The Vault Gastropub
102 Brock St S
It was my birthday and I'm a sucker for a gastropub. Wanting to stick around Durham, I found The Vault, former location of Marca. The interior had been updated, but the large dark wood bar remained. I liked the open concept of the kitchen; from where we were sitting, we could see the cook!
Our server was welcoming and attentive. We were seated immediately and our drink orders taken. They have a decent beer selection with a mixture of mainstream and local beers. She went over the specials and my mom chose the Curry Chicken Burger. My step-dad and I both went with the Steak Frites.
Our dishes arrived, hot, fresh and made to order. The steak was ok; a little chewy.The fries reminded me of a chip truck. The arugula salad was great. My mom didn't enjoy her burger; she said the patty was processed and probably frozen. Not exactly a crowd pleaser. The tempura pineapple on it was fantastic.
While our server was great, the manager seemed too busy with his phone to notice if anyone was there. He would give the server direction occasionally, but mostly just stood there with his eyes glued to his phone. There were only a few tables taken and he didn't walk around to see how his customers were enjoying it there. I know managers are busy, but I'm sure there's somewhere else you could be doing business rather than in plain sight of your customers.
It wasn't until we were leaving that we mentioned it was my birthday. Our server said we should've told her as they do a birthday shot! Damn!
I read the other reviews and had high expectations! Everyone else seemed to love this place, but we were less than impressed. I won't be going back.