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.

caesar.jpg

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.
wings2.jpg

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.

darcy

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.

nachos.jpg

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.

cauli.jpg

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.

wing eater.jpg

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.

hotw ings.jpg

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.

waste.jpg

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.

Leighton.jpg

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.

wings.jpg

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

Happy Hour · Restaurants · Vietnamese

Pure Contemporary Vietnamese – All-you-can-eat wings

In my office, I’m usually the one who organizes after work get-togethers. This time around, I picked Pure Contemporary Vietnamese for Wings Wednesday. Horatio made a joke that we should call our party “West Wings”. I’m not political. Left wing, right wing, I just like to wing it. For this post, let’s listen to The West Wing theme song.

Here’s the lowdown. Everyone at the table must order a drink from Pure’s speciality menu and choose one of two options: pay a) 35 cents per wing or b) $10 for all-you-can-eat wings. If you have leftovers at the end of the meal, you’ll be charged $1 per wing. You are also limited to two hours from time of order.

wine

There’s something for everyone here: cocktails, draft beer, bottled beer, wines and non-alcoholic drinks.  I tried a glass of the 50th Parallel Gewurztraminer ($9.50), which was a bit too sweet for my taste. I preferred the Casa Petrone Pinot Grigio ($8.50). Disco Mary liked her Kimmy Caesar and Carol enjoyed her mojito. Zeplin was impressed with his showy, mint green milkshake topped with whipped cream. Everyone else at our table ordered draft beer.

table

There are 15 different flavours to choose from. The most popular wings are: chili lime, nuoc cham, garlic butter, gochujiang, truffle parmesan, and chili tamarind. For the traditionalists, there’s Franks Hot, honey hot, teriyaki, honey garlic and salt and pepper.

salt and pepper

Pure’s version of salt and pepper reminds me of Chinese style salt and pepper squid. The wings were fried then dressed in chili flakes, wok fried peppers, onions and green onions. The wings were juicy, fat, crunchy morsels. The size of these babies are at least three times that of any other pub in Calgary.

parm.jpg

The taste of the freshly grated parmesan and black truffle salt was dominant. Delicious, but I couldn’t eat a whole plate on my own because the flavour and smell was pungent after a few.

hoison.jpg

Everyone ordered a plate each and we all shared our wings. About my fifth wing in, I began to lose awareness of which flavour of wing I was devouring. I was so into mowing down that I lost tract.  I do remember our group’s favourite flavour was chili lime. The sauce was tangy and spicy.

saucy

Andrew observed that our section of the table consumed more wings than the other side. I didn’t want to analyze how much we actually ate, but he was persistent and made me take the  photo below as evidence. Now I get to relive how much I over ate.

bones.jpg

Meets said these were the best wings she’s ever had and wants to come back.  I know my coworkers were surprised that I picked to have wings at a Vietnamese restaurant. After they ate here, they knew why. Pure serves up kick ass wings.

banhmi.jpg

My husband L enjoyed wing Wednesday so much, we returned on Saturday. L ordered the Open Face Beef Banh Mi ($13.75) on focaccia bread, with fries as the side. The wok tossed kalbi beef was tender and saucy. This is just a personal preference, but we would have preferred a plain baguette instead of the focaccia.  I felt like a simpler bread would have been a good foil to all the strong, flavourful sauces. I’m keen to try Pure’s traditional Vietnamese Baguette ($13.75), to see how it compares to my favourite banh mi spot – The Submarine.

pho.jpg

The Pot au Pho ($13.75) is big enough for two people. I was too full after devouring the entire bowl. The bowl is generously filled with slices of beef, flank, beef balls, crunchy bean sprouts, freshly sliced scallions and a few leaves of basil. The broth is rich and has more intense flavours than your typical pho joint. To date, Song Huong and Pure make my favourite pho in the city. I wanted to try Pho Da Bo for their sate beef with bone marrow.

Screen Shot 2018-07-11 at 8.23.48 PM

I’m keen to organize another wing event. Horatio wants to go to Leopold’s Tavern for cauliflower wings because he’s vegan. There’s a location in the Beltline and another location opening up in Bowness. I want to try Beagle 14 and Unicorn Pub, as I hear from @yycwings that the wings are stellar. Also, if you want to see some serious wing drama, check out the beef @betterthanyycwings has for @yycwings. Hopefully there won’t be any fowl play.

Pure Contemporary Vietnamese Kitchen + Bar 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).

wings

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.

mozza.jpg

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