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AWESOME THING WE ATE #899: Six Plates Of Hot Goodness At Gastown’s “Pourhouse”


by Andrew Morrison | Ever since East Hastings’ Au Petit Chavignol shut down in April I’ve been looking for a really good burger. Theirs was Vancouver’s best, in my opinion, all gooey with fantastic Leerdammer cheese and really good double-smoked bacon. I’d recently heard tell from burger fiends around town that Gastown’s Pourhouse was rolling with a simple one that was hard to beat, and since I hadn’t eaten there in quite some time I took it for a test drive…

1. The burger was too basic and straightforward to exceed the Leerdammer legend’s awesomeness, but it was still excellent. The well-seasoned patty was shaped from a 50/50 mix of ground beef brisket and chuck. It’s cooked to a default medium and topped with aged white cheddar and (not enough) bacon. The bun – generously smeared with the house’s grainy mustard mayo – was toasted but pliable. Is there a better burger in Gastown? I don’t think so. If you know otherwise, please share. | $17

2. I love good bone marrow, and the stuff at Pourhouse is creamy, smooth and on the indulgent side of fatty. It didn’t spread too smoothly on the provided toast points, but the flavour was outstanding, especially when seasoned with the provided pile of Maldon, pickled radishes and shallots (I could have done with a finer chop of the leafy parsley). | $12

3. Macaroni and cheese is a hard thing to fuck up, but it’s harder still to elevate into something you’d ever want to order again. A good mix of cheese is essential. In this case they use Parmesan, Cheddar, and Gruyere. Bacon is always a welcome addition (more so than short rib). They also add breadcrumbs at Pourhouse, which lifts the texture up without negatively impacting the taste (at home, we use smashed up salt and vinegar potato chips — I know, it’s very classy). | $10

4. A contorni plate of brussel sprouts, pork belly and crispy onions dressed with pork jus, red wine vinegar, honey, and shallots. A steal at $4.

5. A big pork chop from Two Rivers with proper a spaetzle mixed with shitake mushrooms, brussel sprouts and soft lardons swimming in a meaty, mustardy sauce (love those grill marks!). I hadn’t had a good ol’ pork chop in years. It was heavy (look at the size of the thing!) but perfectly cooked. | $26

6. Simple and addictive pork croquettes served a la Blighty (with HP sauce). | $9

Pourhouse is located at 162 Water St. in Vancouver, BC | 604-568-7022 | pourhousevancouver.com



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.

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