Poland had reached a new record, making it into the semi-finals for the first time in the EuroCup soccer series. So of course we had to go watch them play versus Portugal at Real Sports Bar. As soon as they had won the previous game I was booking the table for the next match. The plan was to go have dinner on Roncesvalles afterwards, whether Poland won or lost.
The atmosphere was amazing, we were surrounded by Polish fans with a few Portuguese fans interspersed here and there for drama. We spent the whole time eating perogies and drinking. For my third drink I had ordered a Fruli, but the waitress suggested I try a surprise recommendation. I was all for it, and it was worth it. She presented me with a tall glass of beer, garnished with a strawberry. It was half Fruli strawberry beer, half Erdinger wheat beer. This has since becomem a go-to amazing drink for me.
Alas, Poland lost in penalty kicks.
As it turned out, the best produce store in Toronto was a few doors down from Cafe Polonez, voted best cabbage rolls in Toronto. And given it was strawberry season I was all for going to a produce store. Even though I was already carrying a bag of strawberries from a farmer’s market I had chanced upon during my walk down to Real Sports Bar.
The cabbage roll was tasty- but nowhere near as good as I used to at home. This might be my preference for barley instead of rice in the stuffing. The perogies were delicious as usual. On auto-pilot, I ended up ordering the meat ones. I had meant to get the cheese and potato ones, but we had been eating cheese and potato ones at Real Sports Bar. I was way too full after dinner to go to Ed’s Real Scoop. Drowning my sorrows for Poland’s loss in ice cream would have to wait.
Walking home through Little Portugal, along College hurt. It hurt a lot. Everyone was out celebrating and honking, flags waving everywhere. I started feeling better once we were past Ossington. I caved and went in to The Big Chill. Unfortunately they were sold out of donuts, my dreams of having a Krispy Kreme donut sundae were dashed. Instead I had to settle for a waffle cone stuffed with birthday cake ice cream. As I was paying, a guy leaned in and asked me if I had gotten the children’s surprise ice cream flavour. Bewildered, and unsure what to answer, he corrected himself, noting that it was the birthday cake flavour. He asked me if it was any good. I stared at him and said no. I had not even tasted it yet. How could I know?
We finished off the night at Bar Volo with a nightcap, drowning our now-double-sorrows, as Bar Volo would be closing in a few months. At the bar Brent overheard that the owner’s new bar on College, dedicated to sour beers, would be opening in 4 weeks.