Brunch at Black Sheep
1569 Dresden Row, Halifax, NS
How’s everybody doing? The weather is warming up, the birds are chirping .. and I just got engaged! That’s right – LuShark and I are going to seal the deal. We’ll be registered at a taco truck near you! I’m just joking, I meant Ikea….
Anyway! … to help us celebrate, my lovingly wedded pals, Mgyver and Tinfoil, took us out to brunch at the Black Sheep. Thanks guys!
Here’s how it went down:
Black Sheep is a cocktail bar that serves brunch until 4pm every day. This is super industry-friendly and I love it! If you’re not a typical 9-to-fiver I would suggest taking advantage of a nice Wednesday brunch. It just so happened that we were there on a Sunday and it was quite busy. We felt this experience could have been improved if we were offered drinks and menus while we waited in the crowded foyer for a table.
We waited about 10 minutes and we were ready for drinks! LuShark wanted coffee, while MGyver wanted coffee beer (Good Robot’s Dave & Morley). Tinfoil ordered It’s Always Sunny on Dresden ($12): pimms no. 1, lemon, ginger beer, mint, basil, orange, cucumber, bitters -basically, all my favourite things!
But I always order a Caesar with brunch in pursuit of finding the best, so I stayed true to the game. I loved the pork jerky and the steak spice rim, but otherwise it was pretty basic. The paper straws are a nice touch.
LuShark was not in an adventurous mood, grumbling about the weak coffee and the fact that she had to work in a couple of hours. She felt discouraged by the fusion of ingredients and intimidated by the prices. If she didn’t enjoy the creative flavour combinations of her fateful choice, she’d be left hungry with a nagging hole in her wallet.
To my utter shock and disbelief, my beef-eatin’, shit-kickin’ fiancé ordered a vegetarian meal! Oh my!
Tostada ($14): tofu chorizo, poached eggs, rice, refried beans, tomato, pickled jalapeños, guacamole, corn tostada, green onion crema.
LuShark was rewarded by her courage. She liked it… she really liked it! The tofu chorizo was easily passable as a breakfast meat, with a nice kick of spice, and the eggs were perfectly poached. The tostada stayed nice and crunchy beneath the flavourful onslaught of cream, beans, yolks and guac.
We would recommend this meal to both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. It’s a good bang for your buck.
While LuShark found the menu daunting with its fanciful renditions, I found it hard to choose just one dish to try! I couldn’t decide between the breakfast poutine and the benny, so I ordered a benny with a side of poutine!
Brisket Benny ($16): house-smoked brisket, poached eggs, sauerkraut, olive oil béarnaise, english muffin, chipotle mustard, fries or salad.
I love that they call the sauce what it is, a béarnaise, without dumbing it down by mislabeling it as a Hollandaise (I’m looking at you, YFM).
The brisket was fantastically tender and flavourful. I could taste something sweet that I couldn’t quite point to on the menu description, but it lent itself to the tangy sauerkraut and the creaminess of the sauce and yolks. This is a stand-up dish.
The poutine was perfect with crispy fries, proper cheese curds and a delightful gravy. I can’t wait to try the breakfast poutine ($12.50), which combines these elements with poached eggs and double smoked-bacon.
Here’s something a little different. Tinfoil’s meal:
Duck Pakora ($16.50): duck leg confit, chickpea & cauliflower fritter, curry, cashews, raita, crispy skin, sunnyside egg.
This is a novel dish, combining South Asian fritters with duck confit and a fried egg. Tinfoil liked it but found it very salty. She would have liked a bit more raita to reign in the salt.
MGyver went full on lunchtime with a pasta dish:
Ravioli ($16): hand-made pasta, sweet potato & goat’s cheese filling, puttanesca, kale, basil, asiago, bread crumbs .
MGyver also found his meal salty, but that’s somewhat expected with a puttanesca sauce. He says it was “pretty damn good” but that the ravioli could have used more stuffing and less sauce.
“If the servers are recommending that the customer order toast to soak up the ridiculous amount of sauce, then just serve it with a piece of bread, already!”
In a bout of whimsy, MGyver also ordered a side of fish cake (smoked haddock and potato), complimented by mustard pickles (you can get a full order with eggs for $13).
He gave both his fishcake and his ravioli a solid 4/5 stars.
We enjoyed our brunch at the Black Sheep. It was creative, inspired, and well executed, with a good mix of breakfast and lunch items. 6 out of 16 items are vegetarian-friendly (not vegan) and a couple more are pescatarian-friendly. There is something for (almost) everyone!
If you are just looking for familiar hangover food, this may not be the safest option. It’s definitely a chef-driven menu with prices to reflect that. But the pay-off is some of the best brunch food you’ll have in Halifax and that’s good enough for me!