700 Main St.
A year ago this week I was in London, UK. So fitting that I should visit a gastropub that has taken that city’s name in its title. Nestled in a restored corner space of a brick building on the southern edge of Chinatown along Main Street, this still relatively new establishment seems to have a carved out a niche for itself with a loyal and locally residing customer base, judging by how busy and loud it got during the course of my stay. Large, spacious, things to do like some pool tables, video games and big screens to watch sports, it has none of that commercially produced feel of say a Boston Pizza, but rather feel just like the work of some folks who wanted to create a place to hang out, have some suds and meet up with friends for some pub grub. My kind of joint…
The London Pub while first and foremost a watering hole, did have some food on the menu to peruse from and with nothing in my stomach after a long day of work, we figured something to munch on would be good. Looking to split something more substantial the the listing of smaller appetizers shown, we opted to try one of their pizza’s, 11-inch I believe. The barbecue chicken seemed to be the most appealing and substantial of the lot, so that’s what we ordered from the personable young lass who was assigned to our table with the high stools. Fairly chewy and softer textured dough and on the sweeter side with the sauce, gourmet pizza it is not, but for someone who was in need of some sustenance, it fit the bill just fine. Size-wise, more than enough for the pair of us.
I do apologize for the photos. They dimmed the lights just before this arrived at my table and I was only armed with my cell phone yet again. What it is is the steak and Guinness pie. Served on top of some creamy mashed potatoes and surrounded by a delicious gravy, this was artery clogging goodness. As I’ve probably noted in past posts, I’ve been a fan of meat pies since I was a wee lad. The offering here was pretty solid, packed with chunks of tender meat and very little pockets of air and all encased in a nice crisply baked crust. The gravy I appreciated as it wasn’t loaded with sodium – or at least didn’t taste as such – and thus melding it with the pie and the soft potato mash ended up with me utilizing and devouring pretty much the entire plate.
My partner had a pint and their house burger. It sounded like he was satisfied with both as a pairing. While not extensive, the food menu has the usual stalwarts, I’d be interested to know if they intend to bolster things up a notch though. Apparently their beer list is decent too. If I lived in the area, I could see this being a very easily accessible local pub, and nice to be away from the loads of bars and pubs more in the downtown core. While nowhere entirely authentic like the great food and drink pubs I visited in London back in January 2010, if you set your expectations on that front downwards, I’m sure you can have a decent time knowing that you’re actually here in Canada in a place that’s trying to bring a small taste of the UK here to the west coast.