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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10 things I’m going to do in 2017 – (NOT resolutions! #3 – Bond with friends!

I admit I’m an introvert.

I don’t think most people get what an introvert is . It’s also kinda trendy to say I’M AN INTROVERT right now. But really, an introvert recharges from being alone. You might love any number of social situations, but you eventually are drrrraaaaiiinnneeeddd from hanging out with other humans and need to be alone to re-become sane.

This is dangerous because an introvert might never want to come out of the me-ness to enter the other-ness.

Enter the other-ness, I encourage all introverts! It’s almost inevitably good for you!

Today, with the fog, and the tiredness, and the grayness, I almost cancelled on a night out with friends. But I thought about how these particular friends are so good and so fun and so real and so friendish! And how, no matter how tired I am after an outing with them, in some weird way, I am also recharged.

And so, I, with my intrepid, vested, and polka-dotted husband, forged ahead!

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Met our friends Christina and Darryl at North 53 for an aperitif. I had my favourite BFF the Drunkcle. That’s a Drunken Uncle, more formally. I love bonding with this particular friend. Never EVER judges me.

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Darryl was starving so they ordered the Tuna Tataki. This is right before he demolished the tower of beauteous tuna and wonton with his fork of wanton destruction and mayhem.

We then proceeded on to The Marc where we were to feast upon their Alsatian menu which was to end that night!!! Love me some sauerkraut!!! Actually, I love saying sauerkraut even more than I love eating it. Zowahkrrrrowt. I could say that all day and be full without even eating a bite.

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What? This doesn’t look Alsatian?

That’s right. I got seduced by the fricking snails. If there’s escargot on the menu and it’s not bathed in tomato, I am trying it!

These were so fresh and yummy and un-garlic-bathed. Try stabbing a morsel of bone marrow with an escargot and a little piece of crunchy veg and WOWOWOWOW. I just about passed out. YUM, OK?

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Darryl, the most unimpressed-by-Alsace person in our group of 4, is the only one who ordered the full menu!!! First, he had the Tarte Flambée. The dish was almost as appealing as  his sincere and generous smile. A match made in himmel!

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Once we figured out that we weren’t all going for a revival of Alsace-Lorraine hits, we ordered a very nice wine from Veneto. You don’t know where Veneto is? What is wrong with you heathens!!??? Look it up!!!!

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Robert and Darryl engaged in some male bonding. Funnily enough, it often involved media. Christina and I have no photos of us bonding because we were engaging in one on one human interactions. YAS.

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Theme of the night. Robert looking askance at most everything. Including my verified claim of personal IQ level. Lord Andrew Clinterty, back me up, here!

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I had the Steak Tartare with a side of what will be my last side upon this earth before I die – the pommes frites with a DELICIOUS truffly dipping sauce. Can I just say how I’m pretty sure I can’t eat anything else until Thursday because it would be wrong to infringe upon this almost-religious experience? The spiced-just-enough tartare with the perfect frites and the UNBELIEVABLE sauce is pretty much everything I’ve ever aspired to. Just add bubbles and DONE.

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Friends. Enraptured by my husband’s talk. It gave me a moment to stare at their beauty and appreciate how much I love spending time with like-minded souls who are good and fun and funny and irreverent and festive. Love you!!!!

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PS. No good photos were taken of my outfit tonight! And believe me when I say it was CUTE. Ugh. Oh well, here’s the top of it. The bottom was the best! 😦

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Also, I got a new coat. From Oak and Fort. It is SO cute. And not black. Which caused me untold pallets of anxiety. But I think I made the right choice.

And what does that have to do with hanging out with friends? Well, friends understand who you are. They don’t judge you for what makes you excited and what makes you anxious. Christina loves that I love my new coat. She loves that I spaz out about the oddest of things. (You do, right, Christina?) And I love to listen to her stories and her hilarities and her sadnesses. It’s a two way street. And I love travelling either way on it.

 

What makes a friend a good friend for you?

 

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10 things I’m going to do in 2017 (NOT resolutions!) – #2 -Read more/better books and just sit.

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This is my chair. Yes, MY chair. I sit in it a LOT. If somebody else sits in my chair, I don’t get upset, more like I get confused. “Why  does my chair have this person in it?”, I wonder in a state of gobsmackedness, all the while kind of expecting my chair to expectorate the misplaced foreign object.

Ok, gross.

But nevertheless, you get the picture.

I’ve feathered my little nest so that it feels welcoming, shrouding, comfy, and yet light and airy. I like white and I like light. (Just for living spaces. Black FTW for clothes!) I’ve got my throw, candles, tea, and…books…

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I have an overflowing book shelf upstairs, but these books are the ones in rotation right now. They’re either books that I have read and loved/liked and just didn’t put away yet like “Lunch in Paris”, “White Trash”, the 3 books by MFK Fisher, and “The Goldfinch”,  or books in the queue like “Sapiens” and “Hemingway in Love”.  OR books that I couldn’t finish because I just can’t get into them, like “The Nest” or “Closed Casket” or “Fast Metabolism Foods” – (WHAT was I THINKING?)!  I wish I had removed some of the more embarrassing books before taking a pic- “The Glass Sword”? Come ON. Ah well, all in the name of transparency! I also have my sizeable collection of magazines – mostly Runner’s World, Vanity Fair and all manner of cooking, travel, and wine mags.

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One of the things I’m going to do more of is writing – on paper. I have journals  and notebooks I like to look at, but I need to actually write in them! Plus, as you might have seen at the top of the smaller stack of books in the previous photo, I have some beautiful coloured pencils, paints and colouring books that I do solemnly vow to use this year! They look really nice, but I think it would be even better if I, well, use them!

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P.S. Gotta have tea on hand at all times or what the heck is the point exactly?

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Also, a photo of me with my favourite girl is necessary when she is all they way across our fair country in Montréal. How I miss her! This is a memory of the trip we took to NYC this summer, just the two of us!

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Can’t forget the guardians of the chair. If I’m sitting, one or both of them will be at my feet. Kona, my regal prince,  is my tried and true dire wolf whose devotion doth not waver, but Freyja is a leeeeetle bit more fickle. As in, if she hears the neighbourhood Yorkie walking a block away, or a discarded plastic bag blowing down the street 8 doors down, she’s outta there. They make everything hirsute as heck, but, still, they do make cozy foot warmers!

Do you have a cozy nest/cave/den? And does it include live and drooly foot warmers like mine?

 

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