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Food for thought: Mercer Tavern

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In January of 2021, Mercer’s Tavern decided to revamp its menu and focus on its new food program. Due to the second shutdown, they have aimed to focus on comfort foods and food that travels well with delivery services such as DoorDash and Skip the Dishes. With to-go orders being in high demand, the new menu has been constructed to ensure that meals will be delivered in a nice fashion. The new menu has been skyrocketing to success for to go and dine in services. “We have served more food than we ever have,” Bryan Schmidt, general manager says.

The new menu was created by Chef Kunal Sawhney, who has worked for various restaurants in Edmonton, Vancouver, and Toronto. His expertise in fine dining has helped inspire the new menu with signature dishes such as house-made chili and mac and cheese. Sawhney has been delighted to share his culinary experience and vision with the Mercer kitchen.

The menu has an extensive selection of dishes including gluten-free and vegetarian options. Some fan favourites are the variety of pizzas, which includes a unique twist on a classic Hawaiian. The Jalapeño Hawaiian pizza is topped with prosciutto and, you guessed it, jalapeños to create a sweet and spicy taste that will keep you coming back for more. Another fan favourite is the corned beef sandwich which is made with a lemon garlic aioli.

The Korean fried cauliflower is a different, healthy take on an appetizer. It is topped with sweet chili sauce and green onion, and is customizable for those who want to try any of the wing sauces with it as well. “It’s ordered by every other person that comes in here, it’s our number one item for sure,” Schmidt says. Finally, macaroni and cheese is deemed as one of the best comfort foods on the menu, which is loaded with crumbled bacon, jalapeño rings, and green onion to create a burst of creamy, spicy, and savoury flavours.

For those who have dietary restrictions, Mercer’s new menu caters to everyone. “Close to 40 per cent of our menu is vege tarian or can be made vegetarian,” Schmidt says. The menu also includes gluten-free options such as the three-bean chili, and chips and queso.

Mercer’s weekly specials include $6 wine, $4 house lager, and red ale happy hour from 2 to 6 p.m. and 9 to 10 p.m. For food specials, Mercer offers a $5 madness bread happy hour special, which is a unique twist on crazy bread. If you are an avid beer drinker, all day every day Mercer has a $5 beer of the day special which will quench your thirst as you try out the new menu.

Mercer has also introduced a new brunch program on Saturday mornings starting at 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Brunch items include a breakfast pizza, farm-fresh steak and eggs, and a wide variety of eggs benedict dishes including a savoury salmon, potato and artichoke, and prosciutto options. “I crave it all week long, I can’t wait for brunch on Saturdays,” Schmidt says.

As businesses start to open up and Rogers Place reopens for events, Mercer is a great spot for brunch, happy hour drinks, and event nights. Chef Sawhney promises that the menu will not disappoint and will provide a delicious take on everyone’s favourite dish.

Photos supplied.

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