The Ultimate Chili Cheese Dog is back this Friday, some of you may remember it's debut on the fourth of July way back in 2013. Recently, we whipped up a big batch of pork and grassfed beef sausages for the beer dinner that have given us the perfect excuse for bringing it back for a return visit. Like we needed one. Come wash it down with a cold craft beer and a big ol’ serving of awesome live music at the Branch this weekend with Tom Savage on Friday or Ross Neilson on Saturday. Here’s a terrible picture that does no justice to the awesomeness that is the Ultimate Chili Cheese Dog:
Oh. My Goodness.
One of the advantages of reading the Branch Newsletter (or reading the website!) is being ahead of the curve and getting the first word on our really freaking amazing music. We just want to make sure you folks are taking full advantage of your unique position... All of our music at the Branch is great, but some shows have us particularly excited. For instance, Thursday March 19 we are hosting international song-writing sensation and multiple award winner Jonathan Byrd, "one of the top 50 songwriters of the last 50 years" (Chicago Tribune) This show is what we like to call 'highly recommended'... that means you better make plans to come and see him or... else... you may not get tickets? Dave Gunning (March 20) is an East Coast star who is sure to please (check out all those East Coast and Nova Scotia Music Awards!) and there are lots more... (Jon Brooks? Ariana Gillis? Craig Cardiff?) If you want to keep up with which shows we feel are the most likely to sell out and to get the jump, just look for the asterisks (***) on the calendar next to these types of shows. Also, you can read more about at least some of these acts in the 'Coming Up' section below. Ok, so there you have it... welcome to the 'in crowd'!
Hey! Did you know that Beau's Lug Tread is always featured on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays? $6 pints. Yep.
Please note, our in-house menu may change without notice depending on market pricing and seasonal availability...
STARTERS & SALADS:
Chips & Dips: house tortilla chips, fresh guacamole, salsa, and sour cream.
Perfect for sharing! 8.99
Branch Caesar: bacon, parmesan, house garlic–tomato dressing, crisp romaine, croutons 7.99
Add chicken 2.99 Add beef brisket 3.60
Soups of the Day: made from scratch using fresh ingredients; cup, 2.99; bowl, 5.99
Green Salad: greens, shredded carrots, tomato, onion, seeds
choice of house dressings: creamy yoghurt-dill ‘Branch’ or Apple Cider Vinaigrette
small 2.99; regular 5.99; dinner sized 11.99
Awesome Balls: fritters of cornmeal batter, brisket bits, jalapeños and cheddar cheese, fried crisp and served with sour cream 9.99
Taco Salad: choice of smoked beef brisket, house-roasted chicken, or smoked tofu, with greens, cheese, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, beans, and corn chips 16.99
ENTREES: include house cornbread as well as a small soup or small salad to start OR substitute a small Caesar salad to start 99¢
Steak & Potatoes: ask your server about today’s fresh cut…
Texas BBQ Plate: our signature house-smoked beef brisket served with Branch bbq sauce, mashed potatoes (substitute roasted potatoes for 1.50), slaw, beans, onions, & pickles 23.99
Chicken BBQ Plate: two chicken legs, served with Branch bbq sauce, mashed potatoes (substitute roasted potatoes for 1.50), slaw, beans, onions, & pickles 19.99
Very Veggie BBQ Plate: house-smoked tofu, sautéed onions, peppers, & Portobello mushrooms, served with Branch bbq sauce, mashed potatoes (substitute roasted potatoes for 1.50), slaw, beans, onions, & pickles 17.99
Ultimate Chili Cheese Dog: a giant house-smoked beef sausage, hot smoked beef chili, cheese, onions and crushed tortilla chips on a hoagie bun, served with slaw, pickle and beans 16.99
Catfish and Chips: cornmeal-battered catfish fillets, with slaw, roasted potato wedges, rémoulade, & pickles 20.49
Brisket Poutine: our signature smoked beef brisket, local cheese curds and house-made gravy over roasted potato wedges 19.49
Enchiladas Verde: choice of roast chicken or 'wild' tofu, mushrooms, onions and peppers baked in corn tortillas with chile-tomatillo salsa verde, served with beans, rice, salsa, sour cream and guacamole 23.99
100% local, naturally raised beef, thick & juicy, on a toasted Kaiser with rémoulade, grainy mustard, lettuce, onion, tomato; with roasted potato wedges, rémoulade for dipping, and a pickle 13.99
how about some:
sautéed onions: .99
sautéed Portobello mushrooms: .99
blue cheese: 2.99
fried egg: 1.99
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.
Paleobranchburger as above, but served on a housemade paleo Kaiser with Caesar salad (with no croutons) 13.99
Housemade Veggie Burger: black bean and brown rice patty, served as above, but served with bbq sauce (vegan) 13.99
substitute housemade gluten-free Kaiser 1.
substitute poutine 3.50
Gluten-Free or Vegan? Treat yourself! Ask your server…
Nicole’s Magic Mousse (GF, V): rich chocolate mousse cake, cookie crust, fruit coulis 4.99
Warm Apple Crisp (GF): served with caramel sauce & whipped cream 4.99
Sticky Toffee Cake (GF): served warm with caramel sauce & whipped cream 4.99
What’s The Scoop? house-made vanilla bean ice cream a la mode add 1.50
5.99 includes a small drink and ice cream
Macaroni and Cheese with garlic toast
Open Faced Grilled Cheese with ketchup, carrots & a pickle
7.99 includes a small drink and ice cream
Chicken Melt: toasted bun, roasted chicken, mayo, melted cheese, & carrot sticks
Chicken Leg: roasted chicken drumstick & thigh, carrot sticks & branch dip
KidBurger: toasted bun, ketchup, mustard, lettuce, tomato, carrot sticks & a pickle
Wednesday, Thursday (5-8pm) and now SUNDAY, 2-8pm!:
BBQ Bonanza!! Come check out our Wednesday, Thursday and SUNDAY 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, and now on SUNDAYS FROM 2-8PM, 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 SUNDAY, if you call before 3pm. Add some Mac n’ Cheese for the kiddos for just $4.99.
Weeknight Music is back this winter-- Chef Bruce and friends (hey, that's me!) will be playing every Wednesday for a while, 8pm start... Here's some samples from the new (upcoming) album: link. We will also be sprinkling in some George Harrison numbers this week in honour of his Birthday! On most Thursdays; come in to hear the dulcet tones of our dear friend, the mysterious Frank Western (NOT THIS WEEK) and his amazing collection of resonator, slide and lap steel guitars. Wednesdays and Thursdays (unless otherwise indicated) are tip jar shows.
Friday 6 ~ Tom Savage, 9pm, $10. Tom Savage is taking his show on the road, and this time it is he alone, acoustic guitar in hand, bare-bones and stripped down. His accompaniment : the space around him and the silence he allows with each rest in the music. The focus is on the lyrics but don't fret, Tom always has some guitar wizardry tucked up his sleeve.
It has been eight years since Tom Savage last put out a solo studio recording. An artist who follows where the muse takes him, Savage spent much of the last decade rolling down Canadian highways with his rock and roll trio, playing it loud and proud, and producing a Country-Rock cult classic in the process with Tom Savage Trio's 2008 release, The County Line.
History Of A Common Man continues Savage's exploration of Folk, Country, and Americana genres. From the teenaged lament of Skinny Kid to the under-medicated psychotic ramblings of Take The Wheel And I'll Steer, over to the road-weary musician in Rougher On Me and the tear-drenched Country of All Over You, History Of A Common Man finds its stories in people who live on the margins. Outsiders looking for their place in the world.
Saturday 7 ~ Ross Neilson, 9pm, $10. Canada’s Ross Neilsen, does it right. He’s taking strong, timeless material to the place that matters: The People. Seven Years, over 1200 shows and more than half a million kilometers traveled. In a time of corporate cookie-cutter music, this is the return to real. Neilsen's solo show has been honoured as a semi-finalist in the solo/duo category at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN in 2012 and with a at MusicNB award in 2013 for best blues recording for THE SHACK UP SESSIONS. Shack Up was recorded in Clarksdale, Mississippi just a mile from the legendary crossroads. The album is full of delta style blues, tall tales and the odd ghost. Ross Neilsen is a real, old-school kind of artist. Write. Tour. Record. Tour. Repeat.
Sunday 8 ~ Open Mic hosted by Peter Johnson, 3-6pm, open 2-8pm. For those of you new to the Branch, Sundays are our 'Rubber Boots', or, our 'casual' day... On the food front, things have changed a little this year, instead the full buffet we are offering a smaller version with a selection of soups and salads, all you can eat, for just $9.99. We are also now offering our popular BBQ Bonanza Special all afternoon and evening--here's how that works: for just $15.99, you can choose between 1/2 lb. of our signature house-smoked BBQ beef brisket or 2 chicken legs or a 1/2 lb. house-smoked pork spare ribs or any combination of the above, it comes with coleslaw, mashed potatoes and BBQ sauce and, if you try the BBQ, the soup and salad buffet is only $4.99! We are also offering a pared down version of our regular menu as well as a kid's menu & a selection of our house-made desserts! In the same way that the open mic welcomes all types of musicians, the atmosphere is casual and fun and welcomes all types of everyone, whether you come to listen or to perform; it's a great day to meet new folks, come in for a $6 Beau's on draft (or two!) a pot of tea, some munchies and BBQ, make some friends, enjoy your downtown on a Sunday afternoon. We'd love to see you this Sunday! Did I mention the ribs? This Week's Open Mic is hosted by Peter Johnson, who has this to say:
"This Week in Rock Music: March 2nd to 8th
1958: Buddy Holly & The Crickets begin their first and only UK tour.
1963: A "Limbo Party" at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, hosted by Chubby Checker, features Marvin Gaye, The Four Seasons, The Crystals, Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, Lou Christie.
1964: The Beatles begin filming "A Hard Day's Night". George Harrison meets teenage actress Pattie Boyd. They would marry 2 years later.
1966: Beatles fans stage a sit-in at Liverpool's Cavern Club when it closes due to bankruptcy.
1967: When Eric Burdon & the "New" Animals cancel their Ottawa, gig due to a pay dispute, fans at the Ottawa Auditorium riot.
1974: Queen begin their first tour as headliners with a show at Blackpool's Winter Gardens.
This week I will be hosting The Sunday Open Stage at The Branch. Bring your love of live music, your thirst, your appetite and your listening ears. We don't promise a limbo party but you will be welcome to tap your feet...stomp even, clap your hands...vigorously if you wish, and sing along. See you then."
Thursday, March 19 ~ Jonathan Byrd, 9pm, $20. “On Friday the 13th, November 1970, I was born at the Cape Fear Valley Hospital in Fayetteville, North Carolina, probably the biggest military town in the country. Fort Bragg alone covers 250 square miles, and the used car dealerships and titty bars are like stars in the sky, grains of sand on the beach. The ground is sandy and the woods are open and piney, with tall loblollies, jack oaks, and the longleaf pine.”
If there ever was a songwriter that personified the term ‘True Grit’, Jonathan Byrd is that very man.
With one of the most storied, dark and interesting pasts of any living performer, Byrd is a wordsmith – and a true, sawdust-on-the-floor Southern man. He pulls no punches in his lyrics, as his words paint pictures of a stark, American landscape, and his juggernaut, plucky melodies are unstoppable. Only in his forties, Byrd sounds like a performer from another time, and perhaps the golden age of roots-country music - but he is also no stranger to adapting his style and shouldering new musical challenges.
In 2014, he released a collection of songs called You Can’t Outrun The Radio. The recordings were inspired by an impromptu song circle that happened out of thin air, at the Green Room in Montreal in 2009. In 2013, Byrd released Barn Birds with Northwesterner songstress Chris Kokesh. The album was a concept record about an ongoing, passionate and difficult conversation between two lovers.
With nine full albums since 2001, Byrd has been a busy man, and he doesn’t seem to be slowing his musical movements any time soon. Smart, witty and packed with harmonious tales, Byrd’s performances never cease to satisfy the listener, and this well-traveled, rugged rail-rider of the Southland will be stopping by the Branch on Thursday Marcy 19 at 9 PM. Tickets are $20 - and trust me when I say that this may be the best twenty bucks you’ll spend all year.
As always, space is limited, so be sure to call 613-258-3737 today to reserve your spot when JByrd flies into town.
(written by Matty McKechnie)
Friday, March 20 ~ Dave Gunning, 9pm, $22.50. An engaging entertainer and award-winning songwriter, Dave has the magnetic ability to captivate audiences with his own brand of humorous storytelling and is rapidly building a solid audience fan base across Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.
Dave has won many awards with his 10th album, “No More Pennies”, winning the 2014 East Coast Music Award for Solo Recording Of The Year and the Music Nova Scotia Award for Folk Recording Of The Year. Songs from that album include “These Hands” which won awards for Songwriter Of The Year and Song Of The Year at the 2014 ECMAs plus “A Game Going On” which won the CBC Hockey Night Song Quest Competition.
Thursday, April 16 ~ Jon Brooks, 9pm, $20. “I write songs to calm those who’ve looked into, and seen, what is in their hearts. I also write songs to terrify those who have not.” -- Jon Brooks
It was in 1997, at 28 years old, and at the end of a year of travelling throughout Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, and particularly, throughout war ruined Bosnia-Herzegovina – it was during this time Jon discovered what kind of song he wanted to write. In 2006 he began singing that song. In 2014 Borealis Records released his 5th album, The Smiling and Beautiful Countryside. Jon is Kerrville New Folk Winner and a three-time “Songwriter of the Year” nominee at the Canadian Folk Music Awards.
The Smiling and Beautiful Countryside crashes the folk/roots party in late 2014 with a death count of 75. It’s an album of rural Canadian murder ballads and was recorded in Toronto by well-awarded and oft-acclaimed producer/engineer, David Travers-Smith. Jon’s 5th full length release is an intrepid solo set that defies categorization and resists any ‘folk,’ ‘singer-songwriter,’ or ‘solo acoustic’ description. Equal parts local Canadiana and universal horror, this is a collection that has buried all the trademark Jon Brooks social commentary in a shallow, roadside grave. Philosophical paradox, gallows humour, impossible love, titillating gore, adulterous sex, serial killers, gun dealers, rampage killing, missing women, First Nations catastrophe, necrophilia, Shakespeare, and John Milton: The Smiling and Beautiful Countryside is neither an album for casual fans nor is it music that will ever be heard in your dentist’s waiting room. Why record such a violent set of songs? In Jon’s words, “because: a) I wanted to write an album from which nobody indifferently escapes, an album that can only be loved or hated; b) if courage is a muscle, it needs to be exercised with a healthy dose of fear today; and c) I’ve already done four albums that inspire: it’s now time to offend.”
“(Brooks) speaks and sings words that need to be spoken and sung and he does it beautifully, perfectly, and with absolute finesse.” - Rod Kennedy, Founder and Producer of The Kerrville Folk Festival, Kerrville, TX
“Brooks stands among an exalted few in the enduring Canadian song tradition – Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Fred Eaglesmith, Bruce Cockburn – as a lyricist, composer and performer with a fierce commitment to his craft and his vision.” - Greg Quill, The Toronto Star
“He is by turns metaphorical and metaphysical; at times he examines the small details of life, at others, he soars above human struggles seeking something higher; his gritty voice is infinitely kind and gentle. Mature, wise, and intrepid – somehow Jon Brooks sings a path to the mysterious and complex essence of the human condition.” - Julie Miller, CFLX 95,5 Sherbrooke, PQ
“Political songwriting’ is all too often assumed to be shouty simplistic protest, and all too often it is and therefore tends to be ignored…Brooks knows this and his songs are songs first and messages second…a powerful and at times brutally clear-sighted vision armed only with an acoustic guitar, a harmonica, and a gritty ragged voice…Brooks is a star in the making.” – Maverick Magazine, UK
May 8 ~ Ariana Gillis, 9pm, $15. She's back! Book ahead for what is sure to be a fantastic show...
"Ariana Gillis may be the best new emerging
artist anywhere, PERIOD!"
– Dave Marsh, best selling author, former music critic of __
Rolling Stone Magazine & Creem Magazine.
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!