It is no longer a challenge to find a restaurant or pub in Vancouver that offers a good selection of craft beer, thanks in part to the efforts of CAMRA Vancouver for helping promote a craft beer culture in Vancouver. It is also not a challenge to find great food in Vancouver. Those who live in the Vancouver area are fortunate enough to enjoy a food & drink culture that is diverse, and for the most part, unpretentiousness and affordable. Although at times this unpretentious laid-back approach to food migrates so far from an exclusive haute cuisine experience that an establishment once again develops and air of exclusivity where entry is determined by the tightness of ones pants and the number of speeds on ones bicycle (one is preffered). Do keep in mind that these comments, particularly the latter, come from a kid born and raised in the sticks and still living in the backwoods of Vancouver’s quiet suburbia.
Restaurants come and go. The successful establishments rise above their competitors and remain standing by either continually adapting their menu to remain current with foods trends or transitioning themselves into a local institution that resists change but maintains a high level of service and food. I will travel a good distance for a good meal, but it is somewhat rare that I will return a second time. The options in this city are too great to not try something new. But occasionally a place worthy of a second visit emerges. And if the second visit impresses, the second will quickly turn into a third and so on.
Uli’s, a long-standing White Rock establishment has managed to win my business time and again simply by offering good beer and consistently delicious food in an unpretentiousness atmosphere. I have been a semi-regular at Uli’s for over two years and the quality of the food has continued to rise with every visit and the selection of beer has remained seasonal and well thought out. I now find myself close to being a regular.
Uli Blume, restaurant founder, has passed the daily operations over to his son Tyson. After sitting at a table for only a few minutes it becomes clear that Tyson has a passion for what he does and takes time to personally ensure that his customers enjoy their dinning experience. He also has love for good beer and keeps the cellar well stocked as the seasons change. Tyson and a number of team members approach and serve beer from the perspective of true fans continually searching for the next best beer. Tyson is always happy to chat about his current favourites and what he would suggest.
Instead of offering a large quantity of craft beer on tap, Uli’s has opted for a limited selection of draft beer with a well stocked and regularly rotating bottle selection. The most recent selection includes two Saisons from Fantome (both delicious) and the Westvleteren 8 and 12, the latter being a hard to find Trappist ale.
The menu is typical Westcoast fare with a number of modernized European classics. The dishes are not over-the -top creative, but are always flavourful and cleanly platted. The most popular item on the menu seems to be the 2.0 burger, which is easily one of the of tastiest burgers I have ever had. It seems one of every two plates arriving at a dinner table is the 2.0 burger. The burger alone is enough to warrant visiting, but it’s the combination of good food and good beer that will keep me coming back.