I've always wanted to find a neighbourhood place. Somewhere that
just feels right; comfortable, unpretentious, friendly and close
by. For me, I think I've found that place at The Alibi Room; it's only five
blocks from my home.
The Alibi Room is set in a huge heritage building close to the
rail yards and shipping ports in Gastown. The décor is minimal with
large sweeping windows that overlook the old brick buildings on
Alexander Street. If you're lucky, you'll also see passing rail
cars out the back, which add to the sense of history and scope of
I've eaten a few different meals at the Alibi and I have to
admit the food can be a bit inconsistent but when it's good, it's
really good. While I probably won't order the $14 organic beef
burger with onion confit again (too much salt and spice in the meat
instead of letting the pure and true beefy goodness shine), I can't
complain about the skinny yam fries with the chipotle mayo ($6).
Crispy on the outside and sweetly soft on the inside; they are the
epitome of French fry perfection. I also am very happy to munch
away on the roasted beet-candied hazelnuts-goat cheese salad with
arugula ($12) loaded with creamy goat cheese and a tangy
vinaigrette. My friends were very happy with their roasted
portabello goat cheese sandwiches with radicchio and a caper aioli
($12, pictured above) and another raved about his jerk-spiced
vegetable stew with house made corn bread ($15). Even the lone
vegan at the table was pleased with her order of vegetable and tofu
dumplings with black vinegar and soy dipping sauce.
However, the real reason I come to The Alibi Room isn't for the hip
décor or the tasty chow. For me, it's because of the beer. Finally,
Vancouver has a place that takes beer seriously. The new co-owner
of the place, Nigel Springthorpe, is really excited about beer and
it shows. Currently, there are 19 different brews on tap; beers
that you just can't find anywhere else in this city and the beer
menu is always changing.
There's the popular Back Hand of God Oatmeal Stout from Crannog Ales
(Sorrento, BC), a hoppy bitter ESB and a Red Ale from Central
City Brewing, beers from two of Victoria, BC's most popular
breweries Swan's and Spinnaker's,
a deliciously hoppy IPA from Longwood (Nanaimo, BC)
and a guest tap from Portland, OR's Rogue Brewing featuring their Dead
Guy Ale. Not sure if you want a whole pint? No worries, the Alibi
offers a sampler of various brews as part of their "frat bat," so
give that lemon ale or surly blonde a try. Want a bottle instead?
The beer list is even longer and more diverse with lots of
interesting selections, including many popular Belgium beers.
The Alibi is a place where you can come with friends and relax with
a few good drinks. While it doesn't look like a traditional pub, it
has a similar feeling. It's all in the details, from the exciting
beer menu to an owner who strives to make patrons feel like part of
a community, it's the kind of place I'll be back again and
The Alibi Room
157 Alexander Street
Jeannette Ordas is a Vancouver-based Web Designer and Food
Blogger who is probably right now thinking about what she'll
make for dinner.
Restaurant posts are featured every Friday.
Posted: Fri, Jul 18 2008
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