The Black Bear
Since I first starting mountain biking on the North Shore, this pub has come up in conversation as one of the two best places to go after riding the North Shore mountains (the other one is the Raven in Deep Cove.) Situated in the same plaza as Lynn Valley Mall, we finally dropped in last night to check it out (sadly, not after riding the North Shore mountains, but that will come soon enough.)
The place was packed, which is unsurprising for a Friday night. We wove our way through and found a table for the three of us. Filled with that comfortable sound of a pub crowd talking over each other, we made ourselves comfortable and perused the menu.
First, of course, was the ordering of drinks. I was pleased to find that they had Strongbow on tap, and ordered that. My companions both wanted something a little more interesting, and both ordered a Snakebite – a drink given a different name in every pub that has it, we’re discovering. It’s just a pint glass with Strongbow on the bottom and Guiness layered on top of it. We’ve found it called a Crown Topper, a Black Velvet, and various other things.
The menu is a photocopied sheet of foolscap paper tri-folded, and about as varied as anyone could ever possibly want. I found it very difficult to choose what to order, finally asking the waitress to give me her thoughts on the three things I had narrowed it down to. Deciding on somewhat lighter fare, I opted out of my pasta choise and went with the Sashimi-grade medium-rare cooked Tuna Steak Burger. It was absolutely fantastic, and I wish I had taken a picture. (Note to self, no matter how hungry I am, take a picture before eating.)
As a side I had the soup of the day, which was a very tasty Thai Chicken Curry soup. It was also fantastic. The staff, although extremely busy, was still very attentive and efficient, and extremely knowledgeable about the food they were serving.
Both of my companions meals looked as good as mine tasted, which lead to the conclusion that we absolutely must go back for a second, third, fourth, and seventeenth visit. It’s probably the first outstanding pub we’ve visited since coming to the west coast. If people weren’t so terrified of coming all the way to the North Shore I’d recommend it to anyone in a second.