News and Reviews
FYI to all you Rebulars: We're having a Rebellion Party today at the Rebel House!
$1.75 Rebel Bitter all day, musical entertainment by Mark Kersey, give-a-ways, all in honour of the 175th anniversary of the Rebellion.
Come on down and join us for a pint!*
*Or two, or three!
We're #7! We're #7! That's right, we made Blog.TO's list of Best Gastropubs in Toronto, settling in at a cozy 7th place. Nice! Thanks, guys!
In addition, the good people at Pub Magazine like our summer patio! See their quarterly issue for the deets.
We should note that, if you haven't come in for a pint in the last little bit, we're sure to have something new and exciting for you to try. And if you're peckish, why not grab a bite while you're here? The cheese pennies are to die for; so you'd better get in quick before the End of the World next month!
A message from Eglinton—Lawrence MPP Mike Colle:
On Sat, Sep 15th at 1pm the community will rally to help save Postal Station “K”, the site of Montgomery’s Tavern, where the Rebellion of 1837 was launched.
Come out to sign the petition, pick up an 11”x17” Save Station “K” poster, and hear musical performances.
Where: Postal Station “K”. Corner of Yonge St. & Montgomery Ave.
When: Saturday, September 15th, 2012, 1:00pm.
For info and to RSVP, contact 416-781-2395 or 416-314-6467
If you would like a poster, or you can help put them up in retail stores and/or community facilities, contact Sarah Teichman.
And, again, if you would like to help us in collecting signatures to save the historic Postal Station K, download the petition and start hoofin' it.
The Toronto Crown corporation is looking to sell the post office that sits on the historical land that once held Montgomery's Tavern—where the Rebellion of 1837 began in December of that year.
As Globe and Mail columist Jane Switzer explains:
Although the location was designated a National Historic Site in 1925 (protecting a five-metre radius around the flagstaff and a commemorative plaque on its base), the building has few safeguards under the law. The post office is listed as historic by the City of Toronto, but because federally owned buildings are excluded from the Ontario Heritage Act, it has no protective designation. [full article]
If you live in the Eglinton-Lawrence area and support the effort to save Post Station K, make sure that you contact Local MPP Mike Colle, who is heading a petition to save the site from being sold. (For the record, he's also written a letter to the Provincial Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, the person responsible for policy related to Canada Post.)
Afterward, come in to the Rebel, buy a pint, and lament with us the sorry state of contemporary provincial governance with us!
When it comes to going out at night, I’m really not a West-Queen-West kind of girl. Plonk me on a patio in a cosy neighbourhood pub, and I’m a happy kid.
That’s why I love The Rebel House in Rosedale. It’s a super-comfortable, casual pub with heaps of seating, a large patio, and friendly staff. And they have excellent beer!
Posted on April 16, 2012. Read the full review at EatDrinkToronto
We have a new wine coming this weekend from the folks at Henry of Pelham and Speck Bros: the 2011 White House Wine Vidal Moscato.
Pale yellow with green hues; floral, peach, pear and honey aromas; off-dry; sweet fruit flavours with lime and spice note to finish
Serve with Pad Thai or slightly spicy foods
According to our rep:
It’s perfect with wings, thai food, salads, fish etc. Or you could crush a bottle of this on the patio on a hot summer day (we’ve got lots of those).
We have a new Pinot noir in stock from Trumpour's Mill, for your sipping pleasure. It's a nice VQA from the LCBO.
The folks at Wine Current offer the following taste notes:
Garnet hued, this offers classic aromas of beetroot, red cherry, cranberry and smoky vegetal, herbal notes. Dry, light bodied and taut, the aromas replay on the palate riding a wave of vigorous acidity. Hints of roasted peppers and garden herbs persist on the dry finish. Decant prior to serving with herb-roasted lamb. (Susan Desjardins)
We tried it and liked it—and that's why it's on our shelf now!
If, for some reason, the news has passed you by, 2012 is bicentennial of the War of 1812. And while we don't have a Twitter account (
who has the time?—actually we do!), we've had some fine Rebulars™ inform us of some interesting Thwippers who have been reliving the war:
From @1812now: "Events as they happen two hundred years ago today."
And from the preeminent Steve Paikin:
200 years ago today, US general william hull led the first american attack across the detroit river into canada. #Warof1812— Steve Paikin (@spaikin) July 8, 2012
Be that as it may, the fine folks over at the Mackenzie House also remind us of Rebellion of 1837:
2012 is the 175th anniversary of the 1837 Rebellion.Over the next 6 months, we'll be "rebellion tweeting",to mark the occasion. #Rebellion— Mackenzie House (@MackenzieHouse) July 4, 2012
'Tis the season for (of) rebellion—because 175 years is nothing to sneeze at! So come on in, show us your Tweets, and join us in the celebration.
Today was not one of my better days – the weather was dreary, I heard a man bastardize “Hey Jude” on the bagpipes, I got yelled at on the phone by more than one person and I was going home to an empty house. Because of all this I thought to myself, “Why go home, open an empty fridge and face more defeat?” Instead, I went to The Rebel House for their Ole Mackie’s Back – or their take on Macaroni and Cheese.
This is a great pub. It has three levels but is tight and cozy like a British pub. There is a patio in the back which resembles someone’s deck – homey and comfy. They are all about the micro-brews here – they have about 20 different beers on tap and they are all from microbreweries except one – Guinness. My server suggested the perfect beer for me – Black Oak Pale Ale. He started by asking if I wanted an ale or a lager, heavy or light, light or dark. It was a great beer and he knew his beer. Trust beer suggestions from guys who are in their 30s, with tattoos rather than girls who look 16. Just from my beer experience I know I want to come here again and the best part about it – it is about a 15 minute walk north of my work along Yonge Street.
Ole Mackie’s Back – Macaroni and cheese casserole with plum tomatoes, green onion and Cheddar cream sauce, served with home baked cornbread and house salad and/or kettle fries. I love that this is what this Macaroni and Cheese is called. Anything that conjures up ideas of Frank Sinatra is a great way to start off a dish. This did not use elbow pasta but tubes more similar to, but not actually, penne. Some of the pasta was oven baked crunchy which made me think this serving comes from a larger casserole that is baked earlier in the day and then reheated when ordered. This tomatoes were fresh and sweet and retained their crunch. This had a cheddar cream sauce which makes me liken this more to a casserole rather than a true Mac and Cheese – which is ok but be aware of what you are getting into. I did like this but since I am looking for an equivalent of my mother’s Mac and Cheese, I am not yet satisfied.
Corn bread is not my thing and I had established this when we went for Dishcrawl and we had the cornmeal empanada. I thought, “Hey this is actual corn bread and it has green onion in it and has been toasted on the grill.” Nope – this did not help. Corn bread is not me. Thank God I wasn’t a pioneer…
The kettle chips however, were great. Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside and the perfect amount of friedness that doesn’t make you forget that you are eating real potatoes.
This place is low key, homey, serves great food and lots of beer. Doesn’t get much better than that. I think next time I go I want to try the baked beans (Slow-cooked the traditional way with molasses, maple syrup, apples and beer) or the pickled beets. I am really looking forward to discovering the Rosedale/Summerhill area since it’s about halfway between home and work (ok, a little closer to work) and has a huge array of restaurants, cafes, bars and bakeries. And this was a great first introduction to the neighbourhood that will definitely bring me back.
Posted on May 1, 2012, original: Taste Buddies
REBEL EDITOR'S NOTE: "Mack the Knife" or "The Ballad of Mack the Knife", originally "Die Moritat von Mackie Messer", is a song composed by Kurt Weill with lyrics by Bertolt Brecht for their music drama Die Dreigroschenoper, or, as it is known in English, The Threepenny Opera. It premiered in Berlin in 1928 at the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm. Introduced in that production by Weill’s wife, Lotte Lenya. The song became a popular standard after the 1959 recording by Bobby Darin.
Produced by: Ahmet Ertegun/Nesuhi Ertegun/Jerry Wexler
Arranged by: Richard Wess
Orchestra conducted by: Richard Wess
Recorded: December 19, 1958
Released: August 1959
The #5 song of the 1955-59 Rock Era
Was #1 for 9 weeks in 1959
14th most popular single in Billboards HOT 100 History
Bobby’s first (and only) number one song
Won the Grammy for “Record of the Year” in 1959
"For the chefs of the Brewers Plate, eating local is a delicious duty" by Mike Doherty
Chefs Atikian, Vaz, Robertson and Kennedy extol the virtues, beauty and simplicity of eating — and crafting brews — locally.
“I think I’m going to plant some hop vines on my farm this year, for fun,” announces Jamie Kennedy, as three fellow chefs perk up their ears. Karen Vaz of the Rebel House, John Robertson of The Big Carrot and Av Atikian of Jam Café — locavores all, after Kennedy’s own heart — have joined him around a table at his own Gilead Café, and they’re intrigued.
Kennedy isn’t proposing anything new — as he notes, Prince Edward County had “huge beer production” during the “Barley Days” of the late 19th century. When the U.S. export market dried up, local demand wasn’t sufficient; soon drinkers were buying brews from farther afield.
“Sometimes,” Robertson says, “you have to do the wrong thing to know what the right thing is.” For these chefs, an example of “the right thing” would be the fifth annual Brewers Plate on April 18, which will find them (and eight other chefs) teaming with southern Ontario brewers to pair craft beer and local food.
Kennedy is the event’s patron. In between preparing plates for Gilead’s lunchtime diners, including the chefs (“It feels weird to have another chef cook for you,” notes Robertson, but he’s not complaining about his whitefish éclair sandwich), he offers a historical take on local food and drink.
Pointing to the wall of colourful preserves on shelves behind him, he says, “All of this is part of the southern Ontario story, over 100 years old. I’m just attaching a renewed importance to it — you buy things in quantity when they’re cheap and beautiful, and you preserve them.”
It’s always tempting for restaurants to buy cheaper ingredients from farther afield, especially out of season; the same goes for heavily marketed industrial beer brewed with inexpensive, flavour-reducing adjuncts. Vaz notes that at the Rebel House, where she has cooked for 10 years, big-company representatives are continually “trying to get us to stray from the path that we’re on.” Over a bottle of Mill Street Organic lager, she says straying has never been an issue: Her Kenyan-immigrant parents in Etobicoke raised her to shun anything, in her life and her career, that smacks of processed food.
Few chefs can claim such a pedigree — Atikian spent his first 20-odd years cooking mainly in “big places that don’t give a damn about anything except profit,” before an “epiphany” 10 years ago reconnected him to memories of his parents’ garden in Scarborough. Now he serves local food at the cozy Jam, with a growing craft beer list. Robertson had his own epiphany — or “mushroom moment,” smirks Vaz — a dozen years back after deciding morels he’d cooked on a friend’s farm were “probably the best thing I’ve ever eaten.”
Together, the chefs hope to introduce younger people to the joys of local food — the Brewers Plate’s proceeds go to the charity Green Thumbs Growing Kids, which encourages students to grow and harvest edible gardens in school. Adults attending the event will be encouraged to discover new tastes — with wide eyes, Atikian describes the Nickel Brook beers he’s cooking with as “very intense!”
Kennedy, though softer-spoken, is convincingly evangelical. The Brewers Plate, he says, is a “microcosm” of the city’s local food and beer movements, which are “largely influential for the rest of the country. You look to Toronto for what’s hip, but this is exploring a new model. It’s far-reaching; it’s not just trendy.”
Posted April 14, 2012, original National Post