Drinking at Sarah’s

My idea of a fun time these days is not battling crowds at some god forsaken club or ridiculous trendy bar, so D and I walked from my place and went eastbound past Greenwood station where we walked a couple of minutes along the Danforth until we found Sarah’s Cafe, a well known beer destination.

1426 Danforth Avenue
Toronto, ON M4J 1N4, Canada
(416) 406-3121

Opened 11 years ago on the corner of Monarch Park Ave and the Danforth, Sarah’s is warm and inviting, casual and modern yet rustic, classy and a little sophisticated. The interior consists of small wooden tables situated along the walls where pillows line the bench seating, offering a comfortable spot to enjoy a good book. The walls are lined with paintings of cafes and bistro’s and are joined by some beer signage and a chalkboard informing customers what beers are available. Dimmed lighting, the dimpled golden tin ceiling, the large window looking out to the Danforth and the large drapes covering the entrance, combined with the relaxing music is enough to take your mind off the world for a bit which is exactly what we expect out of pubs/cafes.

Sarah’s isn’t large by any means which adds to the charm. There is room for maybe 30 people in the main dining area, 10 bar back stools surround the small bar and probably 20 people could squeeze in their back room. In the warmer months Sarah’s opens their patio which could accomodate up to 40 people on Monarch Park Ave.

The beer menu is excellent and I noticed an abundance of trappist and artesinal bottled beers, some decent Belgian, UK, French and Czech beers, as well as my new favorite Sapporo on draught. The draught list was excellent and it wasn’t hard for me to make a selection.

The menu offers an eclectic mix of pub fare (fish and chips), Asian (Pad Thai) and bistro (steak frites). Fresh, properly cooked mussels are a specialty and are available in 12 sauces, ranging from Calcutta, a spicy yellow curry cream, to the classic provençale – I had the Bangkok (Chili, Lime and something else I can’t remember)

As for the beer : I had one pint of Sapporo and then we decided to sample some trappist and lambic beers. The one that I remember most was the Bush Ambrée at 12% ABV. It says on the bottle, that it’s “Belgium’s Strongest Beer”

The beer is 12% ABV and is an amber style belgian strong ale. Well it poured nicely out of the bottle, not too lively but a nice touch of fizz about it. Going into the snifter it was quite syrupy and I could already smell the alcohol from it and also spade load of sugar and caramel.
Look : A real tangerine look about this beer, not quite the colour I was expecting for an amber style beer. Absolutely crystal clear no hue to this beer at all. It went very fizzy into the glass but that was shortlived and the head disapeared very quickly.
Nose :  A real strong alcohol kick from this one. A little treacle and a huge dose of freshly cut grass. Huge doses of caramel.
Taste : Straight away the alcohol and pepper overpowers, far too much of a good thing coming through. However after this subsides slightly the caramel does come through and balance this beer out a touch, but just not enough for my liking. It does feel quite round in the mouth I suppose which could make this a suitable after dinner beer (also coupled with its strength).
All in all, we’re definitely going back to Sarah’s!

About Rishiray

Rishi Sankar is a Cloud HRMS Project Manager/ Solution Architect. Over the past 15+ years, he has managed to combine his overwhelming wanderlust with a desire to stay employed, resulting in continuing stints with 3 major consulting firms (IBM, Deloitte, Accenture). He documents his adventures around the world on "Ah Trini Travelogue" with pictures and stories from the road/tuk-tuk/camel/rickshaw. You can follow him on Twitter at @rishiray and on Facebook at "Ah Trini Travelogue . He doesn't like Chicken Curry but loves Curry Chicken and is always trying to find the perfect Trinidadian roti on the road. He also doesn't like cheese and kittens ... and definitely not together. E-mail from his blog is appreciated like a 35 yr old Balvenie at rishi@rishiray.com

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