157 Alexander St
Vancouver, BC V6A 1B8
I took Darren to the Alibi room for the first time on Valentines day for 2015. I was new to the city and was slowly learning my way around. Darren had started his new job and was busy adjusting to that so I took the initiative to plan Valentines day that year. I resorted to google and after much research I settled on a food scavenger hunt. I set up clues that took us around downtown starting with a stop at Thomas Haas in Kitsilano and then making our way through Gastown stopping at breweries and bars for drinks and small bites. Since then we’ve revisited all of the places I discovered when making the food scavenger hunt except one.
Alibi Room was not on the list of places to stop but we are so glad we did. We needed a place to kill some time before our next reservation so we found Alibi Room on are walk to our next destination and it was a gem! Located on Alexander as you enter the bustle of Gastown, it’s open concept during the summer is so inviting. We only had drinks and I remember ordering a porter since I am a huge fan of dark beers- porters, stouts, nitro beers…I love them all. While most people wouldn’t order porters as a beer on a night of heavy eating and drinking, I immediately regretted my order. So you would understand by surprise when the server brings out a beer that looked like a hefeweizen. The slightly cloudy golden color had me thrown for a loop but the taste had everything a porter would have. Strong coffee flavors but a smooth finish. The craziest part of it all was that it was light and easy to drink. TOTAL MIND F#%*! I texted our friends in Florida right away to share with them what we had just found and made plans with Darren to come back so we could spend more time exploring their beer menu another day.
We never made it back…until last night!
As soon as we walked in I had to ask the server about that beer I had. I never took a picture that day and didn’t have the slightest clue as to what it was called. I tried my hardest to describe it to her but she told me the beer menu changes almost ever three days so it’s likely they didn’t have it. A little upset I started to browse the menu to pick four beers to sample in a flight. I don’t know what had come over me but I felt like making a flight of beers with fruit notes and different flavor profiles; a different route then trying pale ales, lager, stouts, and porters. Now what I have to say about this is purely my opinion and a result of the choices I made. I was not a fan of the four I chose. The fruit flavors were very over powering and borderline medicinal tasting. The lightest beer was SUPER light and had a rice flavor while the stout was a kelp stout which I was not a fan of the savory taste. Again, this is what happens when I decide to really go out on a whim and be different. That being said, Darren really loved his flight and if we didn’t have drive home I think we would have ordered another flight to share. Even though I was disappointed I likely will never find that beer I tried on valentines day again, I do love the fact that the beer menu is constantly changing. In a city where we have no shortages of breweries, it’s nice to find places like this where you can try different brews without having to drive all over the lower mainland. Don’t get me wrong, I love our visits to breweries but the one stop shop Alibi Room offers with their selection is pretty great. The long family style tables creates a friendly place to sit with your company while striking up a conversation with neighboring patrons- similar to that of Kintaro but in a slower and much more relaxed atmosphere
Since we hadn’t tried anything off the food menu on our first visit, we both ordered our own entrees. Darren went for a Crispy Pork Belly Samich after much contemplation. The last time we had pork belly we were very disappointed. It was a one inch cube of pork belly deep fried, thats it. After talking to the server and getting her vote Darren went with it and was not disappointed. We both agreed it was juicy with asian flavors. It was crispy on the outside but very tender which I loved. The toppings were pickled and really helped give the burger a lighter appeal by cutting some of the richness of the pork belly. Oh, and the mound of fries will make any burger fanatic smile!
I on the other hand went for a lighter option. While a burger and fries are hard to say no to, I’ve really started to appreciate plates like the one above. I enjoy picking at my food so I can have a variety at once while my husband is one of those people that finishes his sandwich before he has his fries or chips. Why not have both together?! It’s available on their Small & Share Plates part of the menu as Mezza plate. The cucumbers and peppers were really nice to eat alone or together with the falafel and pita. The hummus was my favorite-it was cool, creamy, and simple. The only problem was there wasn’t enough. The picked beets offered a nice tang and sharp contrast to what you would typically see on a Mediterranean plate. I also liked they went with gold beets since red beets tend to have a stronger earthy flavor and overpowering in my opinion. I was surprised when the plate arrived to see the pitas. They reminded me of a firmer indian bread called puri but a more appropriate vessel for all that accompanied it. You can tear pieces and dip it in the hummus or pile all the toppings on a pita for a big bit. Either way you can’t go wrong!