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Food

Pub Sir Joseph brings British comfort to Mile End

Posted by Greg / October 6, 2013

20131007-SirJosephLogo.jpgBritish restaurants and pubs are all the rage in Montreal right now. In addition to scene epicentres The Burgundy Lion and Sparrow, there's the more recently opened Liverpool House, run by Joe Beef co-founders David McMillan and Frédéric Morin, and Jamie Oliver's Maison Publique. It has resulted in a bizarre situation where the "British" food and style of Montreal exceeds anything you would find at the places these institutions are copying. Trust me, the tacky carpeting and dry fish n' chips in your average British pub are not worth crossing the Atlantic.

But hey, what's wrong with false ideals when they result in something good? Enter Pub Sir Joseph, Mile End's newest neighbourhood bar. Promising food and drink "inspired by the British heritage," Pub Sir Joseph offers a combination of unchanged basics and reinterpreted classics with mostly positive results.

First, there's the decor: menus on chalkboards, brick and dark wood, 1940s-style fonts, and artisanal lightbulbs hanging all rustic like. In this respect, it looks like every other place in the area aimed at 20/30-something hipsters (think Sparrow, Lawrence, Magpie, Sardine, and the recently renovated Arts Cafe), but it's also a welcome contrast to the more casual watering hole, Casa del Popolo, across the street and the genuinely weird Bar Sportif around the corner. It also usually manages to feel full and vibrant without the overbearing crowds of those bars on a weekend night. In higher British style, this is a place to sit and have a dignified pint and conversation.

Drinks run a perfect spectrum from simple and good to fine and luxurious without sacrificing quality on either end. They have an excellent selection of well-crafted house beers starting at a very reasonable $6 a pint and cocktails more in the $10 range. They also heavily emphasize their sparking wine and champagne selection, displaying bottles of both in an ice bucket near the front entrance, and offer each at pretty solid prices for what they are: you can pop Cava for $36, Champagne for $99. They have one particularly awesome sounding deal: a bottle of Cava and a dozen oysters for $50. Not the best price in town, especially during oyster season, but still a pretty fun combo.
20131006-SirJosephBottles.jpgThe menu offers excellent pub fare, save for a couple ideas in need of better execution. Their onion Bhajis are to die for - fresh and flavourful, with a perfect mayo sauce - and properly priced for bar munchies at $8 for four large pieces. Their fries also rise far above expectations for such well-worn food. Things become more spotty when you move into the more expensive items - for example, the bangers and mash on sticks, which contained a single small sausage and a tiny portion of mashed potatoes for $10, without the refined flavour to justify such small portions. While I can enthusiastically recommend the cheaper food staples on the menu, I say tread carefully into the double digits. None of it is bad, but it's not always satisfying.
20131006-BangersMash.jpgThe only other problem with Pub Sir Joseph? It closes rather early - midnight from Sunday through Wednesday, 1am on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. This would be the perfect bar for a 10:30/11pm nightcap, but sometimes you can feel rushed knowing it's closing soon. If anything, though, this just speaks to how much I like it here. I want more Pub Sir Joseph than the place is willing to offer.

Pub Sir Jospeh is located at 4902 St. Laurent, near the corner of St. Joseph.
Images taken from the pub's Facebook page.

Discussion

16 Comments

marley / October 7, 2013 at 04:12 am
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Liverpool is not british in anyway, it is named after a rival club/pub of the original Joe Beef Taverne, the original Liverpool House was down the street from the original Joe Beef on de la Commune in the old-port. evidence: http://twitpic.com/dgcc7j
stephanie / October 7, 2013 at 04:37 pm
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Cava and oysters sounds like fun to me! I like my neighborhood!!
platinum arrivals cufflinks / April 13, 2015 at 06:18 am
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I think that what you said was very logical. But, what
about this? what if you added a little information? I mean, I don't wish to tell
you how to run your blog, however what if you added a post title to maybe grab a
person's attention? I mean Pub Sir Joseph brings British comfort to Mile End is a little vanilla.
You should look at Yahoo's home page and note how they write news headlines to grab
viewers to open the links. You might add a video or a pic or two to grab people interested about what you've written. In my opinion,
it might bring your blog a little livelier.
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