Well… How do I say this? Not much we can offer this week? As we have tried to warn you all month, these are the “PCA-i-days” around here (or... “Please-Call-Ahead-i-days”... slightly shortened from a previous note) and, well, thisparticular week is the epitome of that… So, that said, we still have space on Friday. But that’s about it. Wednesday and Thursday are fully booked with private parties; Saturday is full for dinner… So, that leaves… Friday? I mean, Friday is going to be awesome, in addition to all the usual delicious Branch edibles we have the musical music of musicallistic savant, holiday songster and internet famous muppet mimic Christo Graham! It is so awesome, in fact, that it will probably fill up too. Uh-oh. (...don’t worry, there is still plenty of space as of today, please do book a spot, don’t let my silliness here dissuade you from at least calling!)
OK, maybe there is at least ONE more option; how about some take-out? Our family dinner for four ($44.99) is still available this week, Wednesday through Saturday, all we ask is that you call before 3pm and be ready to pick it up between 4-6pm. Scroll down to read a full description of this special.
AND, of course, everyone is welcome this Sunday, December 21, for our 8th (or so) annual Christmas Carol Sing-along and Free Turkey Dinner in support of the Salvation Army Food Bank… The event is “pay what you can, pay with a can” (as always) so you can bring your non-perishables or cash or even just your empty belly and your singing-est sing-along voice for the carols… ALL money pitched in for food will go straight to Sally Ann (cash bar is excepted.)
FYI, reservations are also picking up for John Carroll's Holiday Re-Hab show on Dec. 27… Don't forget to reserve your spot for this soon to be legendary event today!! Here is a link to some John Carroll holiday music to set the mood; this song is, by the way, in my opinion, the greatest Christmas song ever written by anyone, anywhere, ever, period: >click here< It's called 'The Night Before The Night Before Christmas' and I'm hoping he will play it on the night after the night after Christmas this year. Sorry. It had to be done.
New Years’ Eve is also sneaking up quicker than you think… Our menu this year is based on pairings with our new favourite local winery, Jabulani Wines (who will be on hand to introduce the wines) and features the music of Branch favourites Sin and Swoon… Here’s the Menu!
New Years’ Eve Menu 2014
Passed appetizers: house pate, Texas Caviar(with black-eyed peas), brisket sliders and more…
Soup: warm lobster coconut curry cocktail
Salad: grilled pear with sheep’s milk brie from Fifth Town Artisan Cheese, almond praline,, greens, cold pressed olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar
Intermezzo: strawberry and melon brochettes with bacon mayo
Entrée, choice of:
Quail stuffed with savoury bread pudding, served with wild mushrooms, truffle essence, smoked cherries, roots and Jabulani buerre rouge
Chocolate Tenderloin ‘Poutine’; cocoa-chile rubbed local AAA tenderloin steak, grilled to your liking, crisp potato gallette, blue cheese quenelle ‘curd’, roots and a rich Jabulani demi-glace
Dessert: A Chocolate Trilogy… flourless ‘$500’ chocolate cake, chocolate butter tart with salt caramel and port-poached fig, mousse with house grape coulis
Your ticket includes the music, the dinner, and a champagne toast at midnight… $85/person
And just to recap those Holiday Hours; regular hours except as noted: Closed on Wednesday and Thursday, December 17 and 18 for Private Parties… We are also Closed The 24th, 25th and 26th for Christmas (open on the 27th and 28th) and Open on the 31st and 1st for New Years’ Eve (above) and New Years’ Day (2-8pm, our annual ‘Hair of the Dog’ Open Stage) Then we will be Closed on January 2nd, 3rd and 4th for a little break before re-opening on the 7th for Regular Hours Forever. Or at least until next year’s holidays, anyway. Also, in case it is not clear, with the exception of the above changes, we will be open and closed for our regular hours and days (Wed-Sat, 5-9:30/Sun 2-8pm, Closed Mondays and Tuesdays)
Along with our signature items (listed here), our in-house menu includes specials that change weekly or even more often depending on seasonal availability...
Soups of the Day are always made from scratch using fresh ingredients, cup, $2.99; bowl, $5.99
Green Salad: greens, shredded fresh veggies, seeds, choice of dressing: creamy ‘Branch’ or apple cider vinaigrette, small, $2.99; regular, $5.99, dinner sized $11.99
Caesar Salad: Romaine lettuce, parmesan cheese, bacon, tomato-garlic Caesar dressing, croutons, $7.99
Chips & Dips: corn chips, with sour cream, housemade salsa & guacamole, $8.99
Taco Salad (dinner size only): choice of smoked beef brisket, house-roasted chicken, or smoked tofu, with greens, cheese, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, beans, and corn chips; dinner sized only, $16.99
Entrees: all entrees come with cornbread and a choice of soup (Caesar salad, add $.99) or salad...
Texas BBQ Plate: all BBQ Plates come with housemade bbq sauce, mashed potatoes, slaw, beans, onions & pickles $22.99; choose one of the following (add a second choice for $3.99):
- Beef Brisket: OUR SPECIALTY! Heaps of tender 100% local hardwood smoked and braised beef from the Wallace Beef Co-op.
- Smoked Tofu & Portobello: with peppers and onions.
- Grilled Chicken Legs: from Lyon's Family Farm
Enchiladas Verdes: A choice of chicken, beef or tofu rolled in corn tortillas and baked with tomatillo-chile salsa verde and cheese, served with rice, beans, salsa sour cream and guacamole $19.99 (chicken, beef) or $17.99 (tofu)
Catfish and Chips: Farmed catfish fillets, cornmeal battered with Cajun spices, served with roasted potato wedges, slaw and remoulade and a pickle $18.99
Steak Special: ask your server...
Brisket Poutine: A heaping portion of roasted potato wedges, house-smoked brisket, cheese curds and gravy $18.99
Branchburger: (does not include choice of soup or salad) 1/3 pound 100% local, naturally raised beef, thick & juicy, on a toasted bun with tomato-garlic mayo, grainy mustard, lettuce, onion, tomato; with roasted potato wedges, more aioli for dipping, and pickles, $13.99 ($10.99, with $.99 toppings Friday and Saturday, 5-7pm only) Add:
• cheese: $2.49
• guacamole: $1.50
• bacon: $1.99
• blue cheese: $2.99
• jalapenos: $.99
• fried egg: $1.99
• sautéed mushrooms or onions: $.99
• gluten-free Kaiser $.99
please note: our famous burgers are fresh ground locally, in a small facility; as such, we are comfortable serving them ‘medium’, a.k.a. ‘a little pink’. If you have another preference, please let us know and we will prepare it to your liking.
*Veggieburger available on request, try our house-made vegan and gluten free black bean patty!
*Paleobranchburger! Our own housemade paleo bun, all beef burger with all the fixin’s (lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, grainy mustard and remoulade) with a carb free Caesar salad on the side $14.99
Sticky Toffee Cake: with caramel sauce and real whipped cream, $5.99
Nicole's Magic Mousse: super rich chocolate mousse cake with a cookie crust... how the heck is this thing vegan?! Magic, of course... Nicole Magic. 6.99
Apple Crisp: local apples, caramel sauce, real whipped cream $5.99
What’s the scoop? Add a single scoop of ice cream to any of the above (or enjoy it on its own), $1.49
*all our housemade desserts are 100% gluten free!
BBQ Bonanza!! Come check out our Wednesday and Thursday special! The meal includes a choice of our famous house-smoked beef brisket or a roast 1/2 chicken from Lyon’s Family Farm in Spencerville, mashed potatoes, BBQ sauce and slaw… it is available every Wednesday and Thursday, from 5pm to 8pm, it is hot and ready when you are, and either plate is only $15.99. That's right, just freakin' $15.99! (Dine in or take home…)
Friday and Saturday:
Burger Bonanza!! Join us this and every Friday and Saturday between 5 and 7pm for a Burg-o-rama! We chargrill a big pile of burgers over real hardwood on the Big Black Smoker, serve them (with all the usual fixings, including lettuce, tomatoes, onions, roasted potato wedges and housemade pickles, mustard and tomato-garlic aioli...) It's all for just $10.99, with any of our add-ons (cheese, bacon, blue cheese, onions, mushrooms, even a fried egg!) for just 99 cents each! Dine in or take it home, but remember, the special price is only on Fridays and Saturdays between 5 and 7pm… (as always, gluten free, paleo and vegetarian versions are also available…).
Family Takeout Dinner, $44.99: Designed to feed a family of four, our takeout dinner now comes with a roasted 1/2 chicken (from Lyon's Family Farm), 3/4 pound of our famous 100% hardwood smoked beef brisket, a side of seasonal veggies, a tub each of black beans, mashed potatoes and coleslaw, our own zippy BBQ sauce and cornbread… The full dinner is hot and ready for pickup between 4 and 6pm, Wednesday through Saturday, if you call before 3pm. Add some Mac n’ Cheese for the kiddos for just $4.99.
Friday 19 ~ Christo Graham, casio-coustic/folk/soul/muppet, 9pm, $8. Seems like all our favourite folks come home for the holidays and grace our stageless stage… next Friday, Christo Graham is back! Christo, for the uninitiated, didthis, this and this in the last year or so. The first of those three things, a fully realized ‘Muppet Christ Superstar’ landed him in a viral firestorm with mentions everywhere from Slate to the New York Magazine… He has completed at least 7 or 8 albums at the ripe young age of 21 and, at this rate, by my reckoning, will probably have 2 or 3 more available by next Friday, so come down and see what all the fuss is about for yourself!
Saturday 20 ~ no music, the evening is sold out for dinner, may still be some bar availability, please call ahead, 613-258-3737.
Sunday 14 ~ Christmas Carol Sing-along and Turkey Dinner buffet in support of The Salvation Army Food Bank, 2-8pm; 'pay what you can, pay with a can.' Everyone is welcome!
Saturday, December 27, John Carroll, roots-blues, 9pm, $10. I am always challenged when writing about John Carroll, our musical guest appearing on the Saturday after Christmas… He is a complicated man… I try to sell him as one the best musicians in the area, which he is, and I try to sell him as one of the best entertainers in the area, which he also is (and yes, they are different things… trust me…) I also always want to acknowledge that I consider him a friend and that his input and advice has been a big part of what makes music at the Branch great… Which is also all true… But here’s the thing… I usually start to write all that out and then I picture John giving me shit about it my sentimental tone and then I write something silly that futilely attempts to capture the essence of his character… Like the time I offered free guacamole to anyone who came to see him, or the numerous times I strung together 10-20 oddball adjectives to attempt to divulge while not quite divulging that he was the Frank of The Frank and Birdie Show… The point is, I don’t know how to capture this guy with words, he is too elusive, too fleeting, too unique… I mean, he wrote one of the sweetest most sentimental songs I know: Silver Lining, seriously! Go listen! …and he also wrote this, what is likely the most hilarious fully realized Christmas songs of all time: The Night Before The Night Before Christmas. So, with all that being said, I think, maybe, at the end of the day, it turns out that my best bet is to let him speak for himself… No one does John Carroll like John Carroll. We will see you on December 27!
Sunday, December 28, Bruce Enloe and The Burning Sensations and Open Mic, 3-6pm, Rubber Boots Buffet 2-8pm. The full band will be out for Chef Bruce's last Open Mic hosting day, come on feel the noize!
New Years’ Eve:
Sin and Swoon: Local (Osgoode) kid Mike O'Brien is one of the most accomplished musicians in Canada... In addition to recording my favourite roots/indie/jazz/canadiana/scary-monster-song-including albums by anyone anywhere (Cockfight, 2006), he has spent the last decade in Montreal getting better and better at fingerstyle guitar and becoming one of the most sought after sidemen in that notoriously competitive world class music scene... Enter Antigonish, Nova Scotia’s Michelle Tompkins, a vocal ace who keeps up with Mike on the curves and races ahead in the straightaway, (seriously, I've heard her bending notes that you didn't think could bend... ) Together Mike and Michelle are 'Sin and Swoon' a guitar and harmony duo performing both classic covers and some darn near perfect original tunes. Here's the official: "They love George and Tammy, old time country music, and the harmony singing of the Louvin Brothers and the Delmore Brothers. Recently featured on “The Vinyl Café with Stuart Maclean” on CBC radio and NPR; these two just keep getting better!"
The Menu for this "once in a lifetime annual event" is posted above, and, as noted, is also designed to be paired with the wines of our favourite new local winery Jabulani Wines… it also includes a Champagne toast at midnight... I don't want to oversell it, but between you and me, this is the best food of the year; in addition to pulling out all the stops in the days and weeks before the event, we actually come up with little ideas all year long and set aside treats we know will make it even more special... I guess that what I'm trying to say is that we have so much fun with this one that you can actually taste it!
Tickets are $85 ($65, food/Champagne; $20, music). This event has a single seating; 7pm cocktail hour, with a five-course dinner to follow and the tickets are already starting to sell-- FYI; this event always sells out, so please, don't wait! Reserve your seats today!
That’s all for now, thanks for reading!
Bruce & Nicole
ONE LAST THING: like great food and music? The Branch is always looking for the best of the best folks to come and join our team... consider dropping off your resume today!