Eight and a Half sign

This week I visited Eight 1/2 Restaurant and Lounge to partake in the VanEats SalivEIGHT package deal. For $15, diners can choose from an appetizer and thin crust pizza, with a flight of Stanley Park Belgian style beers.

Stanley Park beer flight

The flight includes two ambers and two bruns (the same of each) from Stanley Park Brewery:
Stanley Park Amber: subtle toasted malt, lightly hopped, exceptionally clean finish
Stanley Park Brun: distinctive dried fruit aromatics, complex chocolate, roasted nut and malt biscuit

Eight and a Half beer taps

Flights are available on the regular menu (four 5 oz. samplers, $8.50; the current selection includes brews from Coal Harbour, Stanley Park, Howe Sound and Driftwood breweries)

Choice of appetizer:
– Baked brie: filo wrapped brie, local honey, sambal oelek, candied apple
– Dungeness crab cakes served with lemony yogurt and arugula
A third option, tortilla soup, served with chicken, black beans, corn, avocado, tortilla crisps, and gluten-free mozza cheese wasn’t offered on the night of my visit for some reason.

Choice of thin crust pizza:
– 8th Avenue: hot calabrese, chorizo, banana peppers, and sautéed mushrooms
– Market Place: roasted vegetables, goat cheese, torn basil, sun-dried tomato base
– Wild Smoked Salmon: BC smoked salmon, creamy dill, capers, red onion, craisins

Pizzas on the menu range from $11.50 to $13.50.

Eight and a Half crab cakes

The Dungeness crab cakes were thick, delightfully light and non-greasy, and contained a lot of crab with very little filler. The avocado-topped crab cakes sat on a flavourful lemon yogurt sauce and were accompanied by a small portion of dressed greens. Normally 12.50, hopefully they’ll make a return to the regular menu.

The pizzas are prepared thin-crust style, and all the ingredient portions are generous. I ordered the Market Place with cherry tomatoes instead of roasted veggies, as my system doesn’t tolerate bell peppers well.

Eight and a Half Marketplace pizza

The restaurant was accommodating in this respect and my modified pizza was simply put, delicious, and combined well with the second of the lightly-hopped amber samplers. I found the brun beer too flat taste-wise, but then again I’m all about hoppy IPA beers, thus finding the amber more food-friendly for my palate.

The service is fast and friendly. The interior is tasteful with modern lighting, a brick wall at the front, and a central bar with flat screen TV. Wall designs play off the eight and a 1/2 name while black and white photos on the wall depict the neighbourhood streets.

Eight and a Half interior Eight and a Half interior

This casual lounge is conveniently situated close to the Main and Broadway corridor. I suspect that with several new businesses including HootSuite’s new digs nearby that this area will get a lot more visits in the coming months. Eight 1/2’s chef Thomas Chauca uses Ocean Wise-sanctioned seafood in his dishes and takes pride in working with local vendors.

Eight and a Half wine taps

I also discovered a comprehensive drink menu with daily specials plus an international selection of wines, bubbly, and port.

Eight and a Half interior

The package is available until May 4 through VanEats.ca; only one pass can be purchased per two persons, and the package doesn’t include tax or tip. When you piece together the price of the two courses plus beer, it’s a really great value. Reservations (highly recommended) can be made online.

Eight 1/2 Restaurant and Lounge is located at 151 East 8th Avenue in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant district and is open for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch.

My meal and beer sampler were compliments of Van Eats and Eight 1/2 for the purpose of writing this review.

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