I love beer and I love a patio and this week, I fell in love…

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Photo credit: http://www.urbanspoon.com/u/profile/1434137

It’s been a very hot week here in Toronto.  One of those weeks when it’s just too hot to cook, well that was my excuse anyways, so I spent two evenings eating and drinking on the patio at Allen’s on the Danforth.  My first visit was on Wednesday when I spent the evening catching up with a friend.  It was my first visit in many years and my first on the patio.

Shaded by two great willow trees, Allen’s back patio is like hanging out at a friend great backyard.  Laid back, cool and shady, the five blackboards list a great assortment of beers on tap, micro brewed beers from across Canada and, my favourite ales from Unibroue in Quebec.

Plenty of Guinness on tap as you would expect but so many other choices. I ordered La Maudite, a micro brewed beer which is often difficult to find at the LCBO or in bars.

I had the goat cheese starter on Wednesday and opted for the polenta chips with curry mayonnaise.  The tasty fried polenta is wonderful, something you could try at home and it  goes down well with  beer.  My only problem with this dish is that it’s a very small portion of only four pieces, not the best for sharing and I found a little expensive for what you got.

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Wonderful mains at from about $28.00 to $34.00 for great cuts of steak and lamb.  There is no shortage of other menu options including Cumbrae centre lamb loin chops, Dublin lamb shank braised in Guinness and some great curries. As it was hot, the lighter fare was more appealing to me this visit.  My friend had the smoked salmon on soda bread.

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I had the salad Nicoise which includes smoked salmon, roasted potato pieces, French green beans, olives over shredded lettuce. It’s kind of like a spa version of a classic salad. Eating light enables me to drink more beer (as I did) and have dessert, as you all know, desert is my favourite.

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On Wednesday I had the salted chocolate mousse but this time we split a Guiness chocolate cake with sour cream icing. Rich, moist, chilled and chocolatey, we were filled after finishing our respective halves of this cake, but it was wonderful.

guiness cake2

Allen’s is known for their burgers which was a very popular order on Saturday night.  The burgers looked good, but there’s just so many more items on the menu which are far more interesting.  You can reserve seats on the patio, there’s also a few tables at the front.  The inside was very cool, dark and cosy the way a pub should feel, lots of regulars, couples and big parties so make sure that you reserve if you’re going in a group.   I think I may become a regular too.  Happy eating, until next time.

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