Posts Tagged ‘canada’

Accio Bloody Mary! *swish and flick*

I’m nerdy. I admit it. I embrace it. Nerds are the best. One of my nerdy interests is the Cold War and all things atomic – weapons, energy, accidents, Civil Defense. When I saw that The Art Gallery of Ontario had a special photography exhibit called Camera Atomica, I had to go. So J and I made the drive up north to Toronto for the afternoon. We grabbed some food in China Town before heading to the AGO on their free Wednesday night open hours before moving on to one of my other nerdy interests. Harry Potter.

I solemnly swear I am up to no good....

I solemnly swear I am up to no good….

I fully admit I was late to the Harry Potter parade, not reading the books or seeing any movies until the last book was already released. I was in a reading slump, where I had nothing to read, so I finally picked it up. After years of making fun of my friends for going to midnight book releases, and loving the series, I had to apologize to them. IT WAS FANTASTIC! There’s nothing I can say that hasn’t already been said, it’s just a great series, and I went all out, attending the last 3 movies at midnight, visiting Universal Studios theme park, buying t-shirts etc.

Bathroom chalkboard graffiti at The Lockhart

Bathroom chalkboard grafitti at The Lockhart

I had seen an article on the interwebs about a Harry Potter bar in Toronto. Whaaaattt!? I had to go. Besides just the name of the bar, The Lockhart, the article advertised visual Potter clues around the bar, and special Potter themed drinks – including one drink named for a reference so obscure, the owners have promised a free one if you figure it out (I’m sad, I didn’t figure it out…UNTIL RIGHT NOW!). And if Harry Potter isn’t for you, there are also other nerdy drinks like the Captain Picard and Dr Manhattan.

The Lockhart

The Lockhart

To be honest I was a little underwhelmed by the bar. The Harry Potter references are pretty subtle, and if you weren’t looking, or didn’t know Harry Potter, you would just see another hipster-y bar. Most of the Potter references came in the bathroom chalk board graffiti, not upstairs. And the nerd in me is super bothered by the stag patronus being associated with lame Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor Lockhart. But let us get to the drink.

The Lockhart Caesar

The Lockhart Caesar

The Lockhart Caesar. For $10CAD the caesar featured vodka, “death potion”, angostura bitters, Worcester sauce, hot sauce (the menu said Frank’s, but he used sriracha), Clamato, horseradish, lime and spice. Garnished with an olive, pickle, and green bean the drink was pretty liquidy but it was good and drinkable. It was garlicky and spicy from the sriracha, with a bit of tang from pickle juice and citrus, but no noticeable horseradish flavor so I’m not sure there actually is any in the drink. I’m not sure what “death potion” is but the drink was tasty and I recommend it regardless.

I also tried the Shacklebolt, their take on a Dark and Stormy, which was tasty. One menu item that intrigued me was the Jalapeno Death Shot – jalapeno infused tequila not fit for human consumption. I thought, how bad could it be? It’s just jalapenos, I love jalapenos. And it’s a shot, it goes down quick. I didn’t want to try it because I was driving, but I was curious. In walk an Indian couple who sat next to us and gave it a try. So how bad can it be? The girl went downstairs to the bathroom, where J found her throwing up in the sink and pouring sweat, and the guy immediately went outside not to return for a good 20 minutes. It’s that bad. And they were Indian, Indian food is killer spicy (and delicious)! So drink it if you dare. (Maybe they should put a bit in the caesar!)



My First Caesar

To change up our usual day off activities, J and I decided to play tourist and cross over to Niagara Falls, Canada for the evening. He was in charge of finding us a place to eat, and The Syndicate Restaurant and Brewery caught his attention, purely because of the name. Honestly, it is a pretty cool name. While we were driving I also asked my parents for the name of the brewery they had gone to and enjoyed, and what do you know, it was The Syndicate! There was no question where we were going to go now.

Located a bit beyond the normal “touristy” areas of Niagara Falls, on Lundy’s Lane, it’s a small restaurant with the brew tanks in back and a small patio up front (if you like to watch traffic go by). They had an interesting lunch menu, with a few sandwich type options for dinner, and a price fixed dinner menu that included salad, fancier main dish, and dessert. A beer and cocktail menu had some good options, including a sriracha Caesar….

I can’t say I enjoy seafood. I have an occasional shrimp when it’s in another dish, like Singapore noodles, but I’d never order it as a main dish. I don’t eat fish or shell fish. So the prospect of getting a cocktail with clam juice was horrifying. I debated it for a while, but in the end, I went for it.

My First Caesar!

My First Caesar!

Garnished with a lemon and lime, and a spiced rim that was probably Old Bay seasoning, I was hesitant to take the first sip. I couldn’t wait forever though…and…it was good!! It was spicy and garlicky and pretty tasty. There was just the hint of something else from the clam, umami or whatnot. I was scared of there being a very strong fishy taste, but there really wasn’t. None of the flavors were overwhelming, but it wasn’t boring.

I’m still not sure I understand Clamato juice, and I don’t think I’ll be drinking it with a beer any time soon, but I don’t need to be scared of Caesars anymore!

Fallsview Casino

Jason and I have been taking Craps at work – learning how to deal Craps – so we went across the river to Fallsview Casino to play, because what’s the best way to learn? By losing your money! Or in our case, breaking even! Hooray! A few years ago I learned that there was this secret bar at Fallsview, down the hallway past the stores, up an unmarked elevator, down a hall…and voila, a bar with a fantastic view (during the day) of Niagara Falls. Jason didn’t know it was there either, so after we were finished playing we went up there and had a drink before heading back home. I think it’s called O3, but I’m not sure. It’s called R5. (Hey, I knew it was a letter and a number!)


This is my first Bloody Mary served in a Hurricane Glass! For $6.50 (Canadian) I was surprised at how cheap it was. Drinks on the casino floor (not free in Canada, and also crappy) push $10, so I figured it would be the same at the fancy secret bar, but nope! Garnished with celery, lemon, 2 olives, a cherry tomato and peperoncini, I was impressed. Add the salted rim for a nice touch. Nice spice level, but it was probably straight tomato juice with added Worcestershire and Tabasco. Their menu did offer options on flavors, with different kinds of Tabasco, like Chipotle but the bartender didn’t ask my preference (perhaps because I just asked for super spicy). It was good, just fairly standard. They get points for the garnish though.

The bar has a giant cocktail menu, which is unfortunately not online, and they serve a small selection of appetizers. They have some extremely expensive cocktails that include precious stones for that special occasion, in case you’re looking 🙂

I am currently on my way to St Louis to visit my aunt, to watch the Sabres lose some more and to taste some Bloodys! I googled some “best Bloodys” for St Louis and found a few potential locations. We’ll see!