What? Fuel House for dinner
Where? 53 Clinton st (streetcars from College or Bathurst station)
The skinny: From the Fuel House website, “Set in a converted Victorian home, we aim to provide tasty food, cold pints and delicious wines in a casual neighborhood pub atmosphere that pushes to transform your thoughts on what it means to enjoy a reasonably priced meal.”
Fuel House (@FuelHouseTO) opened just a few short months ago and due to their discreet location, it wouldn’t be surprising if you haven’t heard of them before (yet). But when you do come here, you’ll realize that this is the kind of dining experience you’ve been wanting: personal, homey, unpretentious, (and no doubt delicious).
Their menu is simple, sandwich-focused, and yet I still had such a hard time choosing what to get. Everything just sounds so good!
They’ve got two beers on tap: Sapporo and Beau’s. None of us have tried the latter and Mack, one of the owners was so awesome and gave us a couple of samples. I’m not huge on beer but Beau’s is really nice! Light, it had an oat-ish sort of aftertaste. Several of my friends shared a pitcher. :)
Yep, just catching up with middle / high school friends. Having silly fun like old times! It’s fun to goof off and the chefs/owners even joined in on the conversation. :D Being at Fuel House makes you feel like a dinner guest at someone’s place. I mean it is an actual house that’s been converted. The intimacy factor is unlike any other dining experience I’ve ever had.
Most of us ordered different things. The BLT (7.5) was recommended so no surprise that both of my best friends got that. It’s got a huge slab of bacon with boston bibb, tomato, roasted garlic mayo, and spicy mustard. That sounds like an amazing combination!
Musonda got hers with fries. Between the great company and conversation (at times embarrassing haha), she and my other friends were commenting on the straight-up, genuinely prepared food.
One of the guys got the Fuel House Burger (10) and a poutine (5.5). I didn’t get a shot of it but he really liked it and was to my surprise, really full by the end of it. I’m drooling just thinking about how much cheese curds and creamy gravy actually went into that poutine…
We also got a little side to share…PORK BELLY confit cubes (5)! Normally, there are 5 cubes but the guys were generous and accommodating, adding a fifth cube so we wouldn’t have to go through the awkward trouble of trying to share 4 cubes between the 5 of us. :D YESS. In short: succulent, fatty, tender, you gotta have this.
Highly recommended was one of the Fuel House’s newer items, the Calamari Po’ Boy (9). Matthew got this one and really enjoyed it, especially the perfect texture of the calamari. I remember him giving feedback but forgot exactly what he said. :( I believe it had to do with the sourness of the pickled onions? Hmm, this just means I have to try it for myself! (I love excuses to eat!).
For myself, I’ve heard some good things about the Pork Belly Banh Mi (7.5) so I decided to start there. In the description: “pork belly confit + pickled veg + cilantro + hoisin sesame.”
You can taste every single component and together, it really makes a perfect sandwich. The freshness and zing matches the depth of flavour in the pork belly; making for a very happy carmen. :D I did feel like a bit of a horse though when the cilantro wouldn't break from my bite and I was left with a stalk of it hanging from my mouth haha. Wow that's not the most lady-like image. D:
What followed was a nice long break where we teased each other for our high school awkwardness…Point is, we were having a great time! Mack had mentioned fish tacos (12) as a special. Curious, Matthew and I got some.
The fish is covered by brunoised tomatoes, onion, lettuce, and cilantro but it’s there at the bottom! I liked it but I would’ve preferred bigger chunks of fish.
More chatting and laughing. And then the idea of shots came up along with the mention of Fuel House’s specialty: a tequila shot with a wedge of lemon—one side pressed in sugar, the other, ground coffee beans.
I’m sheltered in terms of drinking. I barely ever drink and have never warmed up to the idea of shots. Somehow I caved into peer pressure (and have everyone present that night to thank!).
One of the chefs/owners, Mike was the guy who really convinced me to join in. He’s not a fan of tequila but with the coffee beans, now there’s something to hold onto.
Oh yeah was he right! I’m guessing the tequila they’ve got is really good quality since it went down really smoothly. Bit down on the lemon wedge, coffee bean side-down. And then…clarity. And some profanity passed through my thoughts as I tried to process what exactly it is that I’m experiencing. Again, you gotta try it to know how good this is!
Dessert time! The goodies just keep coming!! We were offered dessert on the house. Wow. I don’t know about you, but I was feeling really special and taken care of at this moment. What came was an Eggnog bread pudding with Caramel ice cream.
Warm, cold, creamy, a little dense. Perfect. The caramel ice cream really stood out for me. There were patches and chunks of caramel in there!! I’m not sure if it was the ice cream that complimented the bread pudding or vice versa. Either way, this dessert really worked for me.
Verdict: If you return to a place, it’s for the great food or a feeling/vibe. At Fuel House, you’ll return because it’s got the whole package: food, vibe, conversation. Huge thanks to Peter, Mike and Mack for the unforgettable dinner experience!! You guys are awesome! My friends and I all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Personally, I’m contemplating returning next week.
Check ‘em out! http://thefuelhouse.ca/
5 out of 5 NOMs