Sip Trips #73: Around the World at Home

As it is with most weeks for me and Mrs. Sip, the last one was pretty darn busy. We celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary, co-hosted the Sip Advisor’s annual beer pong tournament, participated in a Disney trivia event, and had a fun meal out in New West. Here are some notes from the week that was:

Four Years Strong

Mrs. Sip has always wanted to try Lupo, an upscale Italian restaurant in downtown Vancouver. I figured with our anniversary approaching, it might finally be time to book a reservation. We had a wonderful meal – prior to watching Book of Mormon – which included a shared Bufala Mozzarella Salad to start, Ricotta Gnocchi (with pork cheeks) for Mrs. Sip and Taglierini (with wild mushrooms and chilies) for myself, and finished with a Gelato trio for dessert. The meal was washed down with a very nice bottle of Italian pinot grigio.

Italian Food

SIP-A-Dee-Do-Da

When the Sip Alliance first heard about Disney trivia, hosted at The Pint, we were keenly interested, as Disney love runs in the family. This event proved to be so popular that they kept adding dates and one night quickly grew to four, thanks to the massive waitlist. Unlike some other trivia activities around town, there was a $5 entrance price for this one, but we were just happy to have a spot.

While we finished just outside the top three teams, I was impressed with The Pint’s food menu. This includes a number of great options, perhaps best highlighted by being able to order wings, chicken strips, rice bowls, pulled pork, and other items, done 40 different ways (varying sauces and dry rubs). On Tuesday’s, you can get their Team Platters for $19, instead of $32, while pitchers are only $15. My only complaint would be that their craft beer lineup is lacking, especially for a place called The Pint.

Dipping Sauces

Taco Time

With the week being as busy as it was, Mrs. Sip and I decided we needed a little one-on-one time. Therefore, I made the trip out to New West, where the bronzed goddess works, to join her for a meal at Originals Restaurante Mexicano. We both ordered taco platters, trying a total of six different styles, with our mutual favourite being the Carnitas (slow cooked fried pork in cinnamon and orange). The restaurant also had three craft beers on tap and it was far from your typical selections. Ridge Brewing, Dogwood Brewing and Dead Frog Brewing were all represented. Best of all, the eatery has two happy hours, from 3-6 and 8-11, where these beverages can be had for only $4.

This upcoming Labour Day long weekend will provide a rare stay-cation for Mrs. Sip and I. All that really means is that there is much trouble we can get up to. Check back next week to see exactly how we handled the time off!

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October 17 – Wicked Witch of the East

Musical Mayhem

Today we look at my favourite musicals I’ve been dragged along, kicking and screaming, to see. What do musicals have to do with alcohol, you might be asking? Well, whenever Mrs. Sip wants to go to one, she usually plies me with booze to get me in the mood. It’s a similar process to serving chocolate fondue to your better half when you want them to play video games with you. What’s that? Us dudes are supposed to use this tactic for other benefits… oh my, how very wrong I’ve been!

Avenue Q

The way I always describe this show is “Sesame Street gone badass”. The musical features scenes of gratuitous puppet sex, while also including songs like “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist” and “The Internet Is For Porn”. I actually introduced Mrs. Sip to Avenue Q, suggesting we see it in London’s West End after I saw an ad. She wasn’t onboard until learning that it had actually won a number of Tony awards, including Best Musical (2004), beating out Wicked, the show Mrs. Sip wanted to see. The show didn’t disappoint in it’s larger London venue or when I recently saw it again in a smaller venue at Vancouver’s Granville Island Theatre.

Avenue Q

Book of Morman

Mrs. Sip and I were lucky to see this amazing show during another trip to London recently. It’s the hottest show right now and tickets are hard to come by. We ordered months in advance… and then blanked on the date of our performance and missed it. They hold a lottery before every show to sell 21 tickets in the front row. Mrs. Sip and I entered and were fortunate to have our entry drawn! The show was produced by the creators of South Park, who have absolutely no problem lampooning everything under the sun from religion to race and Book of Mormon is no exception.

Rock of Ages

If you love 80’s rock from all the best hair bands, then this show is for you. The energy is fantastic, the music is rocking and there are a lot of laughs to be had, as the era is spoofed. Of course, the plot centers around a small town girl and a city boy coming together in Los Angeles, as they both reach for the heights of stardom. This is the first musical I’ve been to where they actually sell drinks routinely throughout the performance.

Jersey Boys

When you leave this musical, all you want to do is download some Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons tunes and go back in time to another era. I surprised Mrs. Sip with tickets to this show as a wedding shower gift… well, after Ma Sip forgot to pass the present along to her, on my behalf. The production, which we saw at Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre, received an immediate standing ovation as it ended, not one of those “well, most people are standing, so I guess I’ll stand too” types of deals. Oh, what a night!

jersey-boys

Lion King

Hakuna Matata… what a wonderful phrase! Mrs. Sip and I saw the Lion King in Las Vegas and it was an enjoyable show. While I personally found that the movie is better, the musical tried to separate itself a little from its source material with a few songs that aren’t in the film and the costumes were out of this world. Perhaps best of all, is it was combined with a free buffet dinner at the Mandalay Bay resort.

Singin’ in the Rain

This is the first musical I ever took Mrs. Sip to as part of a dating anniversary gift. I suppose I set myself up for future trips to the theatre with that gesture, but I guess it’s all worth it. The best part of this show was when they flooded the stage during the titular number. Then, throughout intermission, as they worked diligently to dry the stage, I worked just as hard to make sure my stage was getting wet at the bar!

Singin' in the Rain

Aladdin

In its 10th year at the Hyperion Theatre at Disneyland’s California Adventure park, Mrs. Sip and I have watched the production a handful of times throughout our visits and have always enjoyed ourselves. The Genie sometimes updates his jokes, so it’s never the same show. Full of acrobats, big theatrical numbers, and even an elephant and a flying carpet, this mini musical never disappointing! Plus, since you’re already inside the park, the musical is free and you can bring a Churro in with you for snacking!

Wicked

Perhaps my favoruite element of going to a musical is the use of staging and how it is quickly changed in the course of a performance. This show had perhaps the best stage work I’ve ever seen and I can totally understand why it’s a hit production. The story of how the Wicked Witch became her wicket self is an interesting twist on the Wizard of Oz franchise, which is full of other possible origin tales.

Drink #290: Wicked Witch of the East

Wicked Witch of the East Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Melon Liqueur
  • 1 oz Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Blue Curacao
  • Dash of Grenadine
  • Garnish with a Broomstick

Have any suggestions of shows I should check out in the future? I’m willing to try anything once, but if you send me down the wrong path, I’ll take away your little sipper membership and secret decoder.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
Okay, so I’ve pushed this cocktail back a number of times and Halloween seemed like the perfect time to finally get it done. It’s supposed to be layered, with the Melon Liqueur and Vodka mixed together and poured on top of the combined Blue Curacao and Grenadine, but although that didn’t work out, the blend of black with hints of green around the edges I felt looked neat enough. And the Broomstick garnish… I made that myself. I know, who would have thunk the Sip Advisor had some arts and crafts talent!