Big Day Downtown

If you can recall an earlier post of mine, I mentioned that the Downtown Halifax Business Commission gave 28 bloggers (fashion, food, lifestyle, humor, etc) 100$ to spend downtown. This is the third year for Big Day and they decided to throw us a twist which involved pairing bloggers up. A fabulous idea considering there is so much to experience downtown and I luuuuurv the thought of having a fellow blogger show me their downtown.

28 of us gathered for the launch at Morris East where we mingled and munched on delicious pulled pork pizza and other appies. Mayyyyyyyjah props to Morris East for treating us right. We were then paired up by the lovely Ivy Ho. Who was I paired with you ask?

AsheleyEats was paired with the ever so wonderful Cheryl from Wry and Ginger. Cheryl is quite a lady who brings together sarcasm, crafting, greeting cards and socialite know-how. Cheryl had the great idea of pairing up with another couple so we had the opportunity to see what 3 other people loved about downtown. I’d like to introduce Perry from Paris a la Mode and Shelagh from Alice in Paris Loves Art and Tea. Perry brings together a smorgasbord of fashion and lifestyle while Shelagh is a fabulous local artist.

That being said, now that you know who I was hanging around downtown with, what did we decide to do with our $100? Even though we all had different areas of expertise and interests, I think there was one commonality among us: FOOD. Downtown Halifax is so full of great eats and drinks that it would almost be a travesty to not enjoy that. What does Shelagh like? Is it the same as Cheryl? Where does Perry hang?

First Stop was at the Wooden Monkey. We all met here after work and indulged in conversation and a couple glasses of wine (cough, should’ve got a bottle). This was Shelagh’s pick of the night. She has a ginormous love for the vegan nachos. Something I can safely say that I would never have ordered on my own. Coming from a non-vegan, I can tell you that they were delicious! The type of protein they used for the cheese mimicked the stringiness and texture of cheese. Aside from the fact that it was a wee bit creamier (no complaints). One other stand out factor for me was the guac. Oh, heavens gracious above, it was the creamiest guac I’ve ever had. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing the Wooden Monkey from the perspective of Shelagh.

Next up was to check out Shelagh’s ridiculously amazing studio on downtown Barrington. Seriously girl, Imma live there with you.

Next up we decided to do what I do best downtown: drink caesars. I have a serious addiction when it comes to the drink. I’ve heard that Bitter End has a long standing Best of Halifax caesar for like 8 years in a row. Naturally, I wanted to head there. It’s the perfect spot for a well mixed drink and conversation with new friends. I ordered the caesar (spicy) as did Shelagh for the first time. She was pumped at how great it tasted! I however, was over the moon excited for not one but TWO spicy beans. Way to go Bitter End. Cheryl ordered a gin martini and I believe Perry ordered a vodka martini. The staff were so fabulous and brought us a cup stacked full of spicy beans and olives (all of which disappeared in 30 seconds). Shelagh also sampled the frites! As Cheryl says ‘I don’t trust a person who doesn’t like olives,’ I wholeheartedly agree.

Next up both Perry and Cheryl had their eye set on Bistro Le Coq. Now, I can admit that I’ve tried to avoid this place for the past year. Not because I didn’t think I wouldn’t enjoy it. More so because I knew I wouldn’t be able to hold back from the butter, cheese and wine. Now that my Le Coq v-card has been taken, I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon. THE BUTTER. Sweet merciful baby jesus, it was to die for. Cheryl caught me eating it on its own at one point. Damn you Perry and Cheryl. At this point I had already maxed out on caesar’s but the rest of the table enjoyed what I sensed as fabulous wine. Cheryl and Perry went here with the intentions of snacking on some oysters. I’m not a fish girl, nor have I ever been. I’m from the South Shore and oddly have a hard time stomaching the smell of seafood (I know, don’t judge). So, I for one told them before going that I wasn’t going to have any. I’m not sure if you’ve met Cheryl but she is one persuasive cookie. Not to mention the vegan of the group, Shelagh managed to try one! Needless to say I had one (Mom still doesn’t believe it). It wasn’t as terrible as I had envisioned; cold, fresh and salty.┬áThe staff at Le Coq were fabulous and tolerated our slight nonsense and more than frequent photo taking. Sarah, our waitress may or may not have given me the run down on how things were made, several times. Thanks Sarah!

As for the rest of the crew, Perry ordered steak of which I sampled and would no question order again. The flavor was superb! Cheryl ordered the classic steak tartare, which is again, something I haven’t tried before. The texture was effortless and the flavors came together nicely. Shelagh ordered the pomme frites (she was on a frites kick) which came with an amazing truffle mayo. CREAMY as sin folks. What did I order? Cheese, naturally. Second in line to my caesars, is cheese. I ordered the fromages avec dec Confitures which came with fruit jellies, crushed mixed nuts, grapes, young gouda, triple cream french cow’s milk, ran-cher acres, bleu d’auvergne and aged gouda. Needless to say I was in heaven.

All in all, I got to experience several things I wouldn’t have done on my own. So I thank Big Day Downtown, Cheryl, Perry and Shelagh for giving me the opportunity to broaden this foodie’s horizons.

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