A trio of us got together for dinner on Friday night to celebrate my friend’s belated birthday. I searched for places near King station around where my friend works, and decided to make a reservation at The Carbon Bar (99 Queen Street East) for our reunion. A gastropub place probably best known for its meats, we were pretty excited to try this place out.
Early at 5:30pm, the place was still empty. We immediately loved the decor of the place and how comfortable it felt. Our waitress for the evening, Lisa, was really friendly and helpful. Drinks are on the pricier side, so we decided to skip them and get more tapas dishes instead.
CORNMEAL FRIED OYSTERS
We started off with fried oysters, which were every bit as amazing as they sound. The spicy mayo worked really well.
OCTOPUS & LOBSTER GUMBO
okra, sausage, hominy corn, poblano peppers & chorizo
Feeling on the more adventurous side, my friend picked this dish for us to share. The portion was a little smaller than we expected, but it was a delicious fiesta of flavours. I was especially impressed with the octopus, which wasn’t overly chewy as I usually find them in other places. The three of us definitely polished up this dish clean.
sweet potato, cheese curds, crema, pickled jalapeño, chopped brisket
I’m a huge fan of sweet potato and this was delicious! This one was actually perfect for the three of us to share.
dry rubbed with sea salt & black pepper and enhanced by the smoke
of white oak and cherry wood
Very easily the showstopper of the night for me! Melt-in-your-mouth amazingness. I’m salivating again already.
BBQ TOFU & CHEESE AREPA
pinto beans, tomatillo salsa, pickled mushrooms
Not one of my favourite dishes, but probably the most polished in presentation. The BBQ sauce and tofu just ended up being a strange match up for my taste buds, though I adored the cheese arepa and all else.
blue cheese cream, raisins, almonds
Having some veggies was starting to sound like a good idea, so we also ended up getting the broccoli salad. It really doesn’t look particularly interesting, but all of the flavours – the blue cheese, the raisins, the almonds – just came together so nicely with the broccoli. I could have finished this off by myself and still want more.
BANANA TOFFEE CREAM PIE
Oh my goodness. What a perfect dessert. All three of us were absolutely crazy about it and really had to take our time savouring this rich dessert.
CHEDDAR ICE CREAM SANDWICH
aged cheddar, wafers, maple syrup
I had my first experience with cheddar ice cream at The Black Hoof. The taste was less overwhelming here and overall the dessert was as sweet as I like desserts to be. It just definitely paled in comparison to the banana toffee cream pie though.
We were really happy with our experience at The Carbon Bar! The fried oysters, beef brisket, and banana toffee cream pie were the standouts for me, though I thoroughly enjoyed everything save for the bbq tofu. I would come back for a nice evening out with friends to try the ribs and chicken skins.