I planned on spending my Monday evening like a wholly regular person; eating a healthy dinner, going for a nice walk, maybe making a craft (that one might not be so normal), and retiring early for the night.
However, my plans were quickly scrapped when one of my best friends from Victoria sent me a message telling me that he was thinking about stopping in Calgary on his way en route from Edmonton to Canmore. Obviously, I needed to see him. And obviously that meant that plenty of good food and beer was in order.
We met after I finished work for the day and decided to hit up Amsterdam Rhino for happy hour. Although the last time I was there I was really unimpressed with their food and service, we were planning on only having a couple of drinks and moving on. It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of their beer (not to mention their happy hour prices), so it was a good choice. Thankfully, we had a great server as well, which is often hit and miss at Rhino. I had the Dam Rhino (always a good choice) while my buddy had a Black Pil (again, another good choice) and another friend who met us had the JD Lemonaide (which I’ve never had before and highly recommend, though you do have to deal with vast amounts of lemon seeds). We weren’t planning on getting food, but one of my friends is obsessed with pickles (she’s like the intelligent, comparably-sober version of Snooki from Jersey Shore) and decided that we needed to order the deep fried pickles. I have to admit here; I had never had a deep fried pickle before. Even through years of deep fried disgustingness at Stampedes and carnivals and State fairs in the Southern United States, I have artfully avoided ever having eaten one. Until now. I have to say, they were pretty darn good. Not something I’d probably ever order again, but good nonetheless. Plus, my friend prefers the pickles to the batter, so I got to eat all of her pickle-less deep fried goodness as well. Very wonderful.
My buddy is sleeping in his van as a result of deciding to travel through interior Canada in said van, and we needed to move it out of the ridiculously priced parkade in downtown Calgary as well as pick up his stuff so that he could shower.
(Just a side note, before we headed to Rhino, I had a viewing for an apartment I was thinking about renting, which turned out to be absolutely horrific, to which my buddy stated “I’m sleeping in a van, and I would definitely pick that over this awful apartment”; why is it so difficult to find a place to live in this city?!)
We hit up a friend’s place downtown for a couple drinks (and a shower) before discussing what to do with our evening. Genuinely, what sort of bars and pubs are fun on a Monday night? Then we remembered; Morgan’s has $1.00 beer on Monday nights and good dancing music. Obviously, it was the place to go!
We had a few rounds at Morgan’s before realizing that we hadn’t eaten a proper dinner yet and (obviously) needed to get something substantial in our bellies. We opted to leave Morgan’s, both because we didn’t know if they were still serving and none of us had ever eaten there and didn’t know if we really trusted what might follow.
We decided that we needed poutine. I’ve never had more than a bite of friends’ poutine, but I’m feeling both adventurous and disgusting in my newfound carnivorous ways, so I went with it. We headed to the Big Cheese Poutinerie only to discover that it was closed (oh yeah, it’s a Monday night and most responsible adults have to work in the morning). Thus, we decided to move on to Bite Me Grill, which is just off of 17th Ave. behind the Yardhouse and is effing amazing. Everytime I go in, who I assume must be the owner is working and he is possibly the best person to ever exist ever. He is remarkably friendly and will go out of his way to make you exactly what you want. When I was vegan he made me vegan wraps and salads (with TONS of extra hummus), and on Monday night he made us all chicken poutine from scratch (so you know it’s fresh), which was delicious. Apparently though, I still need to try poutine with real cheese curds. I’ll take everyone’s word for it.
So the moral of the story is this: Morgan’s is fun on a Monday night, it is exceedingly difficult to find somewhere to live in this city, and the Bite Me Grill is fantastic. I had Jimmy’s for the first time on Wednesday night due to hearing such great things about this supposedly best donair place in the city. I was very excited to try it, but was super disappointed with my flavourless chicken and donair meat. Bite Me is infinitely better.