Before we left for Calgary, a coworker of mine recommended a restaurant in Banff to eat at- should we decide to venture out. Naturally it piqued my curiosity, so I looked it up. Turns out that The Grizzly House serves exotic meats and fondue. Heck yes I was going to go there! This was my early birthday dinner and celebration of our son’s successful weekend.
Upon entering the restaurant you feel like it was trapped in the early seventies. The soundtrack of 70’s and disco music being played throughout added to the atmosphere. Besides unique decor, the history of the restaurant was a social gathering where you could connect with strangers by calling their table number. A swingers restaurant that serves fondue and exotic meat? Let’s see what’s up with the food…
We chose to go with a four course meal. Our meal began with a soup or salad. My wife had the chicken tortellini soup while I went with the salad and house dressing. Excellent way to get the tastebuds excited. Then a cheese fondue. The hostess recommended tossing in the roasted garlic inside the cheese and it was next level.
Next came out the hot stone for us to cook our meats and a variety of dipping sauces. We sampled kangaroo, yak, yellowfin tuna, frog leg, alligator, buffalo and venison. Each unique in texture and flavor. The sauces equally as tasty. To end the meal we had a chocolate fondue with fresh fruit to dip.
The tastes were incredible throughout the meal. The place is a bit more pricey than I’m normally comfortable with, but for the experience to try new meat, well worth it.
And we never called any other tables. Experimenting with food was enough for this trip to the restaurant.
I left work at 6pm to go home. On my way, I went to pick up our middle child from their work. What should have been a 20 minute drive to meet them was well over twice that. So we decided to grab some dinner and wait out the traffic.
We stopped at Red Robin near where we met up. The burgers were pretty good and of course an Oreo milkshake was needed. We had a good conversation that was more adult-like than we normally have.
I’m glad we took the time to just hang out. It was far better than me rage driving in bad traffic. After our dinner, the commute home was quick.
Our doggo needed our attention since they had been home alone while we were both at work. It’s rare that someone isn’t at home to love her. She was super excited to see us when we did arrive home.
It was a pleasant evening together. A chance to hang out as friends instead of parent/child. I look forward to many more dinners like this as they grow up and want to share about their day and life with me.
With everything going on in the world, it’s nice to find a deal locally. Food prices are high, gas prices are fluctuating, but sometimes a place just goes against the norm and delivers.
Our downstairs tenants mentioned they went for breakfast yesterday at a local restaurant called “The Henry”. They told us that there is a $4.99 breakfast. Two eggs, hash browns, toast and a choice of bacon or sausage. For five bucks, it was worth a shot.
Honestly, the breakfast was pretty darn good. The service was also good. However, the coffee was not something I would buy again next time. Yes, there will be a next time.
So if you live in Langley or Surrey- definitely make your way to The Henry in Cloverdale for some cheap eats. It’s located on the street just south from the old Clova cinema. Some of my old friends may remember the location as an old strip club (just sayin’). My how times have changed.
I digress. It was a good Sunday brunch. Now to relax.
Last night my wife took me out to a fancy dinner at the hotel we were staying at. We went a bit early to enjoy the lounge because there was live music being played.
We sat across from the piano player. He mentioned that he was taking requests. So I asked for “Easy” by Commodores. He played it immediately and my wife and I grooved to the song. When we were being seated for dinner, the maitre’d asked if we still wanted to be seated near the piano. So we did.
We had a beautiful dinner together. I requested a couple more songs, and the pianist obliged. He played “Memories” by Dean Martin (the piano player said he will add this to his repertoire after) and “Your Song” by Elton John. Our dinner was elegant and by far the best meal I have had this year.
I enjoyed my birthday dinner tremendously. The company was exactly what I wanted and the entertainment was on point.
This afternoon my wife and I took our kids out for lunch in White Rock. We hit up a restaurant that my wife and I had been to over twenty years ago on one of our first dates. Charlie Don’t Surf. The last time my wife and I went there, we went for a walk hand in hand along the pier. When suddenly a lightning storm began. We enjoyed the strikes out in the ocean moments before the rain forced us to run to our car and head home. At home, we cuddled on a beanbag chair with my wife’s dog and continued to watch the storm as it passed.
It was a romantic memory to share.
This time was more family oriented, interest of romantic. We enjoyed a meal of fish and chips followed by my daughter and I having a New York Style Cheesecake. It was a nice mid-week afternoon treat for the four of us.
After lunch, we wandered up and down the pier enjoying the fog and watching a couple of BNSF trains going by. It was a nice peaceful walk before we headed back home for a relaxing afternoon.
Sharing an old memory and creating a new one is circled around a fun and tacky decorated restaurant. A good day all around.
On our second to last day, we went for breakfast at the restaurant by the beach. We had our regular breakfast server- Carlos. He had seen us numerous times this trip. We were even seated at the same table every morning. Carlos brought us our drink order without being asked. He knew exactly what we wanted.
Immediately after breakfast we spent the rest of the morning on the beach. The waves were calmer than the day prior, so we enjoyed splashing around and being goofy. At one point, there were schools of fish swimming up to us. A fellow guest at the resort gave me a bun he had taken from the breakfast buffet. As I tore off pieces and tossed them in the water- more fish approached me. I was able to reach down and pet them.
In the afternoon we wandered to the pool and cooled off before dinner. We chose the French restaurant this time. This was quite the elegant experience. From frog leg appetizer to baked Alaska dessert, everything was a production and delicious.
We ended our evening at a cheesy magic show followed by a few games of UNO at the bar. Every single day has been filled with good times starting at 8am and ending by midnight.
Yesterday we spent the afternoon and evening with a couple of friends. All of our kids were off doing their own thing, so my wife and I had a night to ourselves. First was hanging out at our place for a drink and appetizers.
Costco is great for finding quick and easy foods to share. I made some mini wontons and potato skins for us to share. Hanging out in the kitchen is always a great way to converse. Having a large kitchen island made it even better.
Afterwards we headed to a local establishment called “The Vault Restaurant”. It’s been around for ages and was built in an old bank. Kind of a steampunk/industrial feel inside. The food was great and the company was entertaining. It was ridiculously fun.
It’s been a while since my wife and I headed out for a night with friends. I’m glad we did as it turned into a fantastic evening. Date nights are becoming somewhat more frequent now that our kids are teenagers. It means my wife and I can get to know one another again. For that, I am grateful.
This afternoon my wife and I picked up our two youngest kids from school and headed out for an early dinner. As I have mentioned previously, I like to support local and small businesses. Tonight we took the kids to The Raving Gamer.
My wife and I have been to The Raving Gamer a few times ourselves. We enjoy the atmosphere of eating and playing board games. It always gave us a chance to try some games before purchasing them.
Tonight, we were the only people at the Raving Gamer. That is mostly because of the COVID restrictions in British Columbia. No indoor dining permitted. Outside in the parking lot of The Raving Gamer is only one table for four and a few tables for two. Not exactly a “Patio” compared to mainstream restaurants. But it serves its purpose allowing patrons to still enjoy a meal. As you can see, the food was appetizing and tasty.
Just before our early dinner, we played a game called Telestrations. Where you get given a word and have a minute to draw it out, then the next person guess the word, the next person draws the word and the person afterwards has to write what they think the word is and so on until it gets back to the original player. Like a game hybrid of telephone and Pictionary.
The game was fun for the four of us. I would like to see how much more creative it would turn out to be for up to twelve people playing. During the few rounds we did play, we laughed pretty hard. We all wanted to play more of the game, but know that it would be a fun party game with more players.
It was definitely a game we would recommend for larger groups. Obviously once Covid restrictions are lifted.
Are you supporting small businesses these days? Or perhaps playing games during the pandemic? Send me some recommendations for either of those. I want to still enjoy life and share experiences with others.
Since it was my daughter’s birthday yesterday, we wanted to do a nice dinner for her. Usually we get Nikko Sushi for any celebratory meals. But our daughter wanted to try something different. Due to current health restrictions in British Columbia, we had to order take out.
It also happened to be “National Take Out Day” as well! We picked up some slushies from a corner store, some Indian Food from Taj, and an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen.
Besides samosas, my family doesn’t eat a lot of Indian food. We did buy samosas, but we also had coconut chicken curry, butter naan bread, and paneer. It was delicious. I am impressed that our kids are always willing to explore tastes from other cultures.
The ice cream cake was a delicious end to the meal. Our daughter has been enjoying 80’s/90’s movies all her life and went with a “Clueless” inspired cake. We watched the film afterwards for a good laugh. (Wow, there are a lot of stars that were up and comers from back then! Thanks IMDB for helping me to recognize them.)
Did you enjoy some take out yesterday? What did you have?
Do you like Indian cuisine? What would you recommend we try next time from a restaurant?
For my birthday yesterday, my wife took me out to support a trio of small business restaurants in Langley. I’m a big proponent of helping out and buying from local businesses as often as I can afford it. To enjoy my birthday, I asked to support locally.
We started off with a late brunch at a place called Egg Bomb. This was the first time my wife and I had eaten there. It was funny because while we were inside, we talked about how the two of us used to attend the original coffee house that was first built in that location. Neither of us had met one another back in the 90’s at Castle Bay Coffee.
Egg Bomb was exactly that. Eggs! And amazing coffee. I had a teriyaki sandwich and my wife had prawn with hollandaise sauce. It was awesome. I would highly recommend them.
For dinner, the entire family went to a favorite restaurant of ours in Fort Langley- The Little Donkey. Burritos that were jam packed with delicious quality ingredients that filled our bellies.
And for dessert, my wife picked up a dozen Boston Cream donuts from Gourmet Donuts and Coffee in Walnut Grove. My wife remembered a story I had shared about my father from my childhood. Whenever he would attempt to quit smoking (this happened about five or six times) he would come home with a dozen Boston Creams for the family.
I enjoyed my birthday yesterday and all the food that my wife took me out for. Spending time with her and enjoying her company in the different atmospheres was wonderful. I really appreciate what she did for me and I’m glad we went out and helped other businesses by enjoying their wares.
Yesterday I took my daughter out for a late lunch date. We went to a place that I haven’t been to in twenty years. Fresgo Inn (Don’t bother with the website as it feels as if someone in the late 90’s attempted html). It has not changed in all the time I can remember. Nor was it very updated two decades ago either. This restaurant is trapped in some weird time vortex. Plus it was really difficult to locate. As if the Matrix had moved it two inches to the left.
My daughter and I walked into the cafeteria style restaurant and the first thing we noticed was the way the tile floor was grooved out by all the decades of foot traffic. Behind the plexiglass cabinets were styrofoam plates (styrofoam? Who uses that?) with oversized dessert portions. The same style of desserts that have been sold for ages.
The meals we chose were simple. Montreal style poutine and a cheeseburger. Massive portions, for the price we paid, created by a chef in one of those tall cylindrical paper hats. We ate our lunch at a table with mismatched chairs from the 70’s.
We ended up bringing plates of desserts home. The chocolate pie was rich and artificial tasting. The cheesecake tasted as if the chef had been smoking prior to starting his shift. Stale smoke filled every bite. It was like stepping into a time machine and taking a bite out of the 1980’s.
Besides the awkward feeling the restaurant has, it’s not my regular fanfare of foods. But it was worth a trip down memory lane. If I avoid it for another couple of decades- it may turn into The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe. Which it was already on the way to become.
On Sunday we booked High Tea at The Empress in Victoria for the family. Over the decades of traveling to Victoria- I’ve always wanted to see the inside of The Empress. My wife and I wanted to make this trip to Victoria special for our daughters. Our sixteen year old had never been here, and our eighteen year old needed a way to celebrate her high school graduation.
Walking into The Empress is overwhelming and intimidating. Every bit about it was elegant. From the piano player to the china with which our tea was served- posh is the word that comes to mind.
We did our part by dressing in our Sunday Best. The kids behaved in their best possible manners as well. We got some great photos with beautiful smiles.
My wife and I chose a Rose tea that was a favorite of Princess Diana. Our children each chose a flavour that matched their palette. The food which was served was decadent and delectable. We were presented with fabulous tea sandwiches and desserts.
This trip was probably the most extravagant experience we have ever shared as a family. From staying in the penthouse suite to experiencing a high tea- this weekend getaway was a one of a kind local journey.
Moments like these matter most to us. My wife and I hope that our children will talk about this in years to come.
Our oldest daughter turned 17 yesterday. With it came another turning point into adulthood and a fantastic dinner with some friends of ours.
Starting off the day, she wanted a piercing through the cartilage on the upper part of both ears. So we stopped at a place in Calgary called Tribal Expression. The store was clean; the staff were professional and courteous. They also offered a reference to a piercing location near our home- one province over- which eased my mind a bit more.
During the process I still got to be “Daddy” as she wanted to hold my hand while getting the piercings done. That made me feel good inside. Plus, our daughter is happy with her new hoops she got installed for her birthday. Oh, and I was $148 lighter in my bank account.
Afterwards, we stopped at the nearby Starbucks in order to get the very “Instagram Worthy” Tie Dyed Frappuccino. This gave my girls a chance to share pics online and have a good bonding moment while I recovered from the cost and noticeable perforations that are now in my daughter’s ear lobes.
Later in the evening we meet up with some old friends in Calgary at a restaurant called Gorilla Whale. There were hugs and stories to be shared as we all tried our best to contain our excitement of meeting up again. We love these two and they have been long standing friends of ours since we first started going to conventions.
Not only was the company great, but the food at the restaurant was a fantastic mix of Japanese and Western creativity. I opted for the Godzilla burger- which contained wagyu beef, foie gras and unagi. (Cow, duck liver, and eel). The food was awesome and reasonably priced-ish. (I think I’ve spent more money on a regular excursion for sushi at our regular joint.)
All-in-all it was a good day of our daughter experiencing the joys of adulthood. Treating yo’self, sending time with old friends, and enjoying a night out at a fancier restaurant than usual. I hope she continues to enjoy and experience life to its fullest.
Sometimes I like to focus on the mundane and bring it to the forefront of my writing. Today is a perfect example of it. The inspiration I have for my blog post- I am eating off of.
About a year ago my wife and I bought some new dishes. Not just one set mind you- we had to pick up two sets and matching serving dishes. We spent a small fortune on them, but I’m really happy about it for many reasons. First of all- they are square- even the bowls. Secondly, they are really heavy and durable- like high end restaurant dishes. They are stark white with no print or image. And lastly, they have a one inch edge around them framing the center of the plate.
The last point is the most crucial for why I love them. This rim has caused us to limit how much food goes on our plates. On our old plates it was filled to the edges. Mountains of food! Now we have taken out the overindulgence and allowed ourselves to enjoy the tastes again with healthier portions.
Having square shaped dishes also makes for cleaning them a breeze. They all stack neatly in the dishwasher and the cupboard. Not being round also changed the presentation ideas. A little more fun and frivolous with how the food looks…
Of course, we couldn’t just buy new plates. We also had to purchase new flatware to go with it all. We can serve up to sixteen people in a single sitting. Perhaps it’s about time that we entertain more often. Dinner anyone?
I worked in kitchens a few times throughout my career. Working in a fast food burger joint at age 16 taught me that people are assholes and expect first class dining on a shoestring budget. I have nothing but the utmost respect for McDonald’s employees when I see them working hard. For a brief time when I worked at the movie theater, I worked in the kitchen (which was similar to a pub) and learned what a real dinner rush was. People had limited time to enjoy their meals before a showtime, & other staff members also had limited break times.
My best experience working in a restaurant was Chuck E. Cheese’s. I loved the kitchen- I mastered every aspect of it. Ordering produce, preparing dough, rotating stock, and getting creative in my own personal pizzas. The staff began to beg me to make pizzas all the time because I made every bite count. I diced vegetables and spread them evenly. Or I marinated the chicken with Italian dressing for a bit before using it. I’ve always loved cooking.
Last night we had some people over for a little BBQ to celebrate my wife and I being married for 15 years. I made deep fried pita bread for the spinach dip my wife made. My wife had marinated the pork kebabs that I grilled up. I made my “fancy sandwiches” and my wife set up cupcakes with edible butterflies on them. Part of being married for so long is that we can complement each other’s styles of foods thus creating a caring and fantastic feast for our friends. That’s not something you can learn in a restaurant. Sure, you can learn what foods pair well with which wines, but putting love and care into your food is something you feel.
Sometimes at dinner we ask the kids to list off the ingredients they can taste in the meal. More often than not, one of them will answer “Love” is an ingredient. After last night’s dinner for our friends, I believe it to be true now. My wife and I put “Love” into what we cook on a regular basis.
To quote a song from The Kids in the Hall:
I guess you want to know what’s in this pie.
Well… there’s two cups love, a cup and a half of understanding,