Bars/Lounges · Beer · Burgers · Cheap Eats · Comfort food · Fusion · Happy Hour · Pubs · Restaurants

Eat Crow Snack Bar – COVID-19 dine-in edition

On Monday evening, L and I checked out Eat Crow Snack Bar, a new restaurant that took over Brassiere Kensington. For this post, I’m going to play a piece by conductor Liang Zhang from the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. I know nothing about conductors, but according to my father, Zhang is the bee’s knees.

I ordered a Texas Paloma ($13) and L ordered a Lone Star beer (HH $5, regular $7.50). The dried grapefruit garnish was a pretty, decorative touch. The combination of Texan Paloma, Epsilon Reposado, Ketel One Grapefruit, Rose Vodka and grapefruit was surprisingly balanced and subtle. I was expecting a cocktail that was heavy on the tequila. L took a sip and mentioned that in our next visit, he would partake in a cocktail instead of his usual beer.

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The Spicy Chicken Wings ($8.50 w/ ranch dip) is a winner. If you are a wing connoisseur, you need to try these wings. The seasoning is mildly spicy and dry. The batter is thin and crisp, and so light the skin melted on my tongue. The chicken is good quality – plump with unblemished, silky white meat.

Each order comes with three pieces of chicken, and each wing is equivalent to three or four pub wings. I estimated I got about nine regular size wings worth of meat and skin. I would come back to Eat Crow just for the wings because it was that good.

Another must order dish is the Crow Burger ($6). The patty is thick and tender and explodes with juicy flavour. Though small in size, this burger is packed with so much meat, cheese and pickles, it was satiating. The Crow Burger rivals all the heavyweights in Calgary – Charbar, Clive Burger, and Burger 320.

The Magic Fries ($6) is also worth ordering again. Golden brown and perfectly munchy, these fries are delightfully addicting. I love the soft, mealy texture inside the crispy shell. Extra bonus – the portion is large enough to share.

I ordered my second and last cocktail of the night – the Humble Pie (HH $8.50). Made with Highroad Alberta vodka, sparkling wine, raspberry and lemon, this drink reminds me of the Framboise fortified wine from Elephant Island Orchard Wines. Not too sour or sweet, this cocktail is too easy to drink. I couldn’t taste the three ounces of booze, but I could sure feel it.

The Humble Pie cocktail came with a baby lemon tart. The custard is creamy and bright with a citrusy zing. The crust is brittle and buttery. The fresh mint and dehydrated strawberry garnish wasn’t just decorative but added to the flavour profile. I would order this cocktail again just for the lemon tart.

L and I shared the Crow Joe ($6). This is an incredibly messy slider. With every bite, an equivalent amount of the filling would drip down onto the plate. The sauce reminded me a little of Heinz beans.

I’ve actually never tried General Tso Chicken ($10) before so I wasn’t sure what to expect. The batter was sweet and sticky. This dish, as well as everything else we ordered, arrived piping hot and immaculately presented.

The Handmade Pirogies ($10, $2 bacon) arrived supersized and fluffy. L enjoyed the sweet caramelized onions and smoky bits of bacon. I’m curious to know what my friend Sirosky would think, as his family makes their own pirogies.

Eat Crow charges prices similar to El Furniture Warehouse, a restaurant that sells all dishes for $5.99 (plus extra for upgrades like bacon, cheese, and sauces). However, the food quality at Eat Crow is significantly higher and vastly tastier than El Furniture Warehouse. I’m keen to return to try some of the vegetarian dishes, as well as those delightful wings and the Crow burger.

 

Eat Crow Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Beer · Pubs · Restaurants · Vancouver/Richmond

Richmond – Fuggles and Warlock

Due to unforeseen circumstances, my parents cancelled our second dim sum adventure. Since it was L’s birthday weekend, I let him pick another spot for lunch. He requested pints at Fuggles and Warlock. For this post, let’s listen to “Babooshka” by Kate Bush.

On a chilly Saturday afternoon, I can think of nothing better than pulling up a bar stool and killing time at Fuggles and Warlock. The brewery is small and cozy, filled with awards, trophies and quirky memorabilia.

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The food is simple but ideal for the cold weather. The small menu offers pretzels, meat pies, pizza, piping hot samosas and warm sandwiches. The portions are snack sized. I noticed there’s a curry food truck parked outside the store.

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L ordered a flight ($8) while I ordered my usual – Strawberry Wit ($6). The consistency of the wit reminds me of a cross between an A&W root beer float and a strawberry milkshake. Fuggles and Warlock nailed the flavour – it actually taste like fresh strawberries.

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L took a liking to the Destiny IPA. I’d describe this IPA as mildly hoppy, with pleasant citrus notes. I don’t normally like IPAs, but I could crush the Destiny IPA.

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L was also a fan of the Pixel, a Czech pilsner. He thought the pilsner was crisp and light. I thought this beer was refreshing but it was a tad hoppy for my taste.

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L mentioned the Destiny IPA and Pixel pilsner were the more traditional than the other beers we sampled. I preferred the more eccentric beers. Fuggles and Warlock makes alcoholic beverage I’d imagine a grown up Harry Potter would appreciate.

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I was a fan of the Gin and Lime, which tasted more like a cocktail than a beer. The taste of the lime and gin was prominent. Fuggles and Warklock uses infused Unruly Gin from Wayward Distillation House.

I was surprised that I liked the Kiwami Plum Sour even more than Strawberry Wit. Fuggles and Warlock used fresh plums to make this sour. This beer reminded me of a simple wine. I could picture my favourite Japanese restaurant in Calgary – Shokunin – featuring this beverage.

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L and I shared the Ham Sandwich and Pickle ($9). The bread was light and crispy. The generous amount of cheese made each bite full of gooey goodness.

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The pickle tasted homemade because it lacked that chemical taste of grocery pickles. The pickle wasn’t crunchy or sour. When I bit into the pickle, the juice squirted out onto my sandwich.

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L thought the Tourterie Pie ($9) tasted like a sausage roll. Tasty, but I preferred the steak pie I tried at my previous visit. I guess ten years in Calgary will make you an Albertan.

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Stopping by for a pint at Fuggles and Warlock is an annual tradition for us.  I’m sure the next time we visit, the brewmasters will pull out some wizardy and have a new, oddly wonderful beer for us to try. Hitting the Sauce gives Fuggles and Warlock two magical thumbs up.

Fuggles and Warlock Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Beer · Burgers · Pubs · Restaurants

Newcastle Pub

Whenever L and I have a big decision to make, we discuss it over a pint at Newcastle Pub. We started this tradition when we bought our first home. Personally, I think it’s just an excuse to drink. We both know what we want to do before we even slide into a booth. For this post, let’s listen to “Just What I Needed” by The Cars.

The last time we visited, L ordered the Truffle Parmesan Fries ($9.5). Double damn! This shit was unreal. The large portion of fries were steaming hot and extra crispy. The potato chips were cut wide with a soft silky interior. L and I thought the taste of the truffle oil worked well with the tartness of the balsamic aioli. The smell of the fresh parsley helped tone down the heady scent of the truffle and parmesan.

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On our most recent visit, our server recommended we try the Smoked Meat Burger ($12.95). For only three bucks, we upgraded to the truffle parmesan chips. This burger was so delicious, I want to add another expletive but as my father reads my posts, I’ll refrain.

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The beef brisket was piled high, tangy from the BBQ sauce and fragrant from the smoker.  The fried onion strings added a pleasing crunch that contrasted with the soft, saucy meat. This burger is not from your average pub.

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Jay, the manager at Newcastle, come over to see if we were happy with our meal. I told him that I couldn’t remember the last time I enjoyed a burger this much. Jay informed me that he was an executive chef for 30 years, and his cooks do things a little differently than other folks. For example, prime rib is used for the brisket and they smoke it themselves.

Check out Newcastle’s feature burgers. It’s obvious a lot of thought is put into the features. Hitting the Sauce is so infatuated, she’s putting her local pub on her list of favourite restaurants in Calgary.

Newcastle Pub Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bars/Lounges · Beer · Patio · Pubs · Restaurants

Southland Yard – Lobster BBQ

L and I attended Inn from the Cold’s 4th annual Lobster BBQ ($100) at Southland Yard. Inn from the Cold provides emergency shelter, affordable housing, and support services to help families in crisis retain and achieve housing-security and independence.  As she references Red Lobster in her song “Formationlet’s listen to Beyonce.

To begin the event, there was a cook off between competing chefs: Mike Frayne of Southland Bar and Table; Phil Andrews, Executive Chef of Delta Downtown; Joshua Dyer Sous Chef of Mariott Airport; and Eric Beaupre, Executive Chef of Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge. I felt like I had to wait forever to take the photo below because three of the four chefs were fidgeting and looking down. The chef on the far right was the only one good at posing.

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The three judges were Heather Morley, Executive Director of Inn from the Cold; Justin Labossiere, VP of Culinary at Vintage Group; and Daryl Kerr, Executive chef at Great Events Catering. I didn’t spend as much time taking their photo and you can tell.

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The chef’s platters were auctioned off. YYCFoodiePak and her gang tried to bid on a platter but they were outdone by the goodwill of other guests.  I noticed people shelled out more as the night went on. The first platter went for $70. The last platter sold for over $200.

Photo Credit: @YYCFoodiePak

The MC said tables would be selected to go up to the buffet. I saw that no one waited and everyone just got up. I told L I was going up too. He reluctantly followed only after the rest of my table agreed with me.

Photo Credit: @YYCFoodiePak

The buffet included rolls, Caesar salad, coleslaw, baked potato, potato salad, corn, steak and lobster. The corn was super sweet. I liked my potato – it was simple and tasty. The steak was a bit dry but who cares. We came for the lobster.

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I preferred the tail over the claw meat, as the former was sweeter. The lobster was pre-cracked, so it was easy to separate the meat from the shell. There was enough food that I saw several customers go up for a second lobster. L was a little weirded out that as the night went on and became cooler, the butter never solidified.

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I wanted to bring my leftover shells home to make lobster bisque, but even I have limits. Can you imagine how much lobster bisque you could make from the all the shells?

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Photo Credit: @YYCFoodiePak

I use to volunteer for Inn from the Cold’s Sunday evening dinner service. It’s a rewarding experience and something I’d recommend to try at least once. Want to help? You can volunteer or donate.

Southland Yard Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bars/Lounges · Beer · Pizza · Pubs · Restaurants

Blackbird Public Urban Bar

We met L’s colleague Tent and his wife Canoe for drinks in Auburn Bay. As we are traveling to Croatia together for a conference, Tent thought it would be a good idea to meet up before our trip. For this post, let’s listen to Blackbird by The Beatles.

I chose Blackbird Public Urban Bar because on Thursdays, wine is half-price. L and I were early, so I ordered a bottle of Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon ($48.50/HH $24.50). L ordered a pint of Goose Island IPA ($7.5). I learned after Canoe arrived that she drinks red but prefers white wine. I told Canoe that I heard Croatia has some nice white wines.  She suggested that we go to a winery while we are there. What an excellent idea!

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I could tell that I was going to enjoy traveling with Canoe because she makes good food choices. She ordered the Pig Fat Popcorn ($4). The seasoning was a blend of what tasted like hot chili powder and grana padano. The popcorn was warm and fresh, so addicting I couldn’t stop eating it.

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L and I shared a large Fried Chicken Pizza ($24). The crust was thick and doughy. The pizza had ample cheese, large slices of pineapple, small chunks of fried chicken and jalapenos. I didn’t care for the pineapple. L disagreed and said the combination was a good mix of savoury, sweet and spicy.

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Canoe ordered the Ahi Tuna Sushi Bowl ($18), similar to chirashi but with chunks of vegetables and a sauce that looked like honey mustard. Canoe enjoyed her bowl and said it was like eating a sushi roll. She thought the sushi rice was okay but not as good as Kinjo. She offered me a bite but since I just met her, I declined and instead ogled her food.

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Tent ordered a small Fried Chicken Pizza ($15). He ate about half of the pie and left the crust. Canoe mentioned she wanted to bring back lace from Croatia. Tent was very interested until he realized they were talking about different usages of lace. Canoe wanted the type you put on furniture, like a doily.

I’m getting excited for our upcoming trip. A few places I wanted to dine at include Konoba Bonaca, Barba, Buza Bar, Fish Bar El Pulpo and Pink Shrimp. Some of the excursions I’m interested include a day trip to Bosnia, island hopping, Lokrum Island, wineries and a Game of Throne tour. As Tent and Canoe are athletic, I’m going to suggest they check out chasing waterfalls, biking and kayaking.

Blackbird Public Urban Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bars/Lounges · Beer · Pizza · Pubs · Restaurants

Merchants

L’s colleague Enlightened and his partner The Good Wife met us for drinks in Marda Loop. L and I tried to get into Marda Loop Brewery, but we couldn’t get a table. We had a beer instead at Mad Rose Pub. However, the hockey game was on and it was killing my buzz, so we left for Merchants.

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Just as we were leaving, Enlightened saw a customer wearing a kippah. Enlightened walked over to say hi and to give his card. He said that whenever he sees someone in Calgary wearing a kippah, he introduces himself because that’s what people in his culture do.

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The music at Merchants always reminds me of an updated version of early 90’s club music. For this post, let’s listen to Robin S – Show me Love.

Enlightened suggested I do the ordering but specified he was very hungry and wanted to eat. Enlightened is forthright. You always know where you stand with him. If he’s wondering how much money you make, he’ll ask you. If you answer in a generality, he will ask why you aren’t being specific. When you try to establish personal boundaries, he seeks to enlighten you on your error.

Whenever I eat at Merchants, I always order the Truffle Mushroom Pizza ($22). I like the combination of pesto, prosciutto, mushrooms, arugula and truffle oil. I personally would have liked a bit more mozzarella because I found proportionally, there was too much crust. Enlightened noticed the bottom of the crust was burnt but he still ate it. I didn’t notice the crust was burnt.

Enlightened liked the Merchant Wings ($15) but said for the price, he would have liked a few more. The wings reminded me of Newcastle Pub’s version which are only 35 cents on Wednesdays.

Enlightened thought the Calamari ($15) was the best dish of the night. I didn’t like how the squid itself was wet and slippery underneath the batter. I prefer the calamari at Opa and Newcastle Pub.

Our server recommended the Black Truffle Fries ($10). I had already eaten dinner so nibbling on fries with truffle mayonnaise was the perfect treat for me.

I like Merchants. The service is always good and I like the energy. The Good Wife wants to meet up again, next time at Original Joe’s. I already looked up the menu and saw a wine I can drink, so I’m game.

Merchants Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bars/Lounges · Beer · Cheap Eats · Pubs · Restaurants

Greta Bar – No Man’s Dinner #1

“Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” – William Congreve

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When I applied to  No Mans Dinner – a supper club in Calgary –  I was informed that no female members are permitted. I pointed out that rule 5 stipulates no female guests, but there was no rule about female members.  Despite my outstanding qualifications, I was still rejected. Being the private person I am, I had to post this devastating blow on my Instagram feed.

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I joked to Loaf2go about having our own supper club – No Man’s Dinner. Loaf2go was also initially joking when she encouraged this, but after some back and forth and a coffee date, our new club was born.  Loaf2go designed the logo and created the rules. Please note –  despite our name, we are inclusive of all foodies, with one exception. No children.

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We picked Greta Bar for the first meetup. Even though it was -27 weather, the adult arcade bar was packed with customers.  You’ll either love or hate the music – a fun, nostalgic mix-up of 80’s and 90’s music.  I enjoyed listening to Bon Jovi, Spice Girls, New Kids on the Block and Biggie Smalls. For this post, let’s listen to Bon Jovi – Living’ On a Prayer.

 

Loaf2go texted me saying she would be a little late. I was in the same boat. Traffic was awful. She and her husband T arrived 3 minutes late. L and I were literally seconds behind.  Happyeatsyyc and Lizarooprai were already sitting at our table when we arrived.

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L was surprised there were so many men in our party, considering our club is called No Man’s Dinner. There was Iatehere, Pak_to_Eating_yyc’s boyfriend, Lizarooprai’s plus one, and the spouses of the Founder and President. I finally met HangryinYYC, my go to expert for dim sum in Calgary. I already knew ShellyKirks from my travels to Japan. The last to arrive was Jeanie.Mark. I found out she was late because she saw a car accident and she had to stay as a witness.

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For happy hour, house beers, wine and select cocktails were $5. Shop Fries, Greek Doughnuts, and Jamaican Patties were $5. The Greta Brown was tasty – with notes of espresso and chocolate. I preferred the brown over the Greta Blonde, the latter being a bit too yeasty for my taste.

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I enjoyed the Greek doughnuts ($6.50, HH $5) more than I thought I would. Each piece was warm and puffy, tasting a bit like a deluxe Tim Horton’s crueller Timbit. I didn’t find the addition of honey too sweet. I’d order this again.

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Loaf2go shared her Ginger Beef Baos ($13) with us. The sirloin beef is from Community Foods. I liked the squishiness of the homemade white buns. The beef was cut thin and lightly battered.

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The table’s favourite dish was another one of Loaf2go’s picks – the Currywurst Pretzel ($13). She said she knew it would be good because the sausage is from Empire Provision. The house-made curried ketchup had a hot kick to it.

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Shelly ordered the Jamaican Patties ($10, HH $5). The wagyu meat was also from Community Foods.  I enjoyed the heat in the curry ground beef. Shelly liked the turmeric pastry because of its thin, crispy shell. I liked the ratio of filling to crust.

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I ordered the Street Nuggets ($12) – buttermilk brine chicken with pickles and onions. I picked hot sauce, which was very hot. Loaf2go enjoyed the this dish more than I did. I prefer my nuggets with more a crunchy exterior.

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I also ordered the East Coast chip shop fries ($5.50, HH $4:00). The potatoes were made from fresh-cut Hutterite red skin  potatoes.  Everyone thought the fries were a tad overcooked.

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I tried some of Loaf2go’s Thai Mango Salad ($6.50). I could taste the fish sauce in the dressing. I wasn’t expecting to see a Thai salad that looked so authentic.

L and I were impressed that Greta was not afraid to use some heat. I thought it was cool that a bar that sells this range food of international dishes didn’t dumb down the spicy dishes. I wonder if the clientele appreciates the heat.

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Our next foodventure is going to be at Bar Modern, a new steakhouse on Stephen Ave for happy hour. If L is good, I might even splurge and buy him a steak dinner. Modern Steak serves beef from its prize-winning Black Angus Bull with Benchmark Angus. I’m pretty curious to see the difference between ranch specific Alberta beef and the sale stuff I buy from Safeway.

Greta Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Beer · Happy Hour · Pubs · Restaurants

Leopold’s Tavern – Wings Wednesday

I picked Leopold’s Tavern for our work ‘West Wing’ event. Horatio is a vegetarian and he voiced his displeasure about the lack of vegetarian options at my last work gathering. He pointed out that Leopold’s Tavern has cauliflower wings. I promised him that the next West Wing event would take place at a vegan friendly wing joint. For this post, let’s listen to “My Best Friend’s Girl” by The Cars.

Aycaramba, Lethbridge and I arrived at 3:00 p.m. to secure a big enough table. Leopold’s is a small pub and is very busy on Taco Tuesday and Wings Wednesday. The server was accomodating about us taking over a section of the restaurant and saving seats. The Caesar I ordered was smoky, strong and so spicy it stung the back of my throat.

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What’s the wing dealio here? You can get 1 lb of wings for only $3 between 3-4 p.m. $4 between 4-5 p.m., $5 between 5-6 p.m. and $5.99 between 6 p.m to close. You must purchase a drink for every order of wings/deep-fried cauliflower.
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For my second drink, I ordered Tokyo Drift ($7). Sour Cherry from Banded Peak is also offered on tap. I liked that Leopold’s serves up Calgary craft beer.

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I ordered Yolo Nachos (small $17 + $4 guacamole). The tortilla chips came flaming hot, covered in a soft cheesy blanket of mixed peppers, pico de gallo, fresh jalapenos & kalamata olives with sides of salsa and sour cream. The guacamole was the real stuff, with big chunks of avocado. I don’t like getting liquefied guacamole, as I can’t tell if it’s fresh or from a powdered mix.

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I tried Aycarumba sweet potato fries with chipotle mayo ($11). The exterior was crunchy while the interior was sweet and silky smooth. This is one of the better yam fries in the city.

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Horatio ordered his precious Buffalo Cauliflower Wings ($12). The vegetarian wings were  better than I thought it would be. The batter was crunchy and the sauce was tangy and a little sweet. If you’re a vegan, this is going to be as good as it gets for you.

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I was mesmerized by the way Lethbridge’s boyfriend Library eat his wings. I noticed that he eats two at a time. Wings all-star pro.

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Lethbridge ordered two plates of wings. I asked her why she wasted so much meat. She said it was because she was full after the first plate and didn’t like eating the cartilage. Lethbridge moaned about how full she was but went back and re-ate her food. The chipotle lime seasoning had a good zing to it.

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I ordered L a Classic Cheeseburger with fries ($16) as he was picking me up. Forty minutes later, the burger was still juicy. The patty was oversized and you could really taste the flavour of beef. L liked the fries too, thin cut and with the skin on. Our server gave me ketchup without asking, which was much appreciated. We ran out of ketchup at home and L would have been out of luck.

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How do these wings compare to other Wings Wednesday specials? The wings came out fresh out of fryer and there was suffice meat on dem bones. Some pubs give you the scrawny wings and serve them semi-warm. Service was friendly and efficient despite how busy the pub became.

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If you haven’t been to Leopold’s Tavern yet, give them a go. Service was great and the pub has good energy. I plan to go back and try the mushroom burger, poutine and macaroni and cheese, all of which I hear is tasty pub grub.

Leopold's Tavern Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Cheap Eats · Pubs · Restaurants

Hexters Pub

I organized a second event for my boss at Hexters Pub. We picked a Thursday, which happen to coincide with cheap wing night and karaoke (after 9:00 p.m.). For this post, let’s listen to Me and Bobby McGee by Janis Joplin, as we heard a customer do an excellent rendition.

We sat by the front of the restaurant. We enjoyed the occasional cool breeze blowing in from an open window. The pub itself is spacious and clean. Hexters put together two long tables for our 28 people guests. For work events, we aren’t allowed to pay for guests’ alcoholic beverages. We paid for non-alcoholic beverages, a vegetable platter ($15), two order of deep-fried mozzarella sticks ($10.99), and between 150-170 wings (35 cents each).

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To accommodate the crowd, I ordered the more pedestrian flavours – salt and pepper, buffalo, and honey garlic. The wings came out hot and crispy. I noticed wings that came out near the end of the night looked plumper.

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The batter on the mozza sticks was light. The cheese was stringy and warm. The vegetable platter consisted of sliced tomatoes, celery, carrots, mushrooms, peppers and a huge bowl of dip. Our server Maureen did a great job looking after our crew. At the end of the night, she asked everyone at our table if we wanted to take the leftover vegetables home.

I accompanied my in-law Veggie Girl when she went outside to smoke. She got into a conversation with another customer who was also smoking. I’ll call this person Scrappy. Scrappy said the nearby Chicago Pizza was her go-to for late night eats. She said the pizza is great, service is good and the staff recognize her number. I joked that I should call and say I’m her to get the same service. Scrappy said that wouldn’t happen as I would need to call from her phone. I said no problem, we would mug her and take her phone. She drew her arms into a fight posture and said, “Go the f$#! ahead. I’m a Bownesian.” I scurried back into the safety of the restaurant but I overheard Veggie Girl tell Scrappy that she too, was from Bowness. I saw from the corner of my eye Scrappy gave Veggie Girl a nod of approval.

I like Hexters for wings, karaoke and a reminder that I should get to know a stranger more intimately before joking about a potential theft. Price-wise, our office came under budget. For 28 people, our bill with a 20% tip was $162. One person skipped out on his beer tab, so I had to cover that out of my own pocket.

Hexters Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bars/Lounges · Beer · Cabos San Lucas · Cheap Eats · Pubs · Restaurants

Paddy’s Barbecue + Brewery

This winter weather is getting to me. Sensing my mood, L suggested we go out for dinner. I told him to pick a place. He drove past Marda Loop, Mission, Mount Royal and then pulled in front of to Paddy’s Barbecue & Brewery in Manchester Industrial Park. For this post, let’s listen to I’m Gonna Be (500 miles) by The Proclaimers.

With the heavy snowfall and the start of The Big Taste, we didn’t expect the brewery to be packed. When we entered at 6:30 p.m., there was a large private party, families with kids and people on dates. There was a lone stool available. L stood while I sat.

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We shared a flight ($7) of beer: Alberta Smash, Stout, Azaccca Wheat, and Hopped Lager. The Cascadian was dark and bitter. I preferred the NE IPA, which was light and tasted like grapefruit. The Juniper Saison was an easy drinking floral beer. L finished the Black Lager because I found it bitter. I thought it was neat that the brew dates for each beer was shown on the black board.

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The food and drink are self-serve. You go up to the bar for the beer and the kitchen for food. There was a man working there who seem to be in charge of the brewery. He kept his eye out for a table and the second a group vacated, he brought us over to sit down.

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We ordered the Half Feast ($30), which included half a pound of brisket, half a pound of ribs, a quarter of a chicken and three sides. You can pick between: kale Caesar, fries, potato salad, slaw, baked beans and cheesy mac. The food was so good I stopped tasting our second flight of beers.

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Of the three meats, the chicken was my favourite. The meat was flavourful and juicy. The ribs were tender with a hint of smoke. The brisket was moist and a good platform for the sauces. Our neighbor raved about the Peach Mango Heat. I preferred the Caroline Style BBQ because of the mustard tang. L preferred the Memphis style BBQ and the one with a hint of curry that I forgot to write down.

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The mac and cheese was cheesy with some bite left in the noodle. The fries were the real type, not frozen, so it had that waxy, firm texture. Our neighbour’s potato salad and kale salad looked so appetizing, I want to order it next.

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Paddy’s Barbecue & Brewery has nailed the food down. This is the sort of place you have to visit the States to find. Just good, honest BBQ at a bargain price. I hope the restaurant plans to expand, because once word gets out, it’s going to be even busier.