I was in New Westminster last Thursday scouting a location for an action packed web-series I'd like to shoot. While wandering around I noticed Hops (http://www.tagpubs.com/hops/) had just opened up right beside the New Westminster skytrain station, replacing an old dingy bar that previously attracted the less scrupulous of citizens. Hops is owned by the Arbuthnot Group, also owning Drink lounge in New Westminster and The Landing in Ladner. Offering free Wi-Fi and a great selection of beers on Tap, they are in a great spot to grab people coming and going from the movie theatres and Skytrain station. Warned of slightly high prices but decent food by my brother, I decided to check it out for a quick bite and a small photo op.
The menu has some very unique choices on it such as The Mudd Honey ($13.99) - fresh roasted turkey, Applewood smoked bacon and roast beef drizzled with Rickards Red BBQ sauce and horse radish mayo, highly recommended by my brother. I decided to stick with the Damm Hott burger ($12.99), I love spicy food.
A Jalapeno infused patty, jalapeno jack cheese, chipotle mayo, and deep fried banana peppers with lettuce and tomato, I couldn't resist it. I couldn't spring the $3 extra for Yam Fries though, that's a a tad high price to simply swap out a veggie. My brother wasn't wrong about the prices.
The presentation is relatively simple, but I like the fry basket, it definitely upsells the standard shoe-string french fries that come with the meal. Seasoned nicely with salt and a bit of pepper, they did what fries do best - make your thirsty and fill a void in the stomach.
The burger was different story
The patty definitely wasn't as large and meaty as most bars making their own burgers are, and it was cooked slightly unevenly, but it was perfectly proportioned to the toppings inside and was seasoned well. Often there's so much meat in hand-made burgers that it overpowers everything, and with a poorly seasoned burger it can ruin a good meal. Not so here. The burger had a decent amount of melted Jack Cheese on it making my mouth water before I bit into it. The Chipotle mayo added some nice flavours to it, but it could've used just a bit more of .
I used to order items with banana peppers all the time, but the juices tend to overpower everything, sometimes that acidic zing isn't worth the bit of spice you get from them. However here they were deep fried, crispy, and dry, making them a fantastic addition to this burger and offsetting the Chipotle mayo quite nicely.
The bun appeared to be quite fresh and not too heavy, really allowing the burger's flavours to come through in each bite.
Overall, I really enjoyed the meal. The burger was fulfilling, balanced nicely, and went great with a pint of beer. I look forward to going back here and trying other items on the menu.