Yesterday we went out to celebrate Brent’s promotion. No one else had wanted to join us for the best charcueterie, I really don’t know why. What’s not to like? House-cured meats sounds amazing. We headed out early anticipating a line-up of other hungry foodies and were a bit surprised to find that we were the first ones there, so we walked past and staked out a spot in front of a church, paranoidly eying Black Hoof. And then two more people showed up and sat down on the seats provided out front. Suffice to say we were no longer the first ones in line. Ah well, we did not end up looking like complete and total losers, so it’s all good. It was funny watching them look inside to see if it was open yet. One of the waitresses kept unlocking the inner door for a guy who kept running across the street to what I can only assume was their original location from which they recently moved but have not transferred all the amenities? In any case, she kept locking the door after he came back as if we would just all barge in, demanding food. In the end it was a good thing we came early, the place quickly filled up. Also being there right after opening meant we got prompt and courteous service. The food arrived really quickly, in total the ordeal took less than an hour, my kind of dining. We ordered the plate of house-cured meats and the tongue on brioche. Neither of us knew what brioche was and Brent hazarded a guess that it was a type of cheese. We had this idea that it was going to be tongue (gross-sounding) on stinky cheese (possibly even worse).
When the dish arrived we were pleasantly surprised. *Brioche is a type of bread. The tongue was not as my mom had served it to me, grey slices with the taste buds still visible. Oh no, this more-so resembled deli-sliced ham. Looking at it, you would have never guessed it was tongue. Or tasting it. It just tasted like ham with a slight spicy tinge of a zing to it, but that may have been the mayonnaisey-horse radishy sauce on top of it. When we first placed our order she tried to up-sell us bread, pickles and/or olives. Ha to that, with our order of tongue on brioche we got bread and there were pickles on the side! And no olives! Perfect way to beat the system. Unintentionally happenstance, but still. And so it turns out my mom was now right twice, about cow tongue and tripe soup.
The night was still young. This was just the start. Back at the house we reconvened and met up with Scott and Paul who were joining in the festivities. We hung out at the house for a bit (who goes out at 7pm? No one). After a heated episode of Jeopardy! I loaded up some trivia questions and took over for Alex Trebek after the episode ended. Except these questions were at times rather obscure or no longer valid (saying that the Queen cannot vote?). All riled up on trivia we headed out in search of a secret bar, voted best bar of 2011 (but how can that be if it is secret?!). We walked up to College and in that one block walk we lost Braedean and Paul. One block. So we hopped in a cab and headed to Kensington. We got off at a random street and headed down some dark small streets, took a wrong turn and ended up at Spadina. All the while making jokes about this not being a real bar, just a utility closet.
I mean come on, when the instructions say go in the mall and look for a door with a red light above it, that is the bar? It sounded like an inside joke being perpetuated by other people who fell victim to this joke. “Yeah, this bar is *so cool*” WINK. As we walked down a lone sketch (sort of smelly) hallway, having made our way off Spadina back into Kensington, I thought I saw a guy who looked like Paul walk into the “bar” just ahead of us. No one heard me.
We slowly approached, still thinking it was some horrid joke. There is a small window in the door and we peeked in and went inside. The first thing you see is a small stall selling what appears to be food. Sketchy looking food. The bar itself is very low-key and non-descript, I guess that is the theme. A real hole-in-the-wall bar. The music was being spun by a guy with a Mac book behind the bar. And somehow, at 9:30pm, in the no man’s land: the place was packed. It turned out that Braedean and Paul had gone back to Google the place. It was them I saw going in, and we met them at the bar. No bar trip is complete without a visit to the secret (and just as low-key) patio. Along the way we managed to pick up a new member to the group (in my head I see us a giant Katamari rolling through). It was some weird guy who loved the Maple Leafs. At the time I thought he was a security guard, but I was later informed that he was some random guy. In retrospect I am pretty sure he was trying to get Scott’s number. It being January in Canada, our patio plans quickly fell through and we ran back inside. Inside, where it was even more packed. As we looked around it dawned on us… this might have been a gay bar.
Brent and I bailed on going to some place called either Dance Cave or DanceScape and instead went looking for One Love to get some best of vegetarian. Shockingly, it was closed. SO instead we headed over to Smoke’s Poutinerie for some damn good poutine. But also kind of weird. It never occurred to me to put butter chicken on top of fries and gravy and cheese curds. It was pretty good in small doses, but eating the whole thing? Too much. We also wrote down Kyle’s phone number on the chalkboard. It was funny.