BR& Steak and Frites at the Bank
125 8 Ave SW
Br& is a relatively new steak house on Stephen Avenue. Located inside the historic bank of Nova Scotia building which was designated as a provincial historic resource back in the 80s, Br& (or perhaps the previous owners) has restored the interior to house their guests. The massive skylight in the middle provides ample lighting to the interior of the 1930s built art deco structure. At the centre, a elegant chandelier hangs from the 36 foot ceiling. A grand staircase leads to additional seating on the second floor. The enormous amount of floor space the building provides has made it feel empty despite the fact that partitions were put in to try and make the dining area feel more cozy. BR& has tried to appeal to a broader customer base with high quality food at affordable prices. A steak, frites and salad cost a mere $20. A 16 oz porterhouse costs only $29 while similar sized cuts at various steakhouses around town could cost you $10-$20 dollars more. It's good to know that a meal here is not going to break the bank!
We were brought to our table shortly after we arrived. Every setting includes the following steak knife and only the steak knife. It doesn't matter if you are eating a leafy salad or a bowl of the feature soup, no other utensil is placed out with the initial setting. It probably doesn't matter; I mean look at this thing! If you, for whatever reason, encounter some stringy lettuce or something, this piece of hardware will be on hand to chop it up. No biggie. You can probably spear the food into your mouth with it.
Not that I had a soup and salad for my lunch because I definitely ordered the steak. Though I must admit, it was rather uninspiring (who would have thought eating steak for lunch would be uninspiring?). We ordered medium rare and it generally appeared to be cooked that way. Russ had the short end of the stick for that one, his was probably cooked medium to medium well. It was a little cold, likely from waiting on the flatbread that Megan and Kristel ordered. The presentation was interesting..., rather than bringing it out in slab form, they are pre-cut into more manageable pieces; Which sort of defeats the purpose of having that massive knife. It was decent overall but after the spectacular salad that I didn't take a picture of (which came free with the steak), this just wasn't enough.
And considering this is a steak place, Russ said it best: "Fail... Borderline epic fail... Saved by the fries". Because the fries were Amazing! Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, seasoned to perfection, they were simply delicious and likely fried in duck fat. I feel my arteries clogging up just thinking about it. So I'm gonna stop. And think about the service. Which was terrible. After bringing our food to us a good 45 minutes after we ordered, the waitress was MIA until we were finished and was ready to pay.