Beast and Brine

The Beast is here
The Beast is here

A few months ago I told you about Beast and Brine, a cool charcuterie and cheese (and a million other things) shop that was set to open in South Surrey just up the road from Crescent Beach. Well guess what? They’ve been open for awhile now and it has become a weekend ritual for my daughter and I to visit and stock up for the week ahead. Sausages, high end cold cuts, the best bacon in Greater Vancouver, specialty cheeses, a sandwich counter and much much more. This kind of product used to be the exclusive domain of Granville Island Public Market vendors and a few hidden gems around Vancouver. A lot of their product is made in house by Uli’s Restaurant Executive Chef Ryan Bissell who is a co-owner along with Uli’s owner Tyson Blume.

Words to live by
Words to live by

The staff is incredible and it’s always buzzing in the shop with happy customers eagerly awaiting their meaty treasures to take home and brag about to their friends, it’s that good. Check out some photos I’ve taken over the last few weeks, they’ll make you want to drop whatever you’re doing and drive to Beast and Brine. It’s ok, I would too. Kudos to Tyson, Ryan and the whole Beast and Brine team for totally living up to my ridiculous expectations. I love this place.

Added bonus – Fieldstone Artisan Breads is right next door – food heaven. After you’ve looked at the pics there’s a list of my “WFLBC must buys” at Beast and Brine at the bottom of the page.

Stuff from my first visit
Stuff from my first visit
Buffalo Brats
Buffalo Brats
Heritage Bacon (The BEST)
Heritage Bacon (The BEST)
Pickles and sauerkraut
Pickles and sauerkraut
Delicious craft sodas
Delicious craft sodas
Amazing Avonlea clothbound cheddar
Amazing Avonlea clothbound cheddar
Charcuterie
Charcuterie
Cheese porn
Cheese porn

Twitter – @BeastAndBrine

Facebook – Beast & Brine

Interwebz – www.beastandbrine.com

WFLBC Must Buys

Heritage Bacon, Double smoked bacon, Frikadelle, Porchetta, Bavarian Meatloaf, The famous Uli’s hot dog (!), Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar (when it’s in stock), Phillip’s Soda Work’s Captain Electro Intergalactic Root Beer.

Scott.

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WFLBC sneak peek. Beast & Brine is coming!

The beast is coming
The beast is coming

Tucked away beside South Surrey’s Fieldstone Artisan Breads is an empty store front with it’s windows papered over. Inside this space the team behind White Rock’s Uli’s Restaurant is creating something amazing. Beast & Brine is coming and it can’t get here soon enough for me.

Beast&Brine

Specializing in Charcuterie and speciality cheeses, Beast & Brine is like nothing else in the Fraser Valley, in fact it’s the first shop of it’s kind in Greater Vancouver bringing a truly European style Charcuterie shop to the masses.

The team
The team

Cured meats, sausage, pates and more made in house by some of the most talented people I know,  speciality cheeses brought in from Quebec which aren’t available anywhere else in BC and the bacon, oh god the bacon. If you’ve eaten at Uli’s you know about their bacon, soon you’ll be able to buy it and take it home!

The best window in town
The best window in town

The equipment is on it’s way, top of the line stuff. A smokehouse, a Sous Vide kettle,  meat grinders, sausage makers and so much more. Custom coolers, one with a window that faces out to the retail area so everyone can see the product in the making. Add this all to great branding, from the logos to hats and t-shirts, everything with a funky old time feel. The team behind it is a fantastic group of people, if anyone can make this a success it’s them.

Follow their progress on Facebook (www.facebook.com/beastandbrine) and keep an eye on their website (www.beastandbrine.com) which should be launching soon. You should also follow Uli’s renowned chef Ryan Bissell (@chefbissell) and Uli’s Restaurant (@ulis_restaurant) on twitter, they’re the reason this little piece of heaven exists. Opening time is tentatively planned to be the end of January or the beginning of February. Stay tuned for more details.

Scott.

Belle’s on Thirty Two

Tucked away in an part of South Surrey that most people have probably never been to, Belles on 32 is another hidden gem located amongst some amazing suburban properties. I found Belle’s on Twitter while looking for places to go visit on behalf of Beerthirst, it turns out my parents have been there and liked it a lot. I set up a meeting with General Manager Budd Kerfoot, rounded up some beer samples and headed to South Surrey.

After a nice meeting and a very well received beer sampling session, I decided to order dinner. I started with the Calamari which was nice thick strips cut from the squids mantle, the part that normally provides ring shaped calamari. The squid was cooked well, not rubbery and nicely seasoned. On the menu it’s called “Crisp Calamari” but the batter wasn’t really that crisp to be honest, not that it wasn’t good, just not crisp. The spring onion and garlic aioli was tasty and well suited for dipping.

For my main I had the Braised Shortrib Sandwich with Caesar salad. The sandwich was fantastic. The Shortrib meat was loaded with flavour and had obviously been slow cooked for a long time. The brioche bun it came on was awesome, dark and slightly crisp crust surrounding a pillow of airy bread, so good. It had white cheddar, arugula and garlic aioli on it as well, one of the best sandwiches I’ve had in a long time. The Caesar salad was very nice too, fresh lettuce,  a nice house made dressing packed with garlic and a little fresh squeezed lemon.

Budd and the rest of the staff at Belle’s are really nice people and they’re doing a great job in my favourite city. South Surrey is making some noise on the food scene these days, watch out Vancouver!

For the record, Belle’s paid for my dinner but that didn’t make it taste any better. It was already very good.

Scott.

Tap Restaurant

You guys all know how much I love Surrey. I grew up here, I still live here and I’m raising a family here and wouldn’t have it any other way. My only real knock against Surrey is the lack of really good local restaurants. Tap Restaurant, located in an out of the way suburban neighborhood in South Surrey has truly blown my mind. After a great conversation with Executive Chef Alistair Veen I am happy to say that Tap is on par with the best of the best downtown restaurants in quality, execution, passion and creativity.

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Let’s talk about the food. I sampled 2 appetizers, A day boat giant sea scallop with sake and garlic and Parmesan risotto with white truffle oil. The scallop was cooked very well, not overdone at all and seasoned very nicely. It’s a 3 or 4 bite scallop depending on your oral cavity measurements (probably a 2 biter for me and my huge face hole) and it’s really great.

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The Risotto was also really good, the saltiness of the Parmesan cheese and the delicious earthiness of the white truffle oil with a little cracked black pepper, so good. It was cooked just right too, no cream added to this one, I guarantee it. Good food done right, what more can you ask for? I also sampled the butternut squash soup and the lobster bisque, both amazing.

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For my main I was persuaded, which is quite easy, into trying the Pemberton Meadows 10oz blackened Ribeye. I ordered it medium rare and it was absolutely  perfect, the blacking spices were rich, not overly salty and the beef was almost fork tender. It came with some roasted Yukon Gold potatoes, green beans and roasted golden beets. I love beets, I don’t care if you don’t like them, you probably haven’t tried one in years because you think you don’t like them. Do yourself a favour and eat some beets, you’ll be happy you did.

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For dessert I had a Chocolate Crunch bar, it was good but they teased me with creme brule and then told me it hadn’t set properly…heart break. Regular readers will no doubt know of my love of creme brule, there’s always next time.

Tap Restaurant is everything you could want in a restaurant, great atmosphere, awesome service and food to back it up. Chef Alistair Veen totally gets what Surrey is screaming for and he’s giving it to them and he’s a really awesome guy as well! If you’re looking for somewhere different and awesome to watch the Superbowl they’re doing a spit roasted pig and a chili competition, go check it out!! Check out my Twitter feed and you could win a $100 Gift Card to try out Tap for yourself!

Scott.