Sidecar – Gastropubbin’

L had picked a gastropub for this past Sunday night’s dinner. What is a gastropub? I have no idea. But it’s a pub that actually cares about the food they serve. It’s not just burgers and chicken wings. And of course they have a good beer selection. Located in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood, the Sidecar Bar & Grille will have been around nearly 2 years . It’s in a very unassuming corner on 22nd and Christian, caddy cornered from a dry cleaners. I biked there and showed up at 22nd and Catherine and nothing was there. I was very confused. Then I thought oh, maybe it’s 20th and Catherine so I biked there. It wasn’t there either. Then I found out it was at 22nd and Christian. You could see how I could be easily confused.

It’s a rather small place, with a long bar and kitchen on one side of the building and tables on the other side. There is also some outside seating. The menu isn’t very big, but they also have specials. With their food, they offer beer recommendations as to what type of beer would go best with that dish. The restaurant itself is quite pleasant and on the quiet side. There is one small tv in the corner. Early on a sunday night it wasn’t very busy, so we were able to have a real conversation and actually hear each other. I think there may have been some music playing, but I didn’t notice it. It was a nice change from having to scream to talk to your friends when you’re at a regular pub.

We got served by the owner and he was super helpful, attentive, and spent lots of time explaining to us about all the food and helping us decide on what to order. L went with the chicken and duck empanadas, which was a special. B got the fried fish, which came with hush puppies and honey butter. I went with the pulled pork sandwich. We split a calimari appetizer.

Let me tell you, the calimari was fantastic. I’d had calimari the weekend before and man, that calimari didn’t compare at all to the calimari at the sidecar. This was probably the best cooked calimari I’ve ever had. Perfectly cooked to give it the perfect texture. I don’t know how they timed this so perfectly. And the kicker was the dipping sauce that came with it. It wasn’t a regular old marinara, it was slightly mexican-ish in flavor. Man, it was a perfect complement. I could have eaten this stuff with a spoon.

My pork dish was also excellent. It came slightly sandwiched between two pieces of some cheesy cornbread. I’ve never had cheesy cornbread before (topped with cheese), and I have to say, I liked it. My cornbread pieces were slightly charred on the edges, but it wasn’t a big deal. They were still quite good. The side of slaw was good too. The pork was well flavored and very tender. The bbq flavor wasn’t too strong or too sweet, it was just right. It looks like one hot mess in the picture, but believe me, this dish was great.

I’m not regularly a dessert gal, but L mentioned the pecan square that they have here as being excellent. They basically take what would normaly go in a pecan pie and make it into a flat square, about 3×3 wide. It has a crust on top, they put ice cream on it, and drizzle it with a caramel sauce. Oh my goodness. This was so freakin good. It wasn’t too sweet like pecan pie usually is. It was incredibly chewy, which I loved, and it had a rather mild flavor. It didn’t even taste like nuts really, it was just chewy and delectable. The ice cream on top made it that much better. See how good it was, I couldn’t even take a picture of it before I took a big bite of it. L and I split this and it was really more than big enough for the two of us.

If I lived near this neighborhood, I would come here all the time. Seriously. They make the food with so much love here. The staff is too nice. They have cheap beer specials. I think this may be the start of a lovely affair.
Sidecar Bar & Grille on Urbanspoon

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