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Nikki Uhryn, cook at Dogpatch Bistro Pub in Edmonton, makes the wedge salad.Megan Albu/Globe and Mail

Name: Dogpatch

Location: 10158 90 St NW, Edmonton

Phone: 780-761-8700

Website: dogpatchyeg.ca

Price: $5 to $19

Cuisine: Pub fare with a sandwich lean

Atmosphere: Cool and cozy.

Best bets: Vegan crab cakes, pot roast steak sandwich.

Vegetarian friendly?: Yes.

Additional info: Open seven days a week, brunch on weekends.

Dogpatch’s quirky name serves as a nod to the history of the neighbourhood where this contemporary pub opened a few months ago. Now known as Riverdale, this part of the city was known as Dogpatch from the late 1800s to the 1980s. In its earlier days, it was a self-sustaining community.

That mantra of locality and in-house production seems to be what the pub aims for in conjunction with the historical ode.

“Thirty-five years later, we pay tribute to the original Dogpatch in Riverdale. We will keep the independent spirit on the bank of the North Saskatchewan River alive within a little brick building of our own,” explains the restaurant on its website.

The similarities with an old-timey community do seem to end there as the design of Dogpatch is quite modern. Boasting a funky CKUA Radio-dedicated nook chock-full of records and a humble 50ish-seat dining room with beechwood tabletops and a striking wood-panelled ceiling, one of the most eye-catching design accents are the dark-tiled walls behind the bar. Moody in the best of ways.

Above: Dogpatch's manager, Rachel Anthony, shows off the Sea Change blonde ale. Below: Waitress Fleurette Mulumba makes a cocktail.Megan Albu/Globe and Mail

When it comes to libations, the pub boasts a fair collection of local brews including an Edmonton-made cider, Broken Spoke, a small wine list and plenty of cocktails. The “something for everyone” mentality applies here without the drink menu feeling as though it’s pandering.

Its menu is equally uncomplicated, though very carb-heavy, given that it is co-operated with its building co-tenant, Bread + Butter Bakery.

Bread bowls, big and pillowy burger buns, thick and airy focaccia … perhaps a nightmare for one with gluten intolerance or those on a keto diet (is that trend still alive and well?), but it is idyllic for lovers of all things bread.

(It is fair to note that Dogpatch does have a gluten-free bun option that can be used as a substitute for many menu items.)

The pot roast beef sandwich with a side salad.Megan Albu/Globe and Mail

Both the pot roast steak sandwich and the burger feel like the two most popular items at Dogpatch and both hit the spot just fine for folks craving a sizable serving of something carnivorous and comforting.

The former comes in the form of a thick-cut piece of toasted sourdough topped with a slathering of sourdough salsa verde, a tender slab of braised beef, fried onions and an onion gravy. It is all things rich, salty and indulgent.

Its Brickyard Burger may not win any of Edmonton’s “best burger” competitions, but the patty is ground in-house and complemented by the usual suspects (i.e. pickle, tomato, onion, lettuce, burger sauce). It’s tasty enough, but gets a few bonus points for an especially pillowy sesame-seed bun courtesy of Bread + Butter Bakery.

The wedge salad.Megan Albu/Globe and Mail

Dogpatch’s take on a classic wedge salad features a huge portion of butter leaf lettuce on a plate, drizzled with blue-cheese dressing, lardons, blue cheese, cucumber, tomatoes and pickled red onions. It’s a bit of an odd lettuce choice for wedge seeing as butter lettuce is but a tender green that doesn’t boast much of a crunch. Go iceberg or go home, I say!

Above: The caponata. Below: The vegan "crab" cakes.Megan Albu/Globe and Mail

Sleeper hits from the menu include the mozzarella caponata (grilled sourdough with a tangy mix of eggplant and zucchini, minced Calabrian chilies and a raisin pistou of sorts) and, surprisingly, the vegan “crab” cakes. Made with jackfruit, the texture of the crispy-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside nuggets would not be mistaken for quality crab meat, but they were well-seasoned and tasty. Especially when dragged through the accompanying remoulade.

I have found it is easy to want to return to Dogpatch thanks to its warm service and cool vibe. Mix in its homage to Edmonton’s civic history and its earnestness in aiming to be a modern version of a neighbourhood hub and how could you not feel the same?

The exterior of Dogpatch Bistro Pub in Edmonton's Riverdale area. This part of the city was known as Dogpatch from the late 1800s to the 1980s.Megan Albu/Globe and Mail

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