The Bent Mast Pub

The Bent Mast
512 Simcoe St. tel: 383-6000

My best pal Kathryn insisted on spending the afternoon at the Bent Mast for her birthday. The Mast is known for its peculiar menu and cheap beer, I figured it was the latter she was after.

With a spacious patio, extremely casual atmosphere and value pricing, the Bent Mast dose indeed fit the bill for an afternoon of birthday revelry.

Let it be said that I like the Bent Mast -- it's possibly the least pretentious bar in the city. The converted character home is loaded with ambiance and the patio has great people-watching. That said, I've never been that impressed with the food. Always edible, the menu is overly eclectic and many of  the executions unrefined. I wouldn't really head here for food, but if you're hungry you could do worse and at least it's cheap.

We had the baked brie ($6.5) and the West Indies chicken wings($5.5). The brie is a standard choice of mine, served with rye toast and mango chutney. It's simple, tastes good with beer and the serving is generous. I'm not a fan of the chutney they use, but it's OK.  The wings, similarly are good value and fairly tasty. The coconut flavour was not overpowered by the chillies and the heat appropriate. The accompanying ranch style dip, however, was a bit watery.

We sat on the patio for four hours, played dice, assaulted each other with water guns and drank beer. The server patiently and with good humour attended to our needs - you couldn't say that about a lot of places!

On a hot day, the second storey washrooms are gross - note to management, get some fans. I wish they the would print out their menu using something other than what appears to be a dot matrix printer (if that were even possible). I've come to terms with the weird, multi-ethnic and heavy-on-the-dumpling menu - just make sure you're drinking plenty of beer with the food and it should be OK.

Reviewed July 23, 2006