I've wanted to go to the American and get a burger for a long time. Maybe not for as long as a decade (the American Hotel sat derelict a decade ago seemingly prepared for demolition) but since the sports bar started serving Monarch burgers (part of the Campagnola group). Now they serve DL burgers and chicken and are open for socially distant dining in with a very responsible program for keeping us safe.
Located at 928 Main Street, the American Hotel once hosted one of a trio of notorious bars that included the Cobalt and the Ivanhoe in an area where respectable Vancouverites might fear to tread. These days, however, the area is not nearly as colourful (well its not yet Rodeo Drive) and the American is a great place to watch a game or play a game (pinball etc).
We ordered The Americana with bacon. The burger is of Two Rivers beef and probably 6 oz. "Beefy" is that term that I don't always apply to burgers but it is appropriate here. Just a bit of pink remained on the inside of this nicely charred patty. Perfect. Cheddar, tomato and lettuce and a very decent bun. At $15 (including the bacon) and another $2 for fries, we found this to be pretty fair pricing.
We knew that the DL Chicken Sandwich was going to be great since that is what they do! Pickle juice brined and deep-fried, you can actually taste the pickle juice just a bit. It also served to keep the chicken moist despite being crispy. We ordered it medium spicy and it is finished off with slaw. This was a treat!
We ordered a side of onion rings and these had a fair bit going for them. The batter included a bit of herb (dill?) and the onion slices were large and flavourful. The only drawback is that they were a little on the greasy side (aren't onion rings often a little greasy?) and I would give them a miss next time. The fries by contrast were small, skin on and excellent!
When I was down in Houston in January, I found out that Queso was a big thing there. I know queso just means cheese but their queso is a sort of a cheese dip, a sort of an upscale version of hockey game nacho cheese. The Queso at the American was very good. It was a little spicy with some chunks of Jalapeno and I'm not sure what else. We loved it for dipping our fries and anything else.
When asked about how they managed social distancing with all the games and fun to be had, our personable host/security guy Alen, laid out for us the program which while it is a little complicated sounded fully doable. Nice!
Complete with an outdoor eating space out the back, The American provides a lot including some great food and room to visit without compromising your health!
Food 4 1/2 out of 5
Service 4 1/2 out of 5
Comfort 4 1/2 out of 5
Value 4 out of 5
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