- The Food
- The Drinks
- The Atmosphere
Brian and I had the opportunity last week to check out The Hogtown Pub and Oysters’ grand opening along with many of Toronto’s popular bloggers. The event ran from 6-8pm and it was two hours of delectable eats and delightful company.
633 College Street
Toronto West, ON M6G 1B5
This new gastropub for the gourmand, formerly known as The Auld Spot Pub on College is situated in the heart of Little Italy. I’ve never been to what it used to be and I have no idea how much of the decor remains but the iconic hog painting is definitely one from the The Auld Spot.
The pub is not large but certainly cozy with an intimate feel. There is seating across from a well stocked bar and off to the back you can see into the kitchen where the chef and cooks are busy at work.
That evening was exceptionally warm and The Hogtown Pub was bustling with foodies eager to fill their bellies with food. To say we were spoiled is putting it lightly. The servers kept the alcohol and food flowing all night long. We were treated to their wonderful selection of beer on tap, a selection of a red and white wine was also available and to top it off was the Hogtown Bourbon Manhattan, their signature drink of the night — “a classic drink with a Hogtown flair…” It certainly wasn’t your typical Manhattan with the maraschino cherries. I watched the bartender make this drink but I won’t divulge anything because how it’s made is a proprietary secret!
From the tap, I tried the St. Ambroise Apricot Wheat Ale (apricot beer) and I also had a taste of the Blue Moon Belgian White, Belgian-Style Wheat Ale (orange beer). The apricot wheat ale had a sweet, mild scent of apricot and was very refreshing to drink. I personally didn’t enjoy the Belgian White although the citrus scent made it interesting.
The delicious food was crafted by Chef Josh Dalton featuring some of their favourite items from their rotating menu. I was slightly disappointed that I didn’t get my hands on every item but the ones I did were delicious! The Hogtown Cobb Cold Roll was very refreshing and a great spin on taking a salad and turning it into a finger food item. I wasn’t a fan of the Ceasar Salad Soup Shot. I prefer to chew on actual leafy greens than to drink it pureed. The taco was fresh and the beef heart was tender in the Chipotle Heart Taco and this is one I would come back for.
The deep fried Pulled Pork Dumpling was one item that everyone was raving about and words cannot describe how delicious it was. The Chick Pea Falafel on a cucumber was a refreshing veggie alternative with the meat-heavy tasting menu.
The Chicken and Cheese is a mac and cheese with smoked chicken deep fried in a panko crust. It was a little underwhelming for me. I was expecting a little more blue cheese flavour. The buffalo sauce it came with overpowered any blue cheese flavour it had. I thoroughly enjoyed the Salmon on Chips. It was very savoury and is a great snack to go with a beer. The Thai Scotch Egg was interesting with the varying textures of crunchiness and mushiness from the egg. And finally, the long awaited, Oysters! I love oysters and I wish I had them more often so it was definitely a treat! I found the oyster a tad salty when I had it plain. However, the lemon and horseradish definitely curbed the saltiness and made it much more palatable.
We got to speak briefly with the owner of The HogTown Pub, Darryl Brown and he shared his story of how everything got started. He did a wonderful job hosting this event and I had a great time meeting new people over drinks and food. Thank you for inviting us to your “living room”. I will definitely be back!
Were you at this event? Have you checked out this new gastropub? Tell us about your experiences down below!