Yesterday, I succeeded in my quest to watch the big game on the biggest of screens, securing a spot at the bar in front of the two-story TV at Real Sports shortly before 3 pm, where I would spend the next seven hours stretching my neck on Sunday. By limiting myself to one beer an hour, I was able to remain among the living–while limiting the damage to my wallet. Sadly, I also sampled a couple dishes of the much-hyped cuisine, and found myself disappointed.
Now for the record, I did not have one of their specialty burgers or signature chicken wings. Frankly, I just wasn’t in the mood. I just bought two boxes of Olymel wings at half price from the grocery store, so I knew I’d be eating a lotta wings this week anyways. (Did I mention the Flames play four times between now and Saturday?) Nor did I order the 67-ounce steak. What with my excessive alcohol consumption, I just knew that it wouldn’t end well. Maybe next time…
So, what did I eat? Poutine and nachos, two greasy bar staples that aren’t always a guaranteed home run. And in this case, Real Sports came up short like Tom Brady with 57 seconds on the clock last nite, heh heh.
I started with the poutine, which was said to contain real Quebec cheese curds and also boasted the lowest price of any appetizer on the menu. Let me say that those curds died a horrible death before making their way to my spot the bar. By the time I got ‘em, they weren’t curds, but rather amorphous blobs of melted cheese, losing both their shape and texture. For all I know, it could’ve just been melted mozzarella. And then there’s the thick, brown, lumpy gravy that looked and tasted like something from KFC. Mind you, the Colonel at least knows to keep his curds intact. (I can vouch for this from experience.)
Not feeling sufficiently sufficed, I later ordered some nachos, which came in two sizes: personal and party. I was told that the latter could feed three people, and since I only count for a man and a half on a good day, I opted for the smaller serving. I will say that it was the right size for one person, although your regular-sized nacho plate at most bars tends to be a bit bigger–and no less expensive. These chips were covered in baked, hardened cheese, largely-sliced jalapenos–and nothing else. No green peppers, no tomatoes, nada. (You can add chicken or guacamole, but it’ll cost extra.) And though it’s a pretty common beef with most bars, they also didn’t provide nearly enough sour cream or salsa, which was basically bruschetta. They should’ve put those diced tomatoes on the chips and given me some real picante, IMO.
On the plus side, I gotta say that watching sports on that giant screen is quite something, even when you gotta tilt your head back to follow the action. I caught the fourth quarter of the Raptors-Heat game once I arrived, and when Lebron went in for a breakaway dunk, it looked simply spectacular–to say nothing of Manningham’s catch in the big game. Let’s just say I knew he was in bounds long before the ref came out of the replay booth. But the dining experience left a lot to be desired. Although I feel a little bad for the constant wave of bar girls, who provided me with a steady stream of alcohol throughout the evening, I left a less-than-respectable tip cuz in the end, the food just wasn’t worth it.
(I do plan on coming back to tackle that steak sometime, though. It better be Alberta beef, baby!)