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Tavern United Review

TAVERN UNITED

Neighbourhood: Downtown
Address: 345 Graham Ave
Phone: 204-944-0022, website
Entrées: $12-$20

Don’t let Tavern United’s prairie-wide success fool you⁠—this regional chain of sports pubs is full of pride, proudly infusing its sprawling pub grub menu with local flavour.

Poutine gets a homegrown twist with tender pulled pork from local pork purveyor Danny’s Whole Hog. The barbeque sauced pork plays surprisingly well with gravy, the slight sweetness melding with its rich and unctuous counterpart. Thick and crisp English cut fries provide a sturdy base for gooey, squeaky cheese and piles of shredded hog.

Heaped into nostalgic newsprint paper, haddy bites pack all the flavour of fish and chips into snack friendly portions. A golden-crisp lemon pepper-flecked panko crumb coating surrounds tender haddock, and the accompanying housemade tartar adds just the right amount of tang to each mouthful.

Signature smash burgers have always been no-brainers here, but a newly launched “Manitoba 150” burger is a must. True to the province’s Eastern European influence, it’s loaded with kielbassa and fried perogies, then topped with caramelized onions, a dilly Elman’s pickle and two layers of melted Bothwell pepperjack cheese. Buttery brioche buns, nicely toasted on the inside, get a thick swipe of mustard ranch aioli, tying all the flavours masterfully together.

Yet fear not, vegans, Tavern’s hearty line-up of burgers, also includes plant-based patties, meaning zero compromise on two-handed face stuffing. All burgers come with fries, but if you’ve already succumbed to the call of poutine, upgrade to a side of beer cheddar soup. Familiar velvety texture and comforting ale taste is kicked up a notch with some generous heat from jalapenos.

Super-sized salads and wraps, like a refreshing veggie and cream cheese stuffed tortilla, fill the lighter side of the menu alongside a la carte tacos. Big chunks of crispy and spicy Buffalo cauliflower offer a modern twist, with crunchy shredded lettuce and a hit of cilantro lime drizzle cooling the piquant sauce.

Joining an impressive selection of local and international brews, popular DIY Caesars⁠—made to order from a scorecard that lets Clamato connoisseurs play mixologist with a choice of alcohol, spices, and garnish⁠—are game changers. Whether cheering on the Jets between bites, meeting friends for lunch, or taking advantage of one of the daily specials (local draught beer is CHEAP on Manitoba Mondays), Tavern United is a reliable winner.

Tavern United has six locations in Winnipeg.