Under the High Wheel bucks the latest trend of restaurants named with one word, or restaurants named in text format using fewest letters as possible. The name of this new restaurant in the Roots on Whyte building has left more than a few people scratching their heads. Apparently, owners Jennifer Ogle and Ada Kalinowski, got their inspiration for this business venture after travelling through Europe where they noticed the names of bistros and other eateries reflected their location by saying “under the (place landmark here)”. A high wheel is another name for a Victorian era penny-farthing bicycle, of which the owners plan to attach to the exterior of the building sometime soon.
The interior is sparse but lovely, modern yet rustic, elegant but without pretension; a nice place to rest your weary bones after shopping, and the patio begs to be claimed as one of the best people watching perches on the Avenue.
So what about the food?
The menu changes based on availability of product, most of which is organic, seasonal and sourced from local producers — echoing the practises of bistros across Europe. The menu items are not complicated but still thoughtful. For lighter fare, you’ll find sweet and savoury crepes, Belgian waffles with house made chocolate sauce, soup and salad $5-$14.
Heartier fare is offered in the form of sandwiches, burgers, and quesadillas, and for dinner entrees, more substantial dishes with items like roast chicken, lasagne and steak.
|White bean, ham and spinach soup $5|
|Salad trio $10|
You might balk at paying $17 for a burger, but you have to see this burger. Topping near 6″, you’ll need to cut this beast in half if you have any hope at all of getting it in your mouth. The patty itself, made from Four Whistle Farms beef, is almost the size of a baseball, and was (thankfully) still juicy inside and not overcooked like baseball burgers usually are. Seasoned just right, and topped with a beautiful mayo and pickled beets, this burger (served with a side of roasted potatoes and artisanal greens salad) was a hit.
|The High Wheel Burger $17|
But here’s where the big surprise really was: the Bangers and Mash.
|Bangers (Pembina Pork) and Mash $17|