Sip Trips #115: New Beginnings

(This article was meant to be posted on September 22, but things became a little hectic for Mrs. Sip and I… read to the end of this post to learn why!)

Well, after a relatively quiet weekend prior, the busy came back with a vengeance last week and into the most recent break from work. Here’s the latest Sip Advisor activity, for your viewing pleasure:

Last Tuesday, we attended the Gentlemen Hecklers show at the Rio Theatre. Prior to the guys’ skewering of the 1996 classic Anaconda, we ended up at the Storm Crow Tavern for a bite to eat. The place is a nerd haven, with round the clock sci-fi and fantasy shows on their TV screens, a mammoth collection of board and card games to play, and one of the most creative menus I have ever come across. You can order a number of items, including burgers and shots, based on rolling the 20-sided dice that role playing fans will be familiar with. As for our meal, we split a round of Teenage Mutant Deep Fried Pickles, with my main being their Klingon Chicken Strips of Prey (with fries), paired with a pint of Red Truck Brew of Cthulhu Lager. We will definitely be back soon. As for our show, it was very funny, and a great reminder of just how bad of a movie Anaconda was. I think I mean bad in a good way, though, as it’s the perfect film to be lampooned by the trio of comedians.

20-Sided Dice.jpg

The rest of the week was used to rest and relax, as the weekend featured a close friend’s stag and what was sure to be a wild day out. We began with paintball at Panther Paintball in Langley. I’m not the biggest paintball fan, but this outdoor location was fun and provided a good starting activity for our group. The poor bachelor had to run through a gauntlet of his friends firing shots at him, but took it like a champion. Hopefully his wounds heal quickly.

Next up was a Vancouver Whitecaps game, where we would be enjoying the luxury of a stadium suite. This was not cheap and when food and drink orders were accounted for the bill was quite high. Our order included the equivalent of a case of beer, bottles of Crown Royal Whiskey and Smirnoff Vodka, trays of chicken wings, dry ribs and hotdogs, potato chips and popcorn, and even a plate of veggies. While the alcohol was all consumed, we handed out what remaining food there was to some needy street folk, doing our civic duty.

Following the game, we journeyed to the Irish Heather for more boozing. I started with their Black and Tan beer cocktail, which combined Guinness and Russell Brewing’s Peaks and Valleys Extra Pale Ale. I also enjoyed a pint of Russell Punch Bowl IPA and joined some of the guys for a round of Japanese whiskey, which was smooth and delicious.

Whiskey Age

The next day, we were off to watch the Vancouver Canucks vs. Vegas Golden Knights in preseason action. I’ve followed the new Vegas franchise since its inception and upon learning their first ever contest would be against my Vancouver Canucks, I knew I had to be at the game. Mrs. Sip translated this desire into getting me and her half-season tickets… I like her thinking. As for the game, the Canucks got torched pretty bad 9-4.

On Tuesday, we attended a free screening of the second season premiere of Kim’s Convenience at the Vogue Theatre. For those unfamiliar with the show, it is centered on a Korean family who own and operate a convenience store in Toronto. The show is hilarious and the event included appearances from the main cast members, as well as airing the first two episodes of season two. The price was certainly right.

This past weekend was to be another busy one, as we had plans to celebrate the Sip Advisor’s 34th birthday in style. On the docket were trips to the VIP Theatre, a Caskival at Yaletown Brewing, another Vancouver Whitecaps game with the guys, and family dinners at EXP and White Spot. Fate intervened however, when Mrs. Sip went into labour on my birthday (September 22) with our daughter, Leela Audrey Giselle Wilson arriving early the next morning! We are thrilled she is finally here and both baby and mom and doing very well!

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Beer of the Week #35 – Yellow Dog High Five Hazy IPA

I have now had this Yellow Dog Brewing selection a couple times, in two different formats. If a third opportunity presents itself, I won’t hesitate to drink it again no matter what form it comes in.

The first time I had the High Five Hazy IPA was as a mango-flavoured variation at Craft Beer Market’s Caskapalooza 2017. The next was from the brewery itself, as we recently visited Port Moody’s amazing Brewer’s Row.

Yellow Dog High Five Hazy IPA

Both times, I greatly enjoyed the 6.8%ABV, 50 IBUs beverage. It is available at many of the more notable craft beer establishments around Greater Vancouver and can also be found in tall can format at the brewery.

I was happy to see that Yellow Dog finally got their website up and running since I last covered the brewery as part of the BC Beer Baron project. For far too long, the site was under construction.

For more Beer of the Week articles, please visit our main page…

Mixer Mania #35 – Blood and Guts

It has become common practice in North America to turn Bloody Mary (or Caesar) drinks into entire meals. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most epic orders out there:

Home Cooking

Located a short jaunt from the Sip Advisor headquarters in Vancouver is Score on Davie, which boasts a Caesar Madness menu with garnished Caesars ranging from $12-$20. Their crowning achievement, however, is the Checkmate, including “roasted chicken, Score burger, pulled pork sriracha glazed slider, onion rings, chicken wings, a pulled pork mac & cheese hotdog and a brownie for dessert”. If you and a few others want to shell out $60, you have a complete feast here.

For Your Comedic Pleasure

While not available at a restaurant (yet!), comedian Randy Liedtke set out to construct the most insane Bloody Mary in existence and mission complete. The monstrosity includes a personal pizza, onion rings, fried chicken, a sub sandwich, French fries, cheeseburgers, garlic bread and traditional garnishes. There’s even a second Bloody Mary hidden in the concoction, which becomes a Where’s Waldo-like exercise. Liedtke then attempted to consume his creation, which I can only guess ended not-so-favourably.

Crazy Bloody Mary.jpg

Wild & Crazy

Imagine being so skilled at creating massive Bloody Mary beverages that you’re able to start your own company doing so. That is the reality for Sarah Jayne Pickart of Wisconsin, whose viral creations led to her establishing the catering company, Wild & Crazy Gourmet Bloody Marys. Among her most popular concepts is the Surf & Turf Supreme, including bacon-wrapped lobster, various sliders, pork loin lollipops, stuffed potatoes, Brussels sprouts, bacon, mussels, crab legs, calamari rings, shrimp, coleslaw, tuna salad, cheesecake, cheese curds, cheese whips, and veggies… something had to be healthy.

Beastly Dining

Staying in Wisconsin (where else would such gluttonous concoctions be dreamt up!?), we visit Sobelman’s Pub & Grill, which has five location throughout the state. The chain offers an entire Bloody Mary menu, highlighted by The Beast ($45), which contains Brussels sprouts, fruit and vegetables, shrimp, sausage, cheese, sliders, and the coup de grâce, bacon-wrapped cheese balls. Should that not be enough, you can get The Bloody Beast, complete with a whole fried chicken for only $5 more.

The Most Important Meal

At the Train Wreck Bar & Grill in Burlington, Washington, this is one Bloody Mary meal that the Sip Advisor (along with Ma Sip) has actually endured. Served atop of the Breakfast Bloody Mary is breakfast sandwiches, meatballs, bacon-wrapped potatoes, and typical trimmings, such as meats and vegetables. The restaurant is a favourite stop for Ma and Pa Sip whenever they are in the area and while I’ve only been this one time, it was a fantastic way to start the day.

Mixer Mania #35: Red Death

Red Death.JPG

  • 1.5 oz Scotch
  • Top with Tomato Juice
  • Dash of Worcestershire Sauce
  • Dash of Salt
  • Dash of Pepper
  • Dash of Salsa
  • Garnish with a Meat Spear

Writing this article now has me very hungry. I hope I haven’t caused the same pangs for all you little sippers out there!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
How can you do an entire article on Bloody Mary drinks and not feature one as your own cocktail, you ask? Well, I’ve already profiled the Bloody Mary long ago and I really don’t like the drink. I’m a Caesar man through and through. That said, this beverage does contain many elements of the Bloody Mary and was good. My garnish wasn’t as wacky as the beverages above, but still looked neat.

Snack Time #34 – Pillsbury Pizza Pops Poutine

On a recent grocery shopping expedition, the Sip Advisor was casually strolling the store aisles when what to my wondering eyes should appear but this intriguing Pizza Pops variety. The store was closing, so I had to be quick.

Meant to recreate one of Canada’s most famous dishes and contributions to the world, the special edition Poutine release is pretty tasty. It reminded me of a beef pie, thanks to its gravy and potato filling. And who could ever turn down cheese curds.

Pillsbury Pizza Pops Poutine

The product comes with the tagline, “Not your average poutine,” and I’d agree with that, preferring the fry dish. There are also Butter Chicken Pizza Pops, with both flavours being voted on by Canadians, although I didn’t see them while shopping.

One thing that has always bothered me is why Pizza Pops and Pizza Pockets have the names they have. After all, Pizza Pops have a pocket design, while Pizza Pockets are round, which more resemble what I’d call a pop.

For more Snack Time articles, please visit our main page…

Beer of the Week #34 – Mariner Northeast IPA

The Sip Alliance recently journeyed to Coquitlam to visit Mariner Brewing, which had only recently opened their doors to the drinking public. The trek was an arduous one (for lazy folks like us), but was totally worth it.

While there, I sampled a little of everything thanks to Cousin Sip’s flight of beers, while also ordering a pint of the Northeast IPA. The 7.5% ABV, 67 IBUs beverage is available in tall cans and was a pretty good beer with a refreshing flavour profile.

Mariner Northeast IPA

The brewery is the first to open in Coquitlam, finally providing the fine folks there with a local craft beer option. The tasting room also specializes in gourmet hotdogs, allowing drinkers a different food option than I’ve seen at breweries before.

The rest of Mariner’s inaugural lineup includes an Amber Ale, Cream Ale and Sour Weisse, with more to come. To go along with their constellation-themed branding, I really like their slogan: “Set no path. Never be lost.”

For more Beer of the Week articles, please visit our main page…

Mixer Mania #34 – Wondrous Watermelon

Up until recently, I didn’t realize Watermelon Soda was part of the Crush pop line or even existed. Given I love watermelon, this was a very happy discovery and I instantly grabbed a bottle. Much like this watermelon-based soft drink seemed mythical, let’s take a look at some legends meant to explain the existence of watermelons:

Making Papa Proud

Our first origin story comes from Vietnam, where a young prince angered his father, the king, and was banished to a deserted island. There, he found a fruit that he feared was poisonous and only consumed when all other options were gone. The fruit was tasty and extinguished his thirst. The prince then cultivated the fruit, which spread across the island. He also sent some of the fruit drifting into the sea, with his name and the island’s name carved into them. This brought others to the island, in search of the fruit. The king learned of his son’s achievements and invited him home, crowning him the next king.

Cat Watermelon

Slithering Save

Moving on to Armenia, this tale begins with a king’s servants cutting a snake’s horns off, in order to save it. As a thank you, the snake left a seed at the palace. From the seed, grew a new fruit, which was offered to an ailing old man, saving his life. The king tried the fruit next and felt invigorated. Thus, Armenians called watermelon “Not-Die”, once upon a time. I’m conflicted on this legend. On one hand, I don’t think I would ever be inclined to save a snake, but would rather chop its head off. On the other hand, the servants heroic efforts resulted in the creation of watermelon, so can I really fault them?

Passion of the Priest

We’ll wrap things up with a journey to the Philippines, where a Spanish priest was working hard to convert folks to Catholicism. One particular area was resistant to the priest’s teachings about Christ and his sacrifices. The ruler of this region eventually detained the priest and punished him according to his lessons, crucifying him on a cross. The priest succumbed to this treatment and his blood flowed into the ground below. When the ruler later returned to the cross, the priest had disappeared and in his place, a fruit had grown, its innards resembling the blood of the priest. And that’s how people get converted!

Mixer Mania #34: Nice Melons

Nice Melons.JPG

  • 2 oz Rum
  • Top with Watermelon Soda
  • Splash of Peach Juice
  • Dash of Lime/Lemon Juice
  • Garnish with Lime Wedge

There is also a legend of vampire watermelons (and pumpkins), but I’ll let you look into that yourselves…

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
For this recipe, I’ve subbed Watermelon Soda and Peach Juice in place of Watermelon and Peach Pieces, respectively. I also used the last of my Bear Hug Mango Rum to up the melon content and the result was very, very good. It may be a little sweet, but that can be evened out by Club Soda. The Watermelon Soda is nice on its own, reminding me of a 7-11 Slurpee.

Snack Time #33 – Ben & Jerry’s The Tonight Dough

As previously mentioned, Mrs. Sip has been really into ice cream throughout her pregnancy. Given her love of cookie dough, when we came across this Ben & Jerry’s product recently, I knew we’d be bringing a pint or two home with us.

The Tonight Dough is named in honour of Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show. It is constructed using caramel and chocolate ice creams, garnished with chocolate cookie swirls and balls of chocolate chip and peanut butter cookie doughs. The tasty treat is quite decadent.

Ben & Jerry_s The Tonight Dough

“The Tonight Dough is chock full of the stuff people love – a double-double flavor with two ice creams, two cookie doughs and a crunchy cookie swirl,” said Eric Fredette, a Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Guru and creator of The Tonight Dough. “It’s simply over the top!”

For his part, Fallon will donate all proceeds from The Tonight Dough to the SeriousFun Children’s Network, which helps kids with serious illnesses, as well as their families. Ice cream for charity… my kind of philanthropy!

For more Snack Time articles, please visit our main page…