Big Red here, your resident food critic in York, Durham, and Headwaters. A lot of people have been calling me a “bon vivant,” not sure what they are talking about; I consider myself more of a lover of a sociable and luxurious lifestyle. The York, Durham, and Headwaters areas are the perfect place to live that lifestyle, as fine dining and craft beer abound and are unexpectedly attainable. My latest gastronomic adventure brought me to Newmarket’s only gastropub: Hungry Brew Hops.
The thing I love about Downtown Newmarket is its down-to-earth feel and Hungry Brew Hops is the same way. Their mantra is “to serve really good, honest food with some really good, craft beer,” and I can tell you that they certainly do. Now, I am not good with numbers, but they said they have 37 rotating taps, I lost count at 4. Those taps are full of the finest craft beer around and they have cider and wine on tap too. Needless to say, I was in Big Red Heaven.
As a trained sommelier, I can tell you that the selection of libations at Hungry Brew Hops is first-class. I could not decide on a single beer, so I got a flight. I dubbed the flight that I got “The York Durham Headwaters Special.” The flight included the house lager: the HBH lager; as well as the Red, Brunette, and Dirty Blonde from Old Flame Brewing Co. Each beer showcased the quality of craft beer that our region is pouring! Now, the real question: what to eat?
Anytime food involves lumber I get excited! So when I saw a chef board, I knew where to start. Complete with cured meats, cheeses, house made jam, and crostini, it was a delectable gastro adventure. It wasn’t until I finished the whole board that my server told me that the Chef Board is great for sharing! Ooopps. So I called up some friends and ordered another one! It was now time to tackle the dinner menu. There were a few items that I needed to try – their signature HBH burger, their grilled Vegetable Pizza with their house-made beer-infused pizza dough, and, my must try dish, the Bone Marrow & Beef Cheeks. Served with lemon parsley, pickled red onions, and crostini – the Bone Marrow & Beef Cheeks are definitely Big Red approved.
At this point you are probably saying, “Wow! Big Red you must be full”. Well, there is a reason that us Lumberjacks have a breakfast named after us, we can eat! I had to try their feature donut of the day: a lemon & rum buttercream donut, complete with cranberries and shaved white chocolate. I could eat them by the lumberjack dozen (that’s 24). If you have a sweet tooth, you have found what you have been searching for.
Hungry Brew Hops was everything that I thought it would be and more. Owner Boris Fong has certainly delivered on his promise of serving really good, honest food with some really good, craft beer!