Since moving to Paradise, aka Vancouver Island, we have developed a fondness for pubs, particularly for lunch. There are many fine establishments including Comox’s Black Fin, Qualicum’s Shady Rest, the Rocking Horse in Nanoose, the Lantzville Pub, Spinnaker’s and the Penny Farthing in Victoria, and many more. All unique, all good, all serving great beers and generally good, reasonably priced food.
However there is one pub that, in our opinion, is a step above. In Cedar, south of Nanaimo is our favourite, the CROW AND GATE PUB! Opened in 1972, this great spot was build by a refugee from Sussex, England, Jack Nash, and it was the first neighbourhood pub in BC.
Constructed in traditional British style with great attention to detail, including Pegged beam & plaster, exposed beams, massive stonework open fireplaces, heavy wood trestle tables. Low ceilings. A real British watering hole.
In the traditional way, you must order both drink and food at the bar. The food is then delivered to your table and it is not just good…it is excellent. My favourite girl always has the Crab Cakes which she proclaims amongst the best anywhere. And she knows crab cakes. I almost always order the Beef Dip. Both are served with fresh crisp salads with a very tasty dressing. Need the dressing recipe? I have it. Not too hungry? Ask for a half order and they are happy to comply.
These are the Crab Cakes.
No deep fryer here, so if you are looking for Fish & Chips, you are in the wrong place.
Here is just some of the other pub fare.
Pan fried oysters
Bratwurst Pub plate
Steak and Mushroom or a Steak & Kidney Pie ( made in house)
Scotch egg pub plate
Stilton & Leek quiche
Curried Mac & Cheese
Like Irish Stew? They serve it all day on Friday. Roast Beef? Every Wednesday and Saturday night. We have had it. It is excellent and generous in size.
Libations? The CROW & GATE PUB has a wide range of beers and ales and a wine selection too. Not a drinker? Have a pot of tea in a pot with a knitted tea cozy.
In the summer, this pub has, not a patio, but a fabulous outdoor garden area with picnic tables. It is simply a charming place to enjoy lunch in the sun.
The CROW & GATE PUB is a very popular destination pub so it is always really busy. My recommendation to avoid waiting is to Arrive before 11:45 or after 2:00. Weekends are even busier. Why? Because it is just possibly the best pub on the Island.
If you have not already been, you MUST go. It is just south of Cedar on the road to Yellow Point.
Good thing the CROW & GATE PUB is a 50 minute drive from home, otherwise I would be lunching there several times a week!
Check out their web site at http://crowandgate.ca