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Tavern United Review

Tavern United

Neighbourhood: Downtown
345 Graham Ave
Phone: 204-944-0022
Entrees: $11-$18

The tell-tale sign of a Winnipeg local is that their ears perk up at the word ‘patio’. After each long, cold winter of seeking out cozy bistros and hovering over soup bowls, summer brings patio fever, and the city’s neighbourhoods come alive with lounging urbanites hungry for fresh fare with a side of vitamin D. To that end, Tavern United is in prime position, with a quick-and-easy casual menu and an unbeatable rooftop spot.

Situated adjacent the MTS Centre, the downtown location of this popular sports pub has carved out a niche as the place to be on game days, with sprawling screens in eyesight of every first floor table – including TVs mounted in each booth for semi-private viewing. For those coveting al fresco noshing, one of the city’s few rooftop patios is where to go for fresh air, wide umbrellas, and a view of downtown.

Typical pub grub is on hand, with a few refreshing twists. Proudly plaid, with kilt wearing servers shuttling pint glasses to each table, expected English odes to the potato, like chips with vinegar, round out the selection. Fish served in faux-newsprint parchment sport a crispy, malty beer batter coating encasing a halibut filet. Fries are English style, thick cut and generous with the salt. Irish nachos, a classic of the British-pub-meets-North-America variety, sub in waffle cut potato fries or kettle-cooked potato chips under a layer of gooey cheese. Tomatoes, scallions, and tangy-hot pickled jalapenos add kick to the mix.

Burgers, ready to be upgraded with a pile of pulled pork or sautéed mushrooms, are the kind of two-hands-neccessary ‘wiches required at sports bars, served on a toasted brioche bun to soak up the mess.

The lighter side of the menu includes super-sized salads and wraps. Sweet red peppers, chunky tomatoes, carrots, and a mound of crisp lettuce wrapped in a flour tortilla makes for a refreshing bite with a little guilty pleasure kick from a smear of cream cheese and sprinkling of salty feta.

The selection of suds and cocktails includes DIY Caesars, made to order from a scorecard that lets libation lovers play mixologist with their own choice of alcohol, mix, and garnish. Sip one while overlooking the buzzing ‘SHED’ (sports, hospitality, and entertainment district) and enjoy the sights, sounds, and tastes of the ‘Peg.

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