by Andrew Morrison | The long wait for Bestie - the new sausage and beer joint at 105 East Pender in Chinatown – is thankfully, finally, awesomely over. We tore through its tiny menu at a dry run over the weekend and it was as good as I had hoped it was. Knowing how long it took (over a year) and how they agonized over every detail made me all the more critical going in, but finding a flaw in such a simple, unassuming concept – sausages and beer – especially when you love sausages and beer, is a silly bit of business. My only regret is that they didn’t have their liquor license yet, but that comes this week, with crossed fingers (and hopefully an oompah band). What to eat? Everything! But start with a classic, Oyama-made Thuringer sausage as a currywurst (with fries and sauce) together a warm pretzel, side of mustard, bowl of beets with horseradish creme fraiche, and maybe another sausage, like the spiced lamb or the turkey. Hours are Monday to Wednesday, 11:30pm to 10pm and until midnight on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. The tiny takeout window will operate late nights on weekends. Break a leg, fellas!
by Andrew Morrison | It’s high time we provided an update on the highly anticipated Bestie at 105 East Pender St. in Chinatown. We first reported on its coming a year ago this week, and we’re happy to say that the 25 seat German-themed sausage and beer joint from Clinton McDougall and Dane Brown is well on its way. They’ve hammered down a menu of Thuringian sausages (pork) that will include brats and currywurst, plus a rotating poultry sausage and a special or two. The good folks at Oyama are making them, but execution is in the hands of chef Colin Johnson, who worked in Andrey Durbach’s kitchens for upwards of a decade. The fries will be hand-cut BC potatoes, double fried and served with a little metal pommesgabel (literally “French Fry Fork”), and the beers will be German-inspired but locally brewed (4 on tap with several others in bottle format). As you can see in one of the images above, the tapped beers can be had in 8oz, 12oz, or monstrous 24oz pours, the latter to be enjoyed from proper ceramic steins! David Stansfield, who you might know from Vancouver Urban Winery, is in charge of the tiny wine program. He has one red and one white cheap and cheerful planned for taps and tumblers, with a few supplemental bottles, all containing German varietals. The only spirit sold at Bestie will be schnapps. Because jawohl!
As far as the aesthetic goes, it’s worth remembering that Dane and Clinton come to the food trade from the design world, so they’ve considered the look as much as they have the sausages. It’s going to be on the bright side, with wooded paneling lit by high gloss white floors and white walls. Much of the seating will be convertible. A series of “booths” along the long wall facing the kitchen bar can readily be modified so that they become one large table, and above these booths will be an ever-changing canvas of wooden pegs. There are 116 holes in the wall to accommodate them, so expect to see hanging lights, magazines, and probably a jacket or two suspended above the modular booths. There’s also a sweet corner table at the front window that folds up so that sausages can be sold through the window deep into the night (hello Fortune revellers!). The rear wall will see rotating works from local artists (overseen by an obligatory cuckoo clock), and I suspect that we might hear some 1980′s Grauzone leading what I hope will be a chiefly German soundtrack. Dane and Clinton are doing nearly all the construction work themselves, with guidance from David Scott of local architecture firm Scott & Scott (recent recipients of some Cool Hunting love).
Because of its close proximity to the Scout office, I see a lot of currywurst in my future. Opening day, which can’t come soon enough, is on track for the early June.
Andrew Morrison is the editor-in-chief of Scout and BC’s Senior Judge at the Canadian Culinary Championships. He contributes regularly to a wide range of publications, radio programs, and TV shows on local food, culture and travel. He live and works in the vibrant Strathcona neighbourhood, where he also collects inexpensive things and enjoys birds, skateboards, whisky, shoes, many songs, and the smell of wood fires.
The GOODS from Oyama Sausage Company
Vancouver, BC | The next few weeks are busy ones with Spring Break, St. Paddy’s Day and Easter arriving all in a cluster. Let Oyama Sausage take some of the pressure off with their prepared hams, sausages, cheese and other special treats. Drop by and stock up for the kids home from school. And for Easter, family dinners are a breeze with a Swedish Ham. St. Patrick’s day at Oyama takes place all weekend, from Thursday, March 14th to Sunday, March 17th. So get your Irish on and select from… Read more
The GOODS from Oyama Sausage Company
Vancouver, BC | Oyama celebrates a little culinary history this weekend by presenting a fabulous assortment of salamis, prosciuttos, sausages, patés, terrines and more, made from recipes inspired by the countries formerly under Charlemagne`s reign. Specialties from Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Northern Italy will be available. During Charlemagne’s reign he was known as the Father of Europe and influenced the revival of arts and culture. His legacy of European foods is celebrated at Oyama this weekend, come check it out. As a part of Winterruption on Granville Island this weekend, Oyama manager Jerome Dudicourt will be sampling Boudin Blanc, a French delicacy, at 12pm in the Public Market on Friday. Come on down, enjoy the flavors of the past made especially by Oyama. Winterruption takes place on Granville Island from Thursday, February 21st to Sunday, February 24th, and has something for everyone: arts, performances,market demonstrations and more. Read more
Remember the fundraising video starring Clinton McDougall and Dane Brown, the pair behind Chinatown’s “Bestie” (a 25 seat sausage and beer joint at 105 East Pender due this March)? Their charming entreaty may have famously brought them over $10,000 in capital in just 5 days, but it also made possible this rather entertaining video of outtakes, which you can view with a giggle above (thanks Warren Lane Pictures).
PS. Bestie’s so-called “Magic Sausage Cards” can be purchased until midnight on December 31, 2012.
by Andrew Morrison | It’s been a while since we’ve provided an update on Chinatown’s upcoming Bestie, which we had pinned back in April as being likely for August. No such luck. According to owners Clinton McDougall and Dane Brown, the little 25 seat sausage and beer parlour slated for 105 East Pender just got its much anticipated building permit on Friday, which means they’re on track to start serving their wursts and pulling their pints at some point this January.
No big deal. Great concepts are worth waiting for, and while we continue to wait, we have the opportunity to pick up Magic Sausage Cards from Indiegogo. Brown tells me that the sale of these pre-loaded sausage gift cards (freakin’ genius) “will go a long way toward funding the details that will make Bestie special; everything from outfitting our late-night currywurst window to getting the right pretzel equipment and proper ceramic beer steins.” They’ve already raised $2,825 since this afternoon. Check out the video above – made by our good friends over at Warren Lane Pictures - for all the details and a laugh.
PS. This Christmas, give the gift of sausages in the future!