Perfect for snax: Thr33’s Co. Snack Bar

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The quirky typography of the name suits the playful nature of the restaurant and its menu. And for me, snacks are a great way to sit and enjoy the pleasures of sharing a meal with others.

Opened by Tam Auafua, Ian Wilson and Tyler Da Silva during the pandemic, Thr33’s Co. Snack Bar is sister location, on Bank Street, to the equally TV-reminiscent St. Elsewhere (a 60-seat plant-based Ottawa venue which I noted in a Vine Routes magazine article last year.)

The vibe here is casual and very relaxed, with some black paint and retro orange colour bars along with, essentially, a mural of a cassette tape — you know, perfect for making a mix tape.

That visual is a good accompaniment to tunes like Gabriel’s and Lanois’ “Sledgehammer” that bounced with pep around the dining room along with other 80s hits.

The 15 or-so-item menu leans toward Asian flavours and the selections you make, with a pint of beer, are perfect to share.

Fried Brussels sprouts have a dash of balsamic along with an whisky-apple butter and toasted sunflower seeds — fried deep and dusky and nice and salty.

Delicious fried Brussels sprouts with balsamic.

Grilled halloumi is generally non-descript but the kitchen’s blueberry-gin jam makes it otherwise.

Gnocchi Supreme needs a bit of tidying, however, as the flavours and softness of the textures tended to bury and overshadow the gnocchi.

Crispy grilled halloumi with blueberry-gin jam.

Finally, if I see pork belly on a menu — no matter the international orientation or country of origin — I order it: Thr33’s Co. version was perfectly crisp, fatty and salty with very fresh rice smoothing out the flavour and providing a foundation for the coconut braise and hoisin accenting the protein.

Pork belly with coconut and hoisin.

The vibe, the food, the service (and some free parking right across the street): snack are perfect for sharing with a sip or two of beer. I’ll be back to try “Things on Toast,” simple sounding but intriguing enough.

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