Bourbon in the Afternoon at Home of the Brave

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It’s sunny but breezy and cold.  No matter, it’s Thursday before the long weekend and I need to get away from my home office. It’s been a long week in front of the desktop and I need a diversion.  A quick ride on the streetcar down Spadina to King St. W gets me to my destination.

Whisky:Bourbon2Home of the Brave is on the second floor above Lou Dawgs at 589 King St. W.  My spirits begin to lift as I walk up the stairs to the sound of Jessica by the Allman Brothers.  Yep, this was what I needed and it was going to be good.

It felt a little like 6th Street in Austin on a sunny afternoon.  The atmosphere is laid-back and the soundtrack is Doobie Brothers and Bob Dylan tunes.  My friends from Kentucky and Maryland are lined up to welcome me; George Dickel rye whisky, Knob Creek bourbon and of course, Johnny Walker.  The lunch crowd is made up of tables from the creative shops along King St.W, there sitting around MACs throwing ideas back and forth.

IMG_7894The urban saloon shelves are lined with mason jars and pieces of Americana on the walls.The graffiti chalkboard design above the bar are the descriptions of the 13 American Colonies and Benjamin Franklin’s, Join or Die cartoon.

 All your favourite vintage bourbon or rye whisky cocktails can be had. A few house cocktails a rotating number of what they call, guest book cocktails are featured.

IMG_7898I had a “Sure thing, Dave” which was a cool combination of grapefruit juice, bourbon (I believe). Order one if you go on a really hot day.

The comfort food menu criss-crosses the U.S. with items like Philly Cheesesteak, Maryland Crab Cakes, Chicken and Waffles.

I decide to go light and have the beet salad.  A tasty salad of pickled Heirloom beets, prosciutto, house smoked ricotta, balsamic reduction, crispy parmesan, walnuts with cider dressing.IMG_7906

The staff is smiling, laid-back and happy to help explain the menu.  The service is efficient at both the bar and on the floor, orders are flowing from the open kitchen at the back. Philly Cheesesteaks and Ribwiches come out of the kitchen quickly, so do a lot of their signature, Freedom Fries – fries with coriander catsup, malt vinegar, Manchego cheese and herbs.

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The best place to sit is at the bar which spans half the space. The space between the seats is roomy and the view of the choice of Bourbon, Rye and Whiskies will keep you planning your next drink, and the drink after that.

IMG_7899While the daylight hours get longer, but it’s not that warm yet that the crowds are out in the middle of the day, Home of the Brave is a good place to languish in the afternoon with a bit of Bourbon in a bar that reminds you of someplace else.

Other interesting related links:

http://www.gq.com/life/food/201311/bourbon-whiskey-family-tree

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/30/dining/bourbons-masters-of-the-craft.html?hpw&rref=dining&_r=1

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