Bier Markt Fondue
Nelson @ Esplande: Bier Markt is not known for their food, but we came here for Valentine's because it was one of the only places I could find that was doing fondue.
We started with the smoked gouda with smoked dutch gouda, crisp bacon, grape tomatoes, blanched asparagus, belgian endives and fresh baguette. Great presentation as the cheese comes in a skillet pot that is heated by a candle. The gouda itself is really tasty with a nice smokey flavour that was really strong. I like smoked cheeses, so this was excellent. Unfortunately the bacon mentioned on the menu is a bits of a slice to the point where it's false advertising. The cherry tomatoes didn't go well with the cheese, the asparagus was ok and the endive went really well. The baguette was fresh tasting and soft and of course went well with the cheese, but I couldn't help think whether crispy toasted bread would have been better.
The next one we tried is the homard, Atlantic lobster, Quebec brie, fresh tarragon, belgian farmers bread, served with Saint-Andre triple cream cheese & Chambly Ale spiked fondue. Surprisingly the brie was really light, especially compared to the previous one. The lobster comes in a sandwich as it turns out, but it was excellently tasty. The toast extremely crunchy (and buttery) and the lobster salad was good too. An excellent dish although a little strange to be dipping a sandwich into a pot of cheese.
For dessert we had the Chili & Chocolate, dark Axtec chocolate, red chili, strawberries, banana, biscotti, macaroons, lady finger and wafer. It was difficult for me to taste the chili, but Kitty could definitely taste it. It was most prominent during the aftertaste (and especially prominent when touching the chili itself). Strangely enough, the spice was tastiest when eating the (plain) lady fingers. Somehow it brought out the spice. For the fruit, the banana was the best, surprisingly better than the typical strawberries. The macaroons were decent, nicely soft and sweet. The wafer was crunchy, but I have had better. Biscotti was really good, but I have a weakness for biscotti. It had a nice vanilla flavour and had the exact right crunchy texture.
We tried the Delirium Tremens Ale and the Big Rock Grasshopper. The grasshopper wasn't very good, but the Delirium was better although pretty sweet (for a beer).
People often say the food is overpriced and no good here, but I thought the food was decent. They are right about the prices (and portion size) though. Even so, I would come back and try some more of their food (and beer of course)(...and live music).
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