Baijiu: Keepin’ it Boozy & Bao-y

In hindsight, I’m not sure I would have selected the furry pink beast as my coat of choice for Baijiu.

Add to that the pink ombre tassel earrings and I am reallllly on the far side of the EXTRAmeter.

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What the heck, who am I kidding? I’m extra and I like it.

And, hey! I found out Baijiu is kind of extra and I like that too!

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First thing, as we walked up the stairs, there was a cloud of hip and beautiful people floating at the pinnacle, including a local yogi celeb whom I ardently admire! Felt v. frumpy/old all of the sudden.

Fortunately, once inside, it was clear that Baijiu does not discriminate against regular or even extra types. All are welcome!

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It’s pretty cool at Baijiu. We didn’t want to sit at one of the tables, so we bellied up to the bar.

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I like to see the boozy magic happen!

Also, we sat right by the DJ guy, and it was very festive to watch him do his thing.

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The DJ is a very transparent kind of guy. Either that or I just didn’t take a pic at the right time, ugh.

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Astroboy looked upset about something. Too much booziness, AB?

Robert went all rogue and asked for a riff on something mezcal. Check out the Black Sea salt treatment!

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I asked for something bubbly and French 75ish and St. Germainish and I got this little darling.

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Totally pony pitcherable.

We tried out 3 dishes.

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We had to try the infamous bao, of course, and went for the Red Braised Pork Bao. I couldn’t refuse the siren call of the Duck Confit Fried Rice and Robert wanted the Spicy Beef Noodles.

AGH.

The food was. SO. GOOD. I had a small seizure when I tried my first bite of the rice. And those house-made fat noodles, GAH. Must come back for more when we are sufficiently famished and wearing stretchy pants.

Finally, Robert ordered the will-not-be-ignored Renshenfengwangjiangthang.

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Our knowledgable bartender revealed to us that they had discovered how to crack the Ginseng Royal Jelly bottle so that the contents would meld with the Japanese whiskey/Cynar/fresh ginger juice. Heck, this drink is pretty much the equivalent of a healthy superfood juice. Enjoy sans guilt, I say!

Before we left, we were served up the DJ’s pet drink – a shot of Hennessy VS followed by a teeny green tea.

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It was, much to my surprise, DELICIOUS.

Well played, DJ.

Unfortunately, I think it caused Robert to have a mini stroke, as evidenced by his left eye.

IMG_0150Seriously, what is going on there???

Anyway, if food can induce mini seizures and drinks can induce mini strokes, you know they’re doing something well!

If having involuntary nervous system reactions to delicious food and drink is wrong, I don’t ever want to be right!

Get thee to Baijiu!

 

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Holy Cocktail Café! Cocktails AND Tea at The Holy Roller

It’s my birthday month! And as the cloud of sugary gluten and creamy/baked/gooey anything begins to lift, I realize that I need to find some meaningful purpose in life. A way to give back. A way to help my fellow man (and inherent to that, woman, since man is a gender neutral term, children!).

You gotta make your own fun or who will make it for you?

I’ll tell you who.

NO ONE, my friend. NO. ONE.

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With this in mind, I have declared that this January, I will contribute to the betterment of society by single-mindedly pursuing the discovery of…

The Most Festive Cocktail Joints in Edmonton!!!

In this case, Festive must include delicious, creative, vibey, lovely, and people-watchy.

Who knew my first foray into cocktail joint analysis would be completely happenstance!

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Robert and I wanted to check out the café part of The Holy Roller, so we stopped by on a Sunday afternoon at about 3 p.m. The café, in the front of the building, is a huge, cavernous space, with a long marble bar area, squeaky floors and that lovely musty smell of old wood.

i.e. LOVE.

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No one was there, and the restaurant part of The Holy Roller doesn’t open until 4, so we were able to get the low down from the café dude, Luke, and the bar manager, Mark. They were both really welcoming, warm, and knowledgable. Please note, the café is not the usual venue to enjoy a drink –  it’s a totally different feel at night in the restaurant!  Here’s a view of it, daytime style.

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I asked for a tea, but at Mark’s suggestion, Robert got a riff on an Old Fashioned with Mezcal and 3 kinds of bitters.

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It was clean, refreshing, citrusy, and THAT GLASS.

P.S. in the background is a super cute little empanada with chorizo. The café has a bunch of little pre-wrapped thingies like wraps and such. Also a cute little cinnamon bun with a really good strawberry jam inside.

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Chef Rafael D’Alcazar also makes an impressive variety of chocolates. Didn’t get to try them, but next time, fo shiz!

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Robert, feeling as though he is being watched.

We changed seats because a) we can b) I like to try out different views c) I like having my back to a wall since I am actually a highly trained spy.

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We could not escape the knowing glance of the peacock himself, however. And, heck, who would want to?

Robert moved on to The Sacred Heart. So fitting for a Sunday. Look at those festive Thai chiles!

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I asked for a Sidecar. I love me a Sidecar for a lighter and parch-relieving drink.

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Of course, after all of that liquid, nature began her usual yodelling, so – wait a minute! What is that??? A SECRET DOOR?????

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MUST. OPEN. DOOR.

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MUST. DISCOVER. SECRET. BEHIND. SECRET. DOOR.

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Now THIS is a bathroom flush with some serious wallpaper.😬

 

I loved sipping cocktails in this venerable yet ultra hip café setting. You should go!

 

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