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3.5
  • Food3.5
  • Service3
  • Value3
  • Ambiance4
  • Reviews14

Pourhouse Restaurant

162 Water Street
Vancouver, BC V6B1B2
Tel: (604) 568-7022 Reserve Online
Fax: (604) 568-7012
Neighbourhood: Central

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 14 of 14 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
Refined Bar/Pub
By cocoeater of vancouver (323 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, June 10, 2010 - 8:52am [Dine in]

Went on a weeknight and it was about 40-50% full. The place is a throwback to the 1920's or 30's with a nice bar and seating area. The seating area is a bit dark so it's not a tempting place during the summer months if you want to enjoy the sun. Ordered the scallops - very good but only 3, Squid - good, ceasar salad - very good. The menu options are pretty good but I would prefer a bit more on the appys. The Mains seem pretty heavy for summer as they seem to have a lot of meats. Tried a smoked meat sandwich which was very good, but the fries were hand cut and were a bit too thick, thus not crispy. Service was good. Overall OK for value but would return to try some of the cocktails, a tad on the expensive side at $10-$12 each.

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Art Deco drinks and comfort food
By Barcelonaguy of Yaletown (48 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, October 10, 2009 - 12:30pm [Dine in]

A beautiful room compared to all else in Gastown. Small cocktail list but tasty and well made. Food is great value and comforting in nature. Try the carpet bag steak with the amazing selection of sides (creamed spinach is wonderful). Ceasar salad is good but dressing a little light in flavour. Camper's trout my favourite seafood item. Small wines by the glass selection with a combination of local and international. Service was excellent. My partner enjoyed the selection of draft beer other than the mediocre Stanley Park Ale.

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A great Friday night spot!
By serious.foodie of Vancouver downtown (6 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, March 19, 2010 - 1:19pm [Dine in]

I decided to try out the Pourhouse when looking for a place to have some after work drinks and an appy after work last friday.

I was hesitant to go in at first as the outside didn't seem very appealing but I was so suprized when I walked in. The ambiance was lovely - almost like stepping back into another era.

We got sat straight away (this may be because we got there a little after 5) and were immediatly greeting by our server. The cocktail list wasn't much but we were informed that the bar could make anything. I ordered my fruity cocktail, a beer and two appys. The Pate & Squid. A few minutes after our drinks came out the bartender came to check that the cocktail was what I was after which I thought was a nice touch.

The food was excellent. So much so infact that we ordered a cheese plate after which was also excellent. All the ingredients were fresh and you could watch how much love the chefs put into each dish through the open kitchen.

After we had been sat with our drinks the restaurant got a little busy and the service level dropped dramatically. Nothing that could not have been fixed with an extra server however.

Once our bill was delivered there was a little bit of shock. $12 for each customer cocktail ! high by Vancouver standards. The food was priced slighty high also however the quality was that good it was worth it.

Overall a great experience. This place will be outstanding when they work out the little service glitches. I will definatly be back

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Fantastic place for a GOOD drink!
By livinforthefood of Vancouver (7 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, January 24, 2010 - 2:33pm [Dine in]

Have been reading about it and went to try it out last Saturday - was very pleasantly surprised. I can only speak of the drinks, as that is what we went for, but if you appreciate a good mixed drink, this is your place. Once the bartender filled us in on the concept of Pourhouse, explaining the very small drink list and wine list,- they want to make "your" drink, I skeptically ordered a bourbon sour. I generally only drink these at home, as most establishments don't put the attention into it that's required. A few honourable mentions are Pear Tree, and Parkside (when it was around). After watching the bartender make it in front of me - gotta say, very impressed! Entire drink made from scratch, including, cracking a fresh egg white to make the sour mix. Fantastic - worth $12 bucks any day of the week when it's done right. Love the fact that even though there were 3 bartenders waiting on us, only the one that had made my first sour, could continue and make my next 2 - to keep the consistency! I realize I get more excited about the small details than most people would even notice - but this one is a keeper!

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A work in progress worth checking out
By zach_food of Vancouver (33 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - 4:30pm [Dine in]

I really wanted to like this place, as the city needs more restaurant with strong bars and unpretentious food. The Pourhouse has all the earmarks of a place that will be able to deliver this, however, there were a few to many bumps in the road during my first visit for it to immediately earn a place on my short list of favourites (unlike the Diamond, which has made that list!). I will certainly give it another run, just in a month or so at least. Service was good but at times awkward (trying to describe their cocktail program) and forgetful (didn't bring a beer for my main course). The menu read like a dream but delivery was hit and miss. The pate was perfectly cooked, if not a bit light on flavour, and was served with toasty warm house made brioche that apparently was at some point wrapped in bacon. The scallops also impressed but at $14 each, those dishes were on the high side of the price spectrum for starters. The value, however, is redeemed by a strong 'main' course selection but again, it was slightly undercut by lack of performance. The campfire trout had all the makings of a new favourite, but our particular order came out with part of the fish slightly under done. The potatoes were top shelf and the corn and onions found in the foil bag with the fish were a unique twist. The pork and beans earned high marks in terms of concept (they serve both a thick bacon and sausage) however, it was more of an appetizer than a main. The cocktail list is very small- the two sampled were very smartly constructed - but they have the talent to make you anything you want and the beer selection is varied and quite solid. I think this place will win a place in many a hearts, it just needs a bit of polish.

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A Really Great Joint - and Great Food
By CoolDiner of North Vancouver, BC (25 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, October 23, 2011 - 10:37pm [Dine in]

Been here twice - and plan to return (though it is a wee bit expensive - but it's worth it). Food is great, service is great, and it's a cool place to hang-out. Great concept and ambiance. Highly recommended. This great restuarant is a much needed addition to Gastown - and acutally, quite fitting.

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Decent food for a one time experience
By masmillan of Cambie (11 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, September 25, 2010 - 10:45pm [Dine in]

My friends took me here for a birthday dinner. The place was nearly full and had a loud party atmosphere. Decor is great in that it has a lot of heritage style fixtures and offered a feel of a retro British pub. Initially I felt intimidated because of the Yaletown type clienteles but that soon abated as we were greeted with a very warm and friendly staff. We sat in a nook table and I love the caverness feel but it wasn't claustrophobic.

I started off with raw oysters which came with freshly shaved horseradish, vinegrette and lemon wedges. I could have ate at least a couple dozen more but felt inclined not to overstep my friends' generosity. My friend had the caesar salad. I liked it because it had the right amount of dressing with a touch of bacon which added a nice variety of texture. I had the chicken pie which came with a warm green salad tossed with a delicious vingerette dressing. The chicken pie had a cream base which was not overly heavy and I like the simplicity of a square puff pastry shell with the top crust loosely offset so you can see the filling as it is presented.

My two friends had the sandwiches which had a good portion of corned beef and a cream based clam chowder. My other friend had the roast pork with apple which was tender, juicy and very flavourful.

The most surprising thing is the Organic Stout from Crannog Ale. I dislike alcohol of any kind but this beer had a beautiful coffee and chocolate perfume and the first sip was effervescent with a light smooth finish. This is only available in draught (drat!) and I'm not surprised it won so many awards. I'd give this beer a near zero gag factor.

I always check the dessert menu as that is my deciding factor for a perfect score. (Perfect would be any of the now gone Parkside, Pied a Terre, La Buca series.) Alas, not enough variety and their signature dessert is chocolate which is low on my favorite list. Come on chefs, how about dessert that has a custard (creme caramel/brulee) or pastry base (neapolitan) or a non-chocolate cake base (a house cupcake filled with passion fruit creme, perhaps?)

This is a high end pub style restaurant. Although I'm giving it a "mediocre" rating for value I would go back again to try the more affordable lunch menu and return for dinners on special occassions.

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Good food and drink place
By 604goodeats of Vancouver (2 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 1:24pm [Dine in]

I really like this place. It's got a great vibe, without the pretentious feel of many other downtown restaurants. My friend I went with to this place is a vegetarian and they catered to her very well. The music is good and servers are really, really knowledgeable and also very friendly. They helped recommend drinks and food items and food we had was great! To start I had the mushroom tart - which was really yum. For my main I had the spaghetti and meatballs (my vegetarian friend had it without the meatballs) and it was really tasty. Good size portions! The drinks menu is pretty cool - and offers a lot of variety. If you are looking for a place with good atmosphere, good drinks and good food - you should try this place!

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Refined Pub Feeling
By rimrod of New West (2 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, June 8, 2010 - 5:09pm [Dine in]

Here's the deal: skip the meal and get the following:

1) the warm chocolate cake
2) a 20th Century wine

these are great, but all in all, when i ordered the sloppy joe, it wasn't even sloppy. My girl ordered one thing and got something different.

Nice place to look around through, sans the flat screen TV.

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Great place on Water St.
By moot of East Van, baby (5 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - 6:16pm [Dine in]

Had a lovely lunch at the Pourhouse. Service was fantastic, but I was sad to see it near empty at about 2pm on a Wednesday. The sandwiches we had were super tasty (tried the brisket and the crispy cheese); perfect with a nice side of greens. Had a cocktail too, and it was stellar! Try the Centennial - some type of rye with lemon and apricot served ice cold. Refreshing. The ambiance was well attended to, you can tell a lot about an establishment if their new paint job is a mess, but Pourhouse paid attention to all the details. I'd definitely go again, and I'm recommending it to friends. I didn't find it pricy at all, because the quality of the food, drinks and service were top notch. Great job!

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Mixed feelings about this place
By rockstarrr of Vancouver (20 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, December 21, 2009 - 12:10pm [Dine in]

I eat out a lot and I love trying new restaurants. This joint threw me off a bit. It's right by the steam clock in gastown. The restaurant has no signage outside, except for "Pourhouse" embossed on the front door. When I walked in, there was live music, which was nice. The red velvet wallpaper was really nice; however, I couldn't figure out the theme of the restaurant. My friends were joking that it was Victorian-vampire themed, like a scene from True Blood. The restaurant wasn't busy at all. There were a few people at the bar a 4-5 small tables. The service was unbelievably SLOW! The water came really quick at the beginning, but that was IT. We asked for the appetizers and entrees to come out at the same time. We waited...and waited... and waited... There was no bread to start, so we waited a very very long time for the food. The boys at the table devoured their entree in 10 minutes! The grilled cheese sandwich is better at Burgoo. The foiled trout wasn't too bad. I expected a small whole trout, like what we get at Boathouse, but it came as a filet of trout instead (much like the filets you get at Costco). The carpetbag steak wasn't a real carpetbag steak. Carpetbag steaks are stuffed with oysters. This one had a really small oyster on the side and the steak looked like a 4 oz. steak. It was quite small. The martinis/cocktails range from $10-$12 and the selection is really limited. For that price, I would recommend the specialty ones from Chambar. The draft beer was a bit flat. The dessert menu was unsatisfying. The apple crumbler for two was $12! The chocolate cake sounded good but $10 was a bit expensive. I don't think I will be coming back to this place. Slow service, mediocre food, lack of a good drink/dessert menu.

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Unfortunate experience
By katt of kits vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Sunday, October 25, 2009 - 8:25pm [Dine in]

The starters were quite enjoyable, the scallops were delicious and a mashed potato served with a quails egg aswell very tasty. If that was our only experience that night we'd all have been winners. Unfortunately that was the peak of our night. The main course clam linguinie came with what I imagine could have been a interesting and delicious square of bread if it wasn't burnt on three of its sides. On the bright side the burnt flavor did have flavor unlike the linguinie. With such a beautifully designed restaraunt we were so disapointed to be seated "crammed" into a corner booth shared with 3 single dudes talking about single dude subjects. Completely unenjoyable, Pour judgement. Upon asking our waitress (who had to ask one of the guys beside us to move evertime she talked to us) if our white wine had gone bad, she simply replied "I only drink red". I would give the PourHouse 1-3 months to get thier s#!+ together and if you have to check it out just head to the bar for some amazing cocktails and tasty appies.

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Underwhelmed
By AllisonWunderland of Cambie, Vancouver (2 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, October 20, 2009 - 1:01am [Dine in]

A friend invited me down for lunch to check out this new Gastown locale and when we walked in we were very impressed with the gorgeous atmopshere and tasteful room they've created.
Service was good, but with such a beautiful room (complete with crisp white table linens and napkins), the servers' attire seemed in stark opposition to the room: sloppy and overly casual. I know it's only lunch, but yoga-ware (or what looks like yoga-ware) is not something most people want to see when dining out. And I don't care how beautiful a server's hair is, I really did not appreciate seeing a wall of hair grazing the food as the server leant over to put it down.
The pate we ordered as our shared starter had amazing flavours but the menu implied the accompanying brioche had been wrapped in bacon (it clearly hadn't) and at a hefty $14, perhaps sending out two slices of brioche toast would have been more generous than one; we ran out of brioche well before we ran out of pate. What a waste! We'd have happily paid for extra had it been offered.
Sandwiches were good but pretty standard fare. My friend called his Sloppy Joe, 'unremarkable'. And my Tuna Salad was disappointing with, again, another menu oddity: the menu listed its ingredients, '...sweet peppers, grapes', and from that, we assumed there would be grapes in the sandwich (the sole reason I ordered it). Instead, a grape-less sandwich appeared with a small cluster of grapes at its side. We both agreed the side of house-roasted tomato soup was the best part of our meals.
The cocktail list was exceptionally small and, sadly, nothing appealed. We were told as we were leaving that 'anything can be made for the customers'. This would have been nice to hear when we arrived. Or when we were greeted by our server. Or when we ordered. Instead, we opted for beer and tried the Brooklyn lager which was tasty but not particularly cold. When the bill came, we felt like we'd been robbed: $8 for a 16 oz pour. Ouch.
I'm not sure whether or not I'd give dinner a try here (it is early days after all), but it's likely I won't. Despite the hype surrounding this place, this experience was mediocre at best.

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Nouveau Hipster Joint
By trestar of Vancouver (12 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, April 1, 2010 - 2:27pm [Dine in]

Went here for a birthday with high expectations because of some colleague reviews but was ultimately disappointed.

The service is accommodating and knowledgeable but not very timely. After about a 20 minute wait for 2 raspberry-mint mojitos and a gin cocktail, when it finally arrived we were told "We hand-crush the ice." Well then.

Seriously? I wondered? I have no idea how hand-crushed ice makes a drink that much more special, other than being time consuming to make.

I get what they are trying to do with the locally sourced meat/fish/produce. I understand this isn't Earl's or any other similar chain, I just didn't see the value in what they were offering... the special touches (Berkshire pork, espresso-braised shortrib, the aforementioned hand-crushed ice) are lost on the regular folk who are then served fries in cups with mini ramekins of ketchup and mayo - and the mayo isn't even a garlic aoili or anything remotely interesting. Upon entrance, the unsuspecting might find themselves a little lost in this nouveau hipster joint.

That said, the atmosphere is great. Lovely exposed beams and bricks. Music is not too loud. And again, the service is very good considering.

My recommendation is that this is a pretty good place for drinks, if you don't mind waiting longer than average for a mixed drink. Beer and wine should be no problem though. But beware your wallet: my single-shot rum mojito with the hand-crushed ice cost me $14+++ so was not too impressed with the bill either.

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