I left the house three hours early.
I was sick of sitting in my apartment typing away and wanted to go on a solo adventure. I hopped on my bike and zoomed down to Trinity Bellwoods Park to chill out and people watch. A perfect remedy for manic stir crazy. I was heading to the Drake Hotel for a a TIFF launch party event featuring Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum but realized my tummy was grumbling and needed a quick bite before committing to a night which would certainly be fuelled by ice cubes and sippy straws.
I wandered down the street and found myself standing right in front of the Dog and Bear Pub which has taken over the space formerly known as The Social. The interior is filled with British Pub essentials as well as “bear and dog” memorabilia. The majority of diners sat at the bar drinking or siting in booths watching the sports game on the tube. I opted to sit in a large antique chair overlooking Queen Street. The menu is short and sweet and since I was just about to head to a party and really just wanted a wee bit of sustenance I opted to order their honey garlic chicken wings which were accompanied by blue cheese dip and a few carrot sticks. The wings were nothing to write home about, a minimal unmemorable batter. The meat was dry, I can only assume from the freezer. The Dog and Bear is more of a spot to sit and drink several pints while watching the telly. The food is a bit mute. After I had made a total mess of my fingers I washed up in the bathroom, paid my bill and met Jonathan.
We headed straight to The Drake where Sailor Jerry’s was offering free tattoo’s in a wicked vintage trailer parked right on the street. I had not yet encountered the spirit (as a brand or in my mouth) but instantly fell in love with how gritty and rabble rousing their promo was in the heart of hipster-ville.
Here’s how it worked: anyone interested in a free tat had to first sign up and cross their fingers. The “man with the needle” was offering four designs that night, all of which align themselves with the Sailor Jerry brand aka anchor’s and stars. The trick here (hold your breath) is the tattoo artist actually chooses what tat you are having permanently scribbled onto your body (and he gets to chose the real estate too)! I died laughing when I peaked into the trailer to see that Casie Stewart was the first in line that night to add a new tat to her flesh.
I met up with Laura who does the PR for Salior Jerry’s at Empire and spent the rest of the night on the Drake patio sipping the spicy beverage (which pairs really well with ginger beer FYI). SJ (my new affectionate name for the spiced rum) also coordinated a pop up barber shop where anyone in need of a haircut could get a quick snip snip in a snap snap! Sailor Jerry is a bad ass beverage that I’m looking forward to becoming more intimate with this Fall/Winter.
#355 restaurant reviewed in Ontario since moving to Toronto in 2010.