We were recently lamenting the lack of interesting dining options in Kitchener. When we feel like going out, we look at all the local options and more often than not just say “Fuck it” and go to Casey’s. We were talking to my friends, the Schmeckelowskis, who happen to live in Cambridge and how all the trendy and interesting restaurants seem to be located in Cambridge. They were quick to recommend Borealis. They hadn’t been there themselves but had heard that they specialized in locally grown produce and locally raised/caught meat.
So, yah, hippie chow. But a look at the menu was incredibly tempting. With the in-laws in town, it seemed like a good opportunity to give it a try.
Walking in the door and this is exactly what I’ve been looking for. A kind of pub feel to it but open and bright and very interesting architecture for basically being at the tail end of a strip mall. It’s Saturday night and they don’t take reservations so the wait wasn’t unexpected. I wasn’t going to complain because it gave me time to read over the list of beers they had on tap.
Pause for drooling.
There were about 20 beers on tap and the majority were craft types. Oh man. Here’s a place to waste some time.
We’d already been over the menu that afternoon but the decision was still a hard one. So many tasty looking options. I ended up going with a pulled pork and cheese on flatbread thing with a chicken wing chaser. Freaking awesome. I will never make fun of this brand of hippie fare again. Fresh and local makes a big difference.
And the staff was helpful and prompt and pleasant even thought they were obviously swamped. Makes a big difference too.
So, while it’s just BARELY in Kitchener, I wholeheartedly recommend this place. For food, for beers, for atmosphere. Aces.
Forgot to mention that there was one significant miss on the evening. I'm not really one for desserts but I couldn't pass up The Ultimate Butter Tart. I've got incredibly high standards when it comes to butter tarts and I wasn't going to let such a bold claim go without some verification.
And, no, I can safely say Borealis is NOT the home of the ultimate butter tart. For a place that prides itself on so many hand crafted sauces and condiments, it is more than a little disappointing to eat a butter tart that tastes so suspiciously store bought.
A minor thing when compared to the other highlights of the evening. Still a strong recommendation, just don't expect much from the dessert menu.