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Since last October, my colleagues and I were trying to arrange a get-together at The Flying Pig in Yaletown.  We set up a tentative date that was agreeable to all and then as personal commitments, work deadlines and various health and ailments took over our calendars, that October dinner was bounced from one month to the next until it was suddenly early Spring again.

Eventually, we managed to sort out a date that all three of us were available.   My fellow team member and myself were the first to arrive.  It was a long day in the office and thankfully it was only a short walk over to Yaletown.  I walked up to the first door I saw which happened to be a side door.  It was only after I tried to open the door unsuccessfully that I saw the small (frosted?) wording on the door advising people to use the other door.  Hmm…not feeling very great about making a fool of myself.  But then, who’s really looking?  Oh right.. the two people sitting at the window stool seats immediately to the side of the door.

We walked through the entrance and was greeted by a friendly guy at the door.  Looking to my right were a number of tables that were empty.  It looked like most of the activity was to the left of the entrance (yes, including that guy and girl sitting by the window).  Tables along the far wall to the left were fully seated.  My colleague and I indicated we were there for appy hour and then dinner after.  The guy at the door said that the dining area was fully seated and if we’d mind sitting by the window (stool seat facing window), he would move us when a table opened up.  I know it was a long day in the office but I’m pretty sure the restaurant to the right was all empty tables.  I thought they didn’t allow reservations so why are those tables empty and not being used.  Maybe the person scheduled to work that side of the room was not at work yet.  I was going to ask but shrugged and thought, why bother?

We were seated by the window and there was hardly any space to place our bags.  My colleague had a rolley briefcase with her and because of space, the guy at the door said he would keep it under his reception door table.  Normally, I don’t mind being seated on bar stools but facing the window with people constantly trying to walk past behind us was not cool.

Appy Hour at The Flying Pig is from 4 to 6 pm.  We arrived around 5:30 pm so we quickly ordered a drink each and a couple of items to share.  Barb was commuting in on the Canada Line and would be arriving shortly.  Referring to my notes (yes, I made notes in my little notebook… one of the first entries in my pocket-size notebook), we ordered some shrimp and cod fritters as well as “beef (something) frites.”  Nope, I didn’t catch the full name when the female server was listing  them off and obviously I need to take better notes…

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Both of these items were very tasty.  In fact, it’s in my notes that I wrote the word “good” beside “shrimp & cod fritters.”  With some “good” tasting food, the bewilderment of the right side of the room was momentarily forgotten.

Barb arrived around the time that the food came out.  Lucky her!  She was able to sit down and eat without waiting for too long.  Because it was nearing the end of Appy Hour, getting the server’s attention was a little more difficult as she was busy running last-minute orders in.  Eventually we got her attention and Barb was able to order something drink and we could still take advantage of a few more Appy Hour specials.  Our last order squeaked in just before the 6 pm cut-off.

Truffled Mac & Cheese

Truffled Mac & Cheese

Beef Short Rib Croquettes

Beef Short Rib Croquettes

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I’m trying to remember what the unlabeled food photo is.  I see in my notes I’ve listed “salmon cakes.”  I don’t have any other notations beside them so those “salmon cakes” and beef short rib croquettes  were probably okay.  I have a notation indicating the “truffled mac & cheese” — “salty.”  Again, it may just be my tolerance to salty foods has greatly decreased.  Both of my colleagues really enjoyed the mac and cheese.  I was a bit indifferent to it.  I preferred the shrimp and cod fritters.  Yes, I ordered that drink.  I don’t recall the name of it but the female server told me that it has a combination of vanilla vodka, blueberry syrup and lemon juice.  It was very yummy.

As we were munching on round two of appys, the guy at the door came back to check on us.  He asked us if we would still be staying for dinner as a table was opening up.  We looked over and there was an empty table that needed to be cleaned off.  My friend had this “you’re kidding me” look on her face when he asked and I don’t blame her.  When we first came in, she told him that we were there for dinner.  He promised to move us and we had already been waiting for a table. Just because we ordered a few appys, was he thinking that we weren’t going to order any more food?

Thinking we’d be moving soon, we held off on ordering more.  We ended up waiting well over half an hour to get that table.  In that time, we watched another group of people sit at the cleaned up table.  I think they conveniently “forgot” about us.  In fact, the female server even asked us if we wanted our bill.  *eyes rolling*  No, we’re not done yet…  Eventually we moved over to a proper table. And, of course, we ordered our dinner.

A different person took down our dinner order.  We decided to pick a few items and share them.  Here’s what we had:

complimentary bread

complimentary bread

Pulled Pork Poutine

Pulled Pork Poutine

Beef Steak Tomato and Bocconcini Duo

Beef Steak Tomato and Bocconcini Duo

Lobster & Prawn Risotto

Lobster & Prawn Risotto

Crispy Brussels Sprouts

Crispy Brussels Sprouts

Our new server was easy to communicate with.  When we ordered the Beef Steak Tomato and Bocconcini Duo, he immediately alerted us to the fact that there is no meat in that dish.  All three of us looked at him with a confused expression until he explained that often patrons would order the duo and then complain that the name says “steak” but yet there is no meat in it.  We were laughing when we realized what he was referring to.  It’s a type of tomato, not that there is meat in the dish. (Yes, he was serious about people complaining).

I found the poutine and the risotto a bit on the salty side for me.  The brussels sprouts were tasty and I kept going back for more.  My favourite of all though was this meatless “beef steak” tomato and cheese dish.  Yum Yum…

Overall, it was an okay experience.  If we didn’t have those little irritating incidents at the beginning of the evening, it would have been a fantastic dinner.  We had great company.  We ordered half of our meal at “Appy Hour”  The food was all very flavourful though some items were too salty for me.  Interestingly enough, my two food companions found the truffled mac & cheese, the poutine and the risotto to be their favourites.  It all depends on the person…

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