So yes, we made it back from Texas in one piece, thanks for asking--great times and AMAZING barbecue... I even (re-?) discovered not only that I have a connection with the owner of top-rated Franklin's Barbecue, world class pitmaster Aaron Franklin (he played drums with one of my short lived cowpunk experiments 'The Corn Fritters') and his co-owner and general manager, Mincho (played bass for another version of the same band), but that the 'Best BBQ in America' (according to Bon Appetit and Texas Monthly, anyway) is even located on... wait for it... Branch Road in Austin! Weird, right? It's also the only barbecue I've ever waited 4 hours in line for that was worth the wait! (to be fair, I've never waited that long for ANY food before, to my memory...) Congrats to those guys on their incredible success. I also got a chance to tour the pits and pick the pitmaster's brain while I was there, and I am happy to report that although I am not claiming to be anywhere close to being in the same league as these fellas, we do actually have a pretty darn similar recipe right here at the Branch, in case you are wondering... And now I've got some new ideas to implement as well! Stop by and try it sometime, I can definitely guarantee that the lines are much shorter this far North...
(our BBQ spread at Franklins, Holy yum!)
Now on to the news... Pearly Jenkins and his band Lucky Strike are here this Friday-- that is 'alt country and rockabilly' in case you are looking for place to do your Stray Cat Strut this weekend... Hometown boy and world renowned Kermit the Frog impressionist Christo Graham is here this Saturday (often sells out, you have been warned!) Two great shows, don't miss out! Amanda Giles is hosting this Sunday's Open Mic and preparing the Rubber Boots Buffet...
If you haven't seen it yet... here is the link to our episode of You Gotta Eat Here! Our segment starts at 14 minutes... there are some commercials, but the last third of the show is all us…
South of the border? Try ‘Hola’ (google it, it works…) So, there you have it! Watch out for the wild tofu!
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
Brisket Sliders: bites of our famous brisket on toasted cornbread with BBQ sauce and slaw, $8.99
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, potato salad (substitute roasted or mashed potatoes for $1.99), 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.
- 1/2 Chicken: (or choose either 1 piece white meat or 2 pieces dark) from Lyon's Family Farm
- Spicy Sausage, local beef and pork, made in collaboration with the good folks at the B&H grocery-- house smoked!
Blackened Trout: locally farmed rainbow trout filets seared in cast iron with Cajun spices, served over veggie etouffée and rice with remoulade, $21.99
'Wild Tofu' Enchiladas: corn tortillas stuffed with peppers, smoked portobello mushrooms and tofu, smothered in chile-tomato ranchero sauce and cheese, served with beans, rice, salsa, guacamole and sour cream, $19.99
Steak Special: ask your server...
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.
*Veggie version available on request, try our house-made vegan and gluten free black bean patty!
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-Blueberry Crisp: local apples & blueberries, 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!
Wednesday & Thursday:
BBQ Bonanza!! Come check out our NEW 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, cornbread, BBQ sauce and slaw… it is available every Wednesday and Thursday, from 5pm to 9:30pm, it is hot and ready when you are, and either plate is only $15.99. That's right, just freakin' $15.99!
Friday & 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 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 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 29 ~ Pearly Jenkins and Lucky Strike, 9pm, $10. Pearly Jenkins
Country/Rockabilly/Bluegrass music singer songwriter Pearly Jenkins performs new songs from upcoming album at an intimate concert at The Branch Restaurant
Friday august 29th - $10 cover
Enjoy an intimate evening with Jenkins and his band (Lucky Strike - Clayton Yates and Jimmy Bowskill) with their unique blend of country/western/rockabilly/bluegrass/swamp music that resonates with music fans of all genres. Pearly will be featuring songs from his forthcoming album recorded at the Brantford Arts Block Studio by Producer Glen Marshall.
Marshall has been working with Pearly on an album of tunes that the prolific songwriter had written in the past year. “If you’re looking for real Country music with heart and grit, look no further than Pearly Jenkins.
Who is Pearly Jenkins?
Well... if you ask his friend and musical Icon Fred Eaglesmith, this is what he says about Pearly Jenkins
"PEARLY JENKINS aka Paul O’Toole, comes out of Norfolk County, southern Ontario. Ironically, one of the bible belts of Ontario. He's a guitar playing ex-rockabilly icon, playing for years in bands such as "The Kil'billys", "Kingspeed" and "Dangerous Stairs". He's got a deep growly voice and the hardscrabble stare of not enough sleep and too much substance. His friends call him "The Old One". He's danced with the National Ballet of Canada. He's been in Nashville. He's an award winning songwriter. He's been in rehab, back out again, back in trouble and back out again. He hasn't fit in. He hasn't fit in the way that artists don't fit in. He's been on the path of soul-searching and the quest for integrity and his own personal values. Pearly has left the rockabilly scene to pursue his first love of country music, quit the substance and quit the fast lane. He traded it all for his soul. Every time you hear Pearly Jenkins, that's what you hear - his soul. He bleeds all over the stage, the way any smoky lounge (country) singer bleeds when they sing. He invokes images of Haggard, Jennings and Cash. Willie P. Bennett or even Tom Wilson,. He is a great songwriter and has a knack for putting you in his world. He has a powerful, powerful voice and he can deliver a song in only the way true experience can.
Saturday 30 ~ Christo Graham, 9pm, $8.
Christo has been a Branch sensation for years now, as a star performer at any number of our Birthday Tributes or as just plain himself. His style to date has ranged recently from the piano balladeer to the parodist and mimc who created an international viral sensation with his hit 'Muppet Christ Superstar' album... But before that it also ranged from Disney to Dylan in a weird amalgam across three solo records of original material which I’d call ‘indie folk’ but that he has, in the past, called 'Casio-coustic' and even just 'folk.' The important note here is that across all these styles, Christo has not let us down yet…Christo, aka, ‘our little secret,’ is a bona fide, real deal, no kidding, up and coming world class talent. He is young, 20, yet he has produced at least 5 or 6 full length albums of his own, plus a couple of eps and Christmas records; he is a filmmaker; and an actor (check out this Arkells video
), he plays any instrument that is put in his hands; he is likely in possession of perfect pitch (as near as I can tell) and, well, he’s also a pretty sweet dude. Christo grew up here in Bishop’s Mills the youngest son in a musical family that, by my reckoning, has produced more music in two generations than most can boast in a dozen. Most of you around here have probably already seen him or Tom and Jeanne (his folks), Lee, Theo or Carey (his brothers) or even his little sister Theresa by this point and have already to come to these conclusions yourself... So, the point? He's playing this Saturday. At the Branch. You are coming, right?
Sunday 31 ~ Rubber Boots Buffet, 2-8pm and Open Mic 3-6pm. THIS WEEK the open mic is hosted by Amanda Giles... For those who are new to the clan, the Sunday Open Mic/Rubber Boots Buffet is a family friendly, fun, community day that welcomes musicians of all skill levels. We mix up the music schedule a bit with guest hosts like Greg Kelly and the Ukulele Kemptville Experience (UKE), and occasional 'Birthday Tribute' events, where participants are encouraged to play songs by an artist whose birthday is on or near the Sunday in question; While all that happens, the Rubber Boots Buffet is being served... it is an all day, all you can eat comfort food extravaganza (other menus such as pub grub, kids and a dessert menu are also available) and the whole day is a place where you can meet your neighbours, come in for a beer or a pot of tea, stay for a bowl of homemade soup and a song or two and leave with, well, a whole new batch of friends. Everyone is welcome—and yes, that means you! We’d love to see you this Sunday…
That’s all for now, thanks for reading!
Bruce & Nicole