The Carbon Bar

Posted on July 7, 2014


For the past few months, Abe and I have been neck deep in food photography. I must say I love the stress of working despite the long hours and the short time for sleep. I forget all about being tired when I stand behind my tripod and I take a peek at my next subject that Abe has created for me. We are finally on the pace we wanted. It is such an exhilarating feeling to be able to do what you love to do.

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As we have been working hard, I thought I’d bring Abe out to dinner as a pat on the back. We ended up one night at The Carbon Bar by Queen St E. It was very misleading from the sidewalk as I thought the restaurant was mid-size. Nothing prepared me for the vastness of the space and the height of the ceilings. It somehow helped with the bounce of the music and the chatter around me as there was enough space for tables to be far apart and the beats of the music does not mute your own conversations at your table. Its minimalism take on design appealed to me, especially how it used the space in front of the tall windows. Somehow it managed to pair off sleek with comfort coziness.

Looking at the menu, I knew immediately what Abe would go for. Abe has a weakness for beef brisket and it surely was predominantly featured on their Golden Brown and Delicious menu. But since this dinner was a treat, we decided to do everything right. We started with Crisp Chicken Skin, Cabrito Papusa, Beef Brisket Burnt Ends and had the Pit Master Platter (a generous platter of beef brisket, pickles and fried chicken) with coleslaw on the side as our mains. Yes we did go all out.

The meal started with the crisp chicken skin and I am addicted! Dipping it on the tangy sauce, it was surely be a perfect match for a pint of beer. I held off to drinking though but Abe got the Volstead, a cocktail of Beef Eater, Amaro Nonino, agave, cucumber, lime and orange bitters.

Not too many minutes later, it was followed by the Cabrito papusa. Abe was raving of how delicious it was and I had to agree. There was something comforting in goat-stuffed masa tortilla with fresh tomatillo salsa. We were two for two at this stage.

It was later followed by a plate with a platter of beef brisket burnt ends and fresh lettuce. I think of all what I tasted that night, that was my favourite. The intensity of the flavours was so deep and savoury, I knew if I were given a bigger plate, I would not stop eating it. Abe was just as fast consuming it as I was. Three for three definitely.

By this time I was starting to get full but then our main arrived which was the Pit Master platter. It was a really big plate of beef brisket and fried chicken. We ended up taking home some but it was just like the other dishes that preceded it. Very well seasoned, rich and tender, the beef brisket was definitely one of the best I have tasted. Abe, who usually is less forthcoming than I am when it comes to taste, was literally in love with the beef brisket. It was the same reaction for the fried chicken as it came moist but not greasy. When I have more preference for the beef brisket, Abe was not able to decide which one he loved better. Four for four indeed!

As we were pretty indulgent that night, we ended up the meal with a dessert of cheddar ice cream sandwich. I grew up with cheese as an ice cream flavour in my country so I was excited for our choice. Abe liked it but not as much as I did I guess. To me, I took comfort at the memory it gave me of warm summer days and chasing after a sorbetero for queso sorbetes. Ah. Definitely, five for five.

I definitely am thankful for the blessings that Abe and I have been receiving as we get more and more opportunities to do what we love to do. Crossing my fingers to have more to come our way!

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