AM, airing the final Saturday in April at 12:00pm PST.

Photo Credits: Jordan Rokosz

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