Summer all food, fun and drink marathon – Bard and Banker Pub

Bard and Banker - pub grub and beer done right in VictoriaIf I was to take a snapshot of one moment in time on the Government Street arcade in Victoria B.C. Canada – it would include thousands of people; people with ice-cream cones, people on honeymoon, locals experiencing the color, buskers making a sweet noise, the less fortunate and the too fortunate.

Smack dab into the middle of this conflagration is the brand new Bard and Banker Public house. The Bard and Banker is one in a chain of locally owned and operated pubs; including the likes of Irish Times (2 blocks away), the Penny Farthing in Oak Bay village and others…

Like coffee houses, T-shirt emporiums and real estate – it is all about location.

And the Bard and Banker is within that oh so precious sweet zone along Government street that supports the tourist foot traffic. Like everywhere else, people who stay in downtown Victoria (at one of our many fine hotels) walk up Government Street probably as far as Pandora or Fisgard – and that is it.

The Bard and Banker has been open for about 24 hours so ours was the first visit. Their menu is traditional pub grub with some unusual twists (I will go more into that on my second visit and follow-up). I had Steak and Ale pie with a fine Kilkenny Irish Cream ale – and Andrea has the Bison Burger with a Boddingtons English Ale. Despite the fact that they have been open a night maybe two, they were on their game. All the wait staff appeared to be sharp and responsive; girls in tartans somewhat more modest than their Irish Times counterparts and the boys in kilts – a nice touch.

I loved my meal. There are few comfort foods more satisfying than Steak Pie – this particular version is like a thick Irish stew with lots of baby carrots and mushrooms – bite size chunks of sirloin in an impossibly rich Bass ale infused sauce. I would not hesitate to order this again… and again… and again.
Andrea would tackle her Bison burger again – its caramelized onions and Stilton cheese were great components – I think she would have preferred her fries a little thinner in the cut and perhaps all dressed.

The Bard and Banker is a winner – the layout, staffing, menu and kitchen are obviously in order and it is a heck of a great place for people watching with numerous interesting site lines.

Come on down. For a pint and some great pub grub.