The Fernwood Inn used to be the George, and was stuff of legend. Drinking in your pyjamas, all day sessions on cheap lager, pool and generally good times in student land. But this was all before I moved to Victoria, and the George became the Fernwood Inn, and much less a house of drunken debauchery. It's now a neighbourhood pub, serving the Fernwood Community. Which appears to be relatively young, and still able to drink five pints between dinner and bed time and wake up the next day feeling fine. The lucky buggers.
I've been there a few times in the last six months. Once for the breakfast service, which was fantastic. Steak and eggs skillet with hashed potatoes. They call them hash browns, but this is a pile of fluffy red potatoes, mixed with onion and peppers some cheese and avacado. It's a great base on which to put a decent lump of beef, cooked for medium rare, and served medium rare. Just a tiny bit raw in the centre, seared on the outside. Damn fine eating.
The evening meal I had was with a large group for a friends birthday. The staff were great in keeping us watered, food was a little slow, but I polished through a Fernwood burger with no complaints. Good patty, made in house with a nice mayonnaise dressing and a soft ciabatta bun. The fries are made extra crispy (I suspect a coating of some sort). I think I was sensible and only stole fries and had salad with my burger, but that might have been wishful thinking. There was a call for mustard at one point, and being served French's was a let down... until we asked for the Dijon specifically.
There's no point getting to excited about the drinks menu. It's a mix of standard Vancouver Island Drafts (Lighthouse Race Rocks, A Driftwood Ale, Lighthosue IPA and Blue Buck) and bottled American corn syrups (Coors, Bud, that sort of thing). They do have pints of 'Fernwood Lager', but I'm told that's just Molson Canadian with a different label on. Certainly not made in house. I'll drink Canadian, but I don't like to admit to it for the scorn it seems to get me from my craft beer enthusiast friends. Or even those who don't like beer and wonder why I'd still drink Molson. And it's probably an admission that instantly removes any credibility for the rest of my beer tasting notes. But, I'll have a pint of it on a hot day or after sports. It's the perfect beer to quench thirst before the serious drinking begins.
Anyways, the Fernwood... a good neighbourhood pub, with decent dinners and brunch. If I lived near by, I'd go more often.