8424 109 Street NW, Edmonton
Three Boars Eatery is a small restaurant two blocks off Whyte Avenue on 109st. It’s relatively small, and the outside kind of looks like a small house. They have a little bar on the main floor, a little eating area upstairs, and a little patio during the summer. I’ve been here a couple of times now and one thing that I really like about this place is that their menu changes very frequently. A lot of their ingredients are local, and therefore changes with the season, hence the dynamic menu. Another thing I like about Three Boars is that the serving style is kind of like tapas, where dishes are meant to be shared (Asians love sharing, so you get to try a bit of everything)!
I went with Thomas, Christina, and my other friend, Carolyn, so we split around six things. It was just the right amount of food, and we were all left pretty satisfied. Their menu is divided between bar snacks, which is smaller fare, rabbit food, which is salads and vegetarian, and small plates, which are a bit larger fare. We asked our server for some tips on the more popular dishes and away we went.
We started off with the Devils on Horseback. These are dates stuffed with blue cheese, wrapped in bacon. Probably one of the highlights of the meal. It was really sweet from the date, and nicely balanced with the salty bacon. It was definitely a popular one at the table. The server described it to be stuffed with blue cheese, but it was incredibly mild cheese for a blue cheese. It tasted more like a mozzarella cheese or a mild white cheese. Either way, this was delicious and I’d definitely order this if it’s available.
For Rabbit food, we decided on the brussels sprouts and the roasted cauliflower. To be completely honest, this is the first time that I have ever had brussels sprouts in my entire life. I know, I know, pretty sheltered… I hear a lot about how kids disliked them while growing up from TV shows, but I don’t think it’s particularly huge in Asian cuisines. Anyways, I enjoyed this dish, and my brussels sprouts connoisseur friends said they liked it as well. It was pretty flavourful. Brussels sprouts have a strong natural bitter flavour, and it was nicely balanced by the honey. The lemon kind of brought it together. To be honest, I couldn’t really detect the hint of nutmeg, but overall it was really nice. The cauliflower was a little bit undercooked for myself. I thought it was a bit firm, but maybe I just like mine a bit softer. The onion sousbise was okay. To be honest, I liked the side cauliflower that I had from The WildFlower Grill a few weeks ago. It had a nice tangerine aioli which I prefer to the onion soubise.
The first of our small plates were the chicken wings. They have a ‘Korean’ sauce, cilantro, sesame, and lime. The flavours on these wings were pretty good. Not too dry, and not drowning in sauce. They were good, but I wouldn’t say amazing. The chicken wings themselves, I found to be a bit skimpy or small. I’ve had better ones from like an Irish pub. The Guinness wings from O’Byrne’s are good example of a nice and thick, meaty wing.
Next we had the braised lamb cheek, glazed red lentil, Baba Ganoush, winter chanterelle, and spinach. They told us that they were actually all out of lamb cheek, so it was actually made with lamb neck. Now I’ve never had lamb neck before, but I usually like lamb in general so I was down. I like how Three Boars try to use all parts of the animal! Overall I’d have to say that it was pretty game-ey tasting. It kind of reminded me of how duck tastes, which I like. If you’re not a fan of game-ey tasting meat, then I’d maybe choose something else. The Baba Ganoush was nice and savoury, and went nicely with the lamb. Overall, I enjoyed this dish, but I think I preferred the other dishes we ordered more.
Lastly, we got the Okonomiyaki. Again, This is a Japanese pancake that can come with a variety of different ingredients. Ours was stuffed with shredded cabbage, pork belly, shrimp, and topped with bonito flakes. It was a lot thicker than I expected. It was pretty good, but I think I actually prefer the Okonomiyaki at Ichiban or Izakaya Tomo instead. That being said though, I definitely knew that it’d be one of the more filling items on the menu and it did not disappoint. It’s relatively big and fluffy so easy to share. It’s a good choice if you want to end up feeling a little bit more full. Otherwise, things can get a little bit expensive.
Overall, I really enjoyed my experience at Three Boars. I really like the concept of tapas and plate-sharing. It’s great for socializing and you get to try a little bit of everything (sharing is caring)! Again, I also really like how they change up their menu frequently, so it’s always a good option if you haven’t been for a couple months because you can always try something new. Definite highlights of my meal were the Devils on Horseback and the Okonomiyaki.