I was utterly impressed with the size of the restaurant and its patio. The whole place seemed to have a ‘go big or go home’ feel to it. Likely now the largest patio on Stephen Ave, I’m sure it will be perpetually full at lunch. Inside the restaurant you’re greeted with a display of hanging carcasses, butcher’s tools and house-made sausages. Wow – what a sight. I do caution the faint of heart… if you don’t like eating meat because you don’t like the killing of animals, you may not want to enter the building – maybe just eat your vegetarian lunch on the patio….
There’s a giant smoker outside, which wasn’t running during this visit, and lots of wood logs scattered around. I’d walked by the restaurant on another day and had been engulfed in smoke from the smoker – a pretty neat sight on Stephen Ave, even though I went back to work smelling like BBQ. The Guild really is a perfect name for this place. It makes me think of the days long past…
Service was friendly but I wouldn’t say prompt. It did take quite a while for our food to come out of the large kitchen. But, our server was really good at making sure our water glasses were full. I ordered the Kielbasa Mac ‘n’ Cheese. It was probably the best mac ‘n’ cheese dish I’ve had at a restaurant. It was hot, flavourful, cheesy and creamy – not too runny and not too thick. The pretzel crumble on top was a nice touch and better than traditional cracker crumbs. Although, one staff member told me the kielbasa is the only sausage they don’t yet make in house because they’re waiting for the equipment to arrive (so they currently source it locally), while another staff member told me the kielbasa is made in house. I think I’d rather believe the person who said they’re waiting on the equipment – the new team obviously needs to get their facts sorted out. J also got the mac ‘n’ cheese and he really enjoyed it too.
There were 5 of us for lunch and L ordered the Rocky Mountain Blood Burger. I tried a bit of the blood pudding… blech. Sure, the flavour was good but the texture was disturbing. He really enjoyed it though… so if you like blood pudding, apparently it’s a good one. L’s fries were totally overcooked but he didn’t want to return them and wait for another batch so he just ate them. I’m actually surprised they were sent out of the kitchen considering how overdone they were.
C ordered the Dry-Aged Chuck Burger and a side salad instead of fries. She said the burger was awesome, with a nice hint of smoke flavour. The burger was huge, so I’ll have to add it to my wishlist of eats.
B got the Tri-tip Steak Frites with Béarnaise. Again, he said the meat had a nice smokey flavour to it. He enjoyed all the flavours but the bearnaise sauce was cold and congealed.
I am pretty excited to have this restaurant just a couple blocks from my work. It has a unique feeling to it, and with the huge patio I expect it will thrive in the summer. Apparently the basement is where the long table awaits large parties, just like in olden times. I look forward to returning and trying many more menu items. Given that the restaurant only recently opened, I’m sure there are still a few kinks to work out. That being said, it was an enjoyable meal and it sure intrigued me to come back for more!