I went out for dinner last night with a few friends and visited one of CAMRA Vancouver’s newest corporate member’s, Jake’s Steakhouse and Piano Lounge. I found out a few weeks ago that any business can join CAMRA Vancouver as a corporate member. Dedication to quality beer is not a requirement for corporate membership, so long as the membership fee is paid they are in. But CAMRA membership is much different than CAMRA recommended, where a good beer experience can be expected.
I was a bit hesitant recommending Jake’s to our friends, an unproven restaurant in the heart of Whalley is not all that enticing. For those familiar with Vancouver’s Skytrain system, Jake’s Steakhouse is found at the Skytrain’s last stop in Surrey in the Compass Point Inn, not exactly the nicest part of town. But our friends live in Whalley, so I figured their expectations wouldn’t be too high?
I was completely blown away by Jake’s Steakhouse. Who knew a restaurant in Surrey offering a great selection of beer existed, and further yet that they make food and beer pairing suggestions. This almost makes me think that this whole craft beer thing is beginning to catch on. On top of the impressive beer list, the menu was also great, featuring an array of classic steakhouse dishes with a local and seasonal influence. Unlike many restaurants offering a seasonal vegetable side, Jake’s seasonal veg was actually seasonal, and included fiddleheads, asparagus and other early spring vegetables. Fiddleheads – in Surrey – really?
Although my steak was cooked well past medium rare and into medium territory, an almost unforgivable offense, we had a great evening. For once I was able to enjoy a steak alongside a full flavored ale – Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter to be exact. Something about Whalley makes me think of Hunter S. Thompson. Gonzo Imperial Porter, brewed as a tribute to the late Hunter S. Thompson, seemed an obvious choice.
Jake’s Beer Menu includes the following:
- Dead Frog Brewing Pale Ale
- Whistler Lager
- R&B Raven Cream Ale
- Swans Seasonal Pumpkin Ale
- Rogue Dead Guy Ale
- Anchor Steam Liberty Ale
- Rogue American Amber
- Rogue Morimoto Soba Ale
- Pyramid Hefewiezen
- Pyramid Apricot Ale
- Propeller ESB
- Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter
- Brooklyn East India Pale Ale
- KB Honey Brown
Standard imports and domestic beer is also available. All of the beer mentioned above comes complete with food pairing recommendations.
Jake’s Steakhouse and Piano Lounge is a great restaurant where beer and wine enthusiasts can can both sit down and enjoy a well prepared meal. And if a meal is not in the cards during a visit, they also happen to have a great piano lounge to relax in. I am sure Jake’s would be happy to receive support from the local beer community. Don’t let the Whalley neighborhood or the long skytrain ride scare you away – Jake’s is a great place for great food and beer.