Doolins New Spring Menu Tasting

I was recently invited by Doolin’s Irish Pub to come to a tasting event to try their new spring menu items. I got to dine with a bunch of other Vancouver food bloggers (Rick Chung, Food Punk, Sean’s Adventures in Flavor Town, Mary in Vancity, Me Plus Food). Their new menu features bar classics with more upscale  ingredients.

Since it’s an Irish Pub they had plenty of beer flowing and Knowlton and I ordered a Yukon red beer ($6.75) to share. I’m not a beer drinker and I know nothing about different types of beer so I don’t have much to say about it (except that it didn’t convert me into a beer lover).

A bunch of appetizers were brought out for the whole table to share. The duck confit flatbread ($10) was probably my favourite flatbread of the evening. I love how moist and meaty the duck was and it has a more defined flavour than chicken. I like sun-dried tomatoes on pizzas as opposed to regular tomatoes because of the subtle sweetness and bold taste they add. The pizza was also topped with arugula, parmesan, and mozzarella cheese. The cheese didn’t overwhelm any of the flatbreads served which allowed the other toppings to stand out.

The Mediterranean flatbread ($9) had tomatoes, olives, red onions, spinach, artichoke hearts, banana peppers, mozzarella, feta cheese, and a pesto sauce. I’m not generally a fan of Mediterranean pizzas or flatbreads but this dish was executed well. This would be a good vegetarian option, however it is not something I would order since I like meat on my flatbreads.

The third flatbread and a very close runner-up to my favourite, was the crab and asparagus ($10). This was topped with fresh crab, asparagus, roasted red peppers, scallions, mozzarella, parmesan, an alfredo sauce. The crab tasted fresh and its flavour really stood out in the dish. The combination of all these ingredients reminded me of a creamy crab dip but in flatbread form.

The last shared appetizer were the duck bites ($8). These were chipotle and ginger marinated pieces duck wrapped in bacon with a sesame soy glaze. These little guys were delicious and a big hit all around the table. The pieces of duck were juicy and the smokey bacon went well with it. Neither one of the flavours overwhelmed each other so you could distinctly taste both duck and bacon. The soy glaze added a hint of sweetness to the dish and you could also taste a bit of spice from the marinade. The salad in the middle was also tasty but over shadowed by the duck bites.

For the main dish, Knowlton ordered the beer can chicken sandwich ($11). The chicken sandwich is made with pulled beer roasted chicken, gravy, crispy fried onions, dijonaise, on top of a sourdough bun. The sandwich was large and piled up with tons of chicken. I snuck a little bite and the chicken tasted moist and juicy from the gravy on the sandwich. Knowlton said he wished the gravy had a bit more flavour to it and he found it to be a bit bland.

For my main dish I ordered the baja-style fish sandwich ($12). The sandwich was made with pan-seared mahi mahi, shredded cabbage, southwestern sauce, and a mild hot sauce, all on top of a sourdough kaiser bun. There was also a lime wedge served with it for you to squeeze onto the fish. The mahi mahi was moist and cooked perfectly. The piece of fish was large and very meaty which made for a surprisingly hearty sandwich. This is a good choice if you are looking for something less greasy but you still want to be filled up. The cabbage added a crunchy bit of texture and the hot sauce was mild but added some spice to the dish. Along with the sandwich this dish came with a heaping pile of fries, coleslaw, and a pickle. The fries were nice and crispy with lots of yummy potato skin still on and the coleslaw was refreshing.

The night was finished off with a dessert of chocolate coffee ice cream and carrot cake. The chocolate coffee ice cream was good but the carrot cake was my favourite. It was so moist and the cream cheese frosting was rich and creamy. This dessert was just a feature but hopefully they add the carrot cake to their permanent menu because it is delicious.

Overall I enjoyed my evening at Doolin’s and I would come back here again for some good pub food. The prices are  affordable and they have some unique items (like the duck bites) that other pubs don’t serve. The portions are also quite large and are sure to fill you up.

Recommendation:

Yes, for pub food with a unique twist.

Disclosure: I did not pay for my meal.

Doolin's Irish Pub on Urbanspoon

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Categories: $$ ($10-$15), Downtown, Pub, Vancouver

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  1. A Taste of Spring Awaits at Doolin’s Irish Pub « Vancouver Bits and Bites Blog - April 9, 2012

    […] was joined by a few other bloggers for this tasting. Check out Sean’s, Ange’s and Amy’s reviews. They’re pretty […]

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