Then I remembered The Greedy Pig. Once upon a time it was the new hip place to get sandwiches. With so many casual eats popping up in Gastown, being new and hip won't get you more than 15 minutes of fame nowadays. I was expecting to settle for a tame sandwich and my usual peppermint tea, but two things on the menu jumped out at me: Marrow & Toast, and Ginger Beer.
Marrow & Toast - $15 - roasted marrow bones, garlic confit, sea salt, truffle oil, arugula, bacon crisps, toasted sourdough
- I'd had (a bad experience with) bone marrow at Pourhouse, but being a sucker for strange eats, I ordered it. I did ask about how oily it might be, and the server asked the kitchen to go easy on whatever oil they used. The result was a much less oily marrow.
- Not sure where the garlic confit and sea salt were. Bacon crisps turned out to be short strips of bacon, probably inserted after. On the plate was a black liquid that looked like vinaigrette and was both sweet and sour; this was presumably the truffle oil but it sure tasted like some sort of vinegar.
- Like Pourhouse, they cut the bone into three sections and provided a butter knife and a small spoon. I had to give up the spoon early because it was too wide to fit, so I couldn't use it to scoop out any marrow. Fortunately, the butter knife worked out nicely: I used it on the inside surface of the bone to loosen the marrow from the bone, and a bit of light shaking caused the marrow to come out more or less intact.
- The marrow wasn't as jelly-like as at Pourhouse, and there was no redness to it. Oily, but not spilling all over the place.
- At this point, it helped a lot to use the black vinegar-oil-thingie on the plate to help offset the fatty taste of the marrow. The toasted sourdough (from what was possibly a baguette style long loaf) was mostly toasted on one side, and not crispy to the point of crumbling when you bite it. Each bone marrow piece was a heaping portion for a single piece of sourdough. Could have used something more tangy like pickles or maybe more sauce.
- Overall, it's not something I'd order again. I really only got it to compare with my experience at Pourhouse.
- If the bone marrow is done this way -- cut into three and possibly oven-roasted -- then I'd advise not to order it. It's just too oily and the marrow itself doesn't have any great taste to it.
- This is not to say that it's done badly at The Greedy Pig. It just is what it is--just know what you're getting when you order it.
- If you do get it, I recommend something tangy to drink, like a citrus fruit drink.
- This turned out to be a nice, refreshing accompaniment to the marrow and helped it go down without the heavy feeling that can come from having something too oily.
- It leaves a somewhat strong ginger burn from the drink at the back of the throat, but the taste is simply a medium sweetness, with nothing hot about it. If you're worried about (or looking forward to) a strong gingery taste, then this drink is not for you. It comes across almost like water with sugar, except with the burning in your throat.