Canada's benign reputation's fairly astounding when you consider the cultural destruction their exports have wrought, from Rick Moranis, to hockey, to basically anything that isn't Van Wilder. Now they've finally sent us something good: Firkin & Crown
A franchise of Toronto-based Firkin Pubs, F&C merges the chatty merriment of a British pub (dark hardwood floors, cushy red seats, regal-red carpeting) with the shouting-at-the-television of an American sports bar (15 flatscreens!). The gut-busting menu veers from traditional "favourites" (corned beef & cabbage; bangers & mash), to not-healthy sandwiches (burgers, beer-battered "Fish-wich" on toasted bun), to entrees like Jameson-glazed grilled salmon, to fat hot dogs like the "Knife & Fork Chicago Style": 1/2lb of Hebrew National beef veggie'd up by being "dragged through the garden" (also, how the Knicks get Eddy Curry on the court). The booze arsenal includes 16 drafts, from domestics (Sweetwater 420, Yuengling), to brews from the UK (Boddingtons, Bass), Germany (Warsteiner), and Ireland (Smithwick's, Guinness, Harp); there're also oddly un-pub-like cocktails like the "Partida Margarita", the "Mango Rush" (Abs Mango, lemonade, cran juice), and the "Feckin' Apple" (whiskey, sour apple, cran), plus coffee drinks like the creme de cocoa & Frangelico "Firkin Crispy Crunch" -- clearly named for the cracking sound of your brittle ego when other guys notice you enjoying a "Firkin Crispy Crunch"
Crown rocks late night hours Thursday-Sunday, with an abridged menu after 11pm that includes tenders, wings (hot, BBQ, bourbon chipotle), and Irish Nachos -- refuse to share them, and you'll be inducted into an NHL you can actually get excited about, the Nacho Hoarding League.