17th Ave · Bars/Lounges · Beer · Happy Hour · Pubs

Newcastle Pub – Wing Night

L wants to be cautious on where we choose to dine out because of the new COVID-19 variant. We drove by Newcastle Pub and saw that it was quiet, perhaps because of the weather and time of day. In honour of the new documentary on Britney Spears, let’s listen to “I Wanna Go”.

Newcastle installed glass barriers between socially distanced tables. The room looked and smelled clean – even the walls and ceilings appeared freshly washed. When we sat down, we saw our favourite server Katarina going to each table to ask for a name and phone number. One of the new restrictions is that restaurants are expected to collect contact information from one person of the dining party.

L ordered an IPA ($7, 20 ounce) and I settled on a Wild Rose Velvet Fog ($7, 20 ounce). I still remember when I first came to Calgary, how much I liked Wild Rose beer. At that time, BC only had Granville Island beer, which tastes like what I imagine piss to be like. I can actually feel my mother cringing at that description. I’m not so worried because another restriction is that out-of-town visitors cannot stay in other people’s homes while these restrictions are in place, regardless of where they are coming from.

One thing we always order is the Truffle Fries ($9.75). The portion is huge and despite the fact the fries are piled high, there’s an even distribution of grated parmesan, truffle oil and fresh parsley. L likes that the amount of truffle isn’t overwhelming. I love the side of garlic aioli, even though this dish is decadent enough on its own.

I felt like wings and L said he would share it with me, just as long it wasn’t salt and pepper. I asked him why and he responded that it is the most boring flavour you can get. I questioned why he’s just telling me this now, as I’ve always ordered salt and pepper wings. L said how can you not know? It’s just salt and pepper, and now that he thinks about it, that’s not even a flavour. I think this pandemic is getting to us. I’ve never seen L so passionate about chicken. I was speechless.

I have to admit, hot wings ($3.50, $1.50 for a side of ranch) taste much better than the salt and pepper. The hot sauce had a nice heat to it and a pleasant vinegary tang. On wing night and regular nights, there’s always sufficient meat on the bones. However, on this day, the wings were extra meaty.


Newcastle Pub is one of the best run pubs in the city. I think part of the reason is the manager Jay is always helping out and he previously worked as an executive chef. In the nine years we’ve been customers, we’ve never experienced a bad meal or poor service. Keep up the great work enforcing the mandatory restrictions.

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

Bars/Lounges · Beer · Burgers · Happy Hour · Restaurants

Silver Point Pub – Wing Night

I’ve been planning small social meet and greets at local businesses. I picked Silver Point Pub in Silver Springs because the employee on the phone was so accommodating when I called to ask about reservations. In the past summer, a volunteer brought me here so he could use the washroom and ask for a glass of water. The server asked me if I wanted some water too. I didn’t want to be a bother but she ensured me she would be happy to do so. For this post, let’s listen to Gary Portnoy’s Where Everybody Knows Your Name.

We picked a Wednesday to host this get together, which happened to be wing night. The pub was packed and as a result, food came out a bit slowly. I didn’t mind as when the food did arrive, it was hot and fresh. I rather wait a bit and have the food properly prepared then sent out fast because it was premade.

wings.jpg

Kudos to our lone server Lea. She was around constantly to refill drinks and greet each new person that showed up at our tables. Due to our limited budget, my office hosted complimentary non-alcoholic drinks and snacks. I ordered two plates of nachos ($12.99), 15 plates of wings ($5) and a veggie platter ($9). I had to think of a nice way to tell people if they wanted booze, they were on their own. I decided with the following sentence – Alcoholic beverages are available for purchase at the guest’s own expense.

salt pepper

The wings were fresh out of the fryer, glistening and saucy. The teriyaki wings had a buttery aftertaste. The salt and pepper were the crowd’s favourite. One guest ordered the Ghost Hot wings. I stuck to the regular old hot wings.

nachos

The nachos were generously topped with gooey cheese, hot peppers, green onions, tomatoes, and black olives. The topping ratio to chips was excellent. The cheese and chips stayed warm for a long time.

For 30 plus guests, the bill with a 20% gratuity was under $200. That worked out to about $6.00 a guest. I have two more events coming up. I hope I can get the budget close to what received at Silver Point Pub.

Silver Point Pub & Eatery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Beer · Pizza · Pubs · Restaurants

Last Straw Ale House

As of late, I’ve been up in the community of Tuscany. It’s a beautiful community but man, the pickings for restaurants are scarce.  My buddy thinks Tuscany is the perfect community to raise their children but it’s no centre of the universe urban oasis for DINKS  like me. Let’s listen to something city’ish. For the record, I’m no fan of the show Sex and the City.

Last month, I was in for a blue cheese salad ($14.00). The salad was fine, something I could make at home. The portion was filling for a satisfying lunch.

Screen Shot 2017-10-20 at 5.05.50 PM

Last week, I met up with my husband and my buddy Baron for wing night. On Wednesdays, wings are 39 cents. We ordered pints of Grasshopper, salt and pepper, Buffalo, Jerk wings and fries with mayo.

Screen Shot 2017-10-20 at 5.06.17 PM.png

Service was efficient and friendly. Despite it being a busy night, we received prompt service.

Screen Shot 2017-10-20 at 5.07.58 PM.png

For 39 cents, you can’t complain. The wings were hot and crisp. The chicken itself was bruised with blue and black discolouration. Graphic and kind of made me want to become a vegetarian.

Screen Shot 2017-10-20 at 5.07.50 PM.png

The fries were crunchy and fresh from the fryer, but over salted to the point I had to rub some of the salt off with my napkin. However, that didn’t stop me from eating most of the fries.

Screen Shot 2017-10-20 at 5.07.43 PM.png

If I met Baron here again, I’d return for beers and unsalted fries. As the service was good, I would give this pub another chance. I hear the pizza is tasty.

The Last Straw Ale House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Beer · Burgers · Cheap Eats · Pubs

Moose McGuire’s – Wing Night

Based on the Zomato reviews, it looks like students are pickier than I am when it comes to pubs. I have always like Moose McGuire’s when I was a student and lived nearby. In particular, I liked the wings and burgers, which I think are better than the nearby pubs (Kilkenny Irish Pub, The Den, Last Defence, and Jamesons). After a late work meeting last week, I was able to rekindle my love for Moose McGuire’s.

Screen Shot 2016-02-27 at 8.02.27 AM

L and I happen to visit during wing night. Kudos to our young server Ashley W. I’m not usually impressed with service at a pub because often the environment is chaotic and it hard to get anyone’s attention. However, Ashley was personable, helpful and did things she didn’t have to, like split our burger when she found out we were sharing and ensuring we sure we had enough napkins for the wings.

Screen Shot 2016-02-27 at 8.02.33 AM

For 35 cents each, these wings are awesome. We ordered wings with hot sauce. L thought he could taste a little cumin in the sauce. The wings were meaty, crispy and tangy with a spicy heat. I would have just eaten a basket on my own and been full.

Screen Shot 2016-02-27 at 8.02.41 AM

The cheese and bacon burger tasted like a Whopper from Burger King. That’s a compliment not an insult. The bun was different and didn’t taste like a generic type you get from a bag at Safeway. The bacon was crunchy, the lettuce and tomato cold and refreshing against the juicy beef patty. The fries are nothing to get excited about, but it was served hot and crispy and I didn’t get the tiny,  brown crispy pieces that remind me of the leftover stuff in a fryer.

Screen Shot 2016-02-27 at 8.02.47 AM

L and I left full and pleased with our bill. We both agreed that we need to start dropping by more often for wing night. When we do, I doubt we’ll venture past our standard order of a burger and wings.

View my food journey on Zomato!

Moose McGuire's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato