Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Gladstone vs. The Drake

After a cooking a beef curry dinner that tested the limits of the North Atlantic pasty-white palate belonging to the trusted El Chaperone, we embarked on a neighbourhood stroll in search of refreshments and entertainment.

Almost 10pm, and the lineups and crowds had started coming out in full force on Queen W. Wasn't in the mood for queuing, so after pressing our noses up against the windows of the Gladstone House Hotel we hemmed and hawed about whether to watch Karaoke for free, or cough up 8 bucks each for the monthly Swamperella hoe-down in the ball room.

I can't remember exactly which tune sent us running from the ironically named Melody Room, but we'd quickly had our fill of amateur night and ventured into the paid entertainment zone.

We wanted to like the Cajun Dance party, but there was something just a little off about the evening. The crowd made me edgy and a little weirded out. There was a sense that the predominantly female (at least we THINK most of them were female) crowd was trying too hard to cast a country schtick feel into the room. Pretending it was authentic and not camp. Trying to mix it up with a few old-timers who were genuinely trying to enjoy a bit of social dancing.

And when a larger than life grey haired eco-dyke went down on a twisted ankle and insisted the staff bring her scads of ice packs so she could put her feet up on the table, Sheena rolled her eyes and wondered aloud if the big production hissy fit was to ensure plenty of witnesses for the inevitable insurance suit.

So the frazzled soul was soothed over lunch today by the dark-wooded plush-chaired cigar-tainted environs of The Drake Hotel. Had a glass of pinot grigio and Grilled Salmon Caesar Salad. Warm cheese buns on the side, crisp crunchy lettuce, more salmon than I could finish. The Coq D'Or is the kind of place that old couples go to on a sunny Sunday and still order the 4oz Executive Martinis at noon because they've been doing it together for 40 years. Read the Tribune and saved the pull-out celebrating the 100 year anniversary of the The Jungle. Wondered why some cities get such kick-ass newspapers and others don't.


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