If you like good food and like the old-time feel of the neighbourhood pub, then The Poacher Pub in Burlington, Ontario is the one for you.
The Poacher is one of the oldest pubs in Burlington, and the oldest British pub in the area – it’s celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.
While some, who have become used to upscale “gastro pubs”, may pooh-pooh the unpretentious, cozy and “home-away-from-home” atmosphere of the pub (I’ve seen some negative reviews online), I would have to say it’s one of the better pubs of its type that I’ve visited.
If you understand the reason behind pubs, you understand what The Poacher is about. Pubs are a local place for the working man to drop by after work, grab a bite and pint and to chat with other regulars. It’s a spot to unwind with friends and not worry too much about fancy restaurant etiquette… it’s where you can sink your teeth into a burger and eat fries with your fingers. They are the Canadian equivalent of the local tavern/pub in the UK, the bar in the US and the taverna in Italy.
So what is The Poacher like and why do I recommend it?
The staff is friendly and attentive, saying hello and seating you fairly quickly. While the pub has clean tables and seating, it has that worn-in look and feel – after all, it’s a local hangout for many neighbourhood. The food is good pub fare with a few twists. I had a Chicken Club sandwich, with huge Portobello mushroom slices as a secret ingredient, sweet potato fries with a side of curry mayo (I had to ask for it, and there’s an additional cost, but it’s worth it).
The nice twist on the traditional chipolte dipping mayo/aioli sauce, with the light curry mayo is a nice surprise. Somebody in the kitchen has a good idea of what makes a regular pub dish go from traditional and expected, to the interesting and extraordinary.
The sandwich is generous in portion size and delicious. It’s enough for one person to share with their dining partner. We also had the medium wings which were quite good.
What makes The Poacher a cool place for lunch, dinner or for Friday night out with friends, is that it is a place to be yourself, comfortable and relaxed. Good food, good atmosphere and good service. What more could you want from a traditional pub?
436 Pearl Street
Burlington, ON L7R 2N1