Daravara; Feels Like Home
I have a friend that is a regular at Daravara and he had been recommending it to me for months. It has been a super busy year for me work-wise, so I finally decided I needed to make the time for a visit. It is relatively close to my home and I love the 124 street area; it is home to me!
Daravara is an unpretentious gastro-pub that has the neighborhood pub feeling. Head Chef Shane Loiselle hails from a background of Dadeo, The Petroleum Club, Zinc and the Harvest room at the Fairmont Hotel MacDonald.
If you follow along with my Food Adventures, you know that my husband and I had our first official date at Dadeo. Our favourite Server was Beth. She was amazing at remembering the regulars and always smiling and friendly. We loved it when we got to sit in her section. We were sad when she was no longer at Dadeo and always wondered where she went. Imagine how thrilled I was to see that smile relocated to Daravara!
The decor inside of Daravara is very minimalistic. On first impression it can seem very cold and uninviting. Give it a chance, sit down and let the Server take care of you. After a few minutes you will start to notice that neighborhood pub vibe. Everyone there is friendly and wanting to make sure you have a great experience! There are huge garage type doors that open the front of the restaurant to the fresh air and sunshine in the warmer months.
They have some lovely craft brews on tap, with one seasonal rotation. The menu is smaller and from what the staff says, rotates a couple of times per year. It is listed as “BBQ” in a couple of the apps that you would use to find the location, and of course that intrigues me.
I am the first person that is going to try the weirdest thing on the menu. I am just adventurous like that. My first taste adventure at Daravara was the “Popcorn Chicken Hearts”. I am a fan of Curried Chicken Hearts that a friend makes, so I was looking forward to these. My Husband decided to try the “Beef Brisket Po’Boy”.
You can really make a mess of Chicken Hearts very easily. They cook like Calamari. Very easy to turn into a rubbery, unedible mess. I am happy to report that these were tender and juicy and full of awesome!
The Beef Brisket here is truly low and slow style BBQ. It is rubbed in coffee and then put in the smoker for 5 hours. I loved the Chicken Hearts, but was now regretting my menu choice. The Brisket is tender, the flavour isn’t competition style, but more subtle and slightly smoky. It was on my wishlist for my next visit.
The first visit was meant to scope out the venue for a larger group that needed a meeting location. Daravara doesn’t take reservations. I did want to call them though and let them know that we had a group of 15 coming and we wanted to be able to find a seat. They were very accommodating and actually set aside an area for us. (Thank you!!) Everyone really enjoyed their food.
This visit I was able to try the “Burnt Honey and Garlic Roasted Cauliflower” which I am completely in love with. It has a crispy outside and a tender, juicy inside. The flavour of the burnt honey and garlic is so good together, it is just delicious. I was able to have the Brisket Po’ Boy as well, all to myself.
Daravara utilizes Irving Farms and Wild Game Meats. All meats and sausages are cured, smoked, brined and prepared in house. My husband tells me that I need to try the wings next. They are smoked and then sauced.
I also got to have a nice chat with the Manager, Paul. The Neighborhood vibe is definitely what they are going for. I am very much looking forward to going back for my next visit.