Morgan’s Pub

If there are three things Tall, my gentle giant, loves, they are food, being included, and terrorizing villagers for sport.  When he found out I would be doing restaurant reviews as part of this blog, and that he could help, he was onboard.  He was upset when he found out we wouldn’t be stomping on any thatch roof cottages, but you can’t have everything.

We headed down 17th Avenue one Saturday afternoon, after deciding we would eat somewhere based solely on its outward appearance.  We noticed how many shitty facades line 17th.  There were places with their windows covered in brown paper, buildings with signs that hadn’t changed since 1952 in the worst way possible, and just a bunch of ugly restaurants.  Tall kept admiring the wrong buildings.  He pointed and said “That would make a nice restaurant.

“Tall, that’s a bank.”

“I know.  I’m just saying, it would make a nice restaurant if it wasn’t a bank.

Eventually we saw 1410 World Bier Haus.

Not a bank

It fit our ascetic standards, so Tall charged across the busy road, glaring at cars like the Incredible Hulk.  Brakes squealed in horror, and I waived my apologies at the terrified grandmother as I followed behind him.

1410 had a line at the door.  It was supper on Saturday, and there was a playoff hockey game on T.V., so the place was packed.  Tall wasn’t waiting for food.  He tried to scare the villagers, but Canadians care more about hockey than hungry monsters, so we started to backtrack.  Then we saw Morgan’s Pub

This guy danced for us

We headed in, and even though there were big screens on every wall, facing each seat, broadcasting the Canuck’s game, the place was half empty.  There was a stage for live music, but the radio was playing.  Tall noticed the music was great.  It was all classic rock or hard alternative, but never so heavy that it would alienate people who weren’t fans of the genre.

The only problem was the ceiling:

What is that and what does it want?

Look at that.  What is it?  I’m sure it’s not a problem, because there’s no way a health inspector could miss it.  It just looks terrible and dirty.  Tall went red in the face because he was afraid to breathe.  It was seriously disconcerting, and we both kept noticing it.

Our waitress came, and my initial read on her was she was used to being one of the boys.  You know, that cool chick who drinks beer and never orders just a salad, and plays video games and talks smack, and you almost forget she’s a girl when you’re not looking at her.  On top of that, she was friendly in a brash sort of way that I think exudes confidence.  Tall didn’t take such a liking to her.  She was a couple of years older than us, and while she was in good shape, she also had an asymmetrical haircut, really short camo shorts, and Ugg boots.  He thought she was trying too hard to act younger than she was.

I really don’t care why a girl is wearing short shorts and boots, as long as they wear them.

I started with a vodka coke and chicken spinach dip.


  Honestly, I don’t know why I never thought to add finely chopped chicken to spinach dip.  It was tender and delicious.  It made a good thing better and more filling than usual.

Tall felt that a restaurant can be judged by their steaks, as a cooked slab of beef on an open flame is the highest cooking art in Alberta.  So we both tried it.  I won’t be making that mistake again.  The cut was weak and it was pretty bland and chewy.  Tall’s was undercooked.  It wasn’t inedible, just very disappointing.

Looks good, but once it's in your mouth, you'll be sorry.

Then the bill came and turned everything around.  We paid next to nothing for our food, drinks, and appies.  The bill showed the truth of Morgan’s Pub.  It’s a place to go and hang out for hours.  Seriously, I don’t think I’ve found a pub downtown where I could afford to do that until Morgan’s. 

I’ve decided that while as a restaurant, the steak leaves them with 4 stars, they score 4.5 as a bar, because if I had considered them as such, I would have just had the delicious appetizer, and only the ceiling would have bugged me.

Tall is less forgiving than me, and awards only 3 stars.


Star Breakdown:

Joey As Restaurant:

Drink Star

Price Star

Staff Star

½ Food Star

½ Atmosphere Star

Joey as Bar:

Drink Star

Price Star

Staff Star

Food Star

½ Atmosphere Star


Drink Star

Price Star

Food Star


Liquor Ban

Read about how Alberta joins liquor ban in national, provincial parks for May long weekend

As far back as I care to remember (1998), May Long Weekend has been a time for camping.  It’s usually the last snow of the year, and like some pagan festival, Canadians send our young adults out to celebrate the change of seasons.  They suffer rain, snow and sleet to welcome the coming summer.  They drink and fornicate in excess, so the Great Sky Beast knows we are ready to welcome it’s Time of Ruling. 

The Mighty Skybeast

This year, Banff National Park placed a liquor ban on all its facilities over May Long.  Following the example of the most important campground in Canada, a number of other National and Provincial Parks declared their own ban.  The reasoning provided by officials is that this will reduce vandalism and noise complaints. 

To be fair, when I look back over my storied May Long career, I do find several … questionable instances.  On more than one occasion, K2, a friend from high school and a champion drinker, would decide to go down the back roads at three in the morning, extremely inebriated.  He would hit every sign he came across with the prow of his enormous truck.  I’m not condoning drinking and driving, and I wouldn’t get into the truck with him, but at the time no one got hurt and it seemed pretty funny. 

Older as I now am, I can see how the noise complaints would be a problem.  I now have friends with kids, and they should be able to take them out camping without hooligan shouts keeping them up all night.  Traditionally, I’d be one of those people, out at the campfire until five in the morning, making too much noise. 

But this liquor ban changed my May Long plans.  I don’t have kids.  I want to be at a campground where we drink late into the night.  I want to pour a rum and coke into a travel mug in case a warden comes by as I wonder to neighbouring campsites to introduce myself.  I want to be surrounded by nineteen year old girls who are eager to impress and experimenting with making terrible decisions.  In the morning, I want to wake up to the breakfast beer, the camping treat, the one time you can drink before 10 a.m. and it’s socially acceptable.  I want to tend the fire and go for walks that lead to revelations, and return to stare at the flames in a drunken haze. 

I can’t be bothered to research to ensure I go to the right campground.  I suspect a number will determine they’re dry at the last moment.  There are other types of camping I enjoy, which don’t involve drinking.  Those types also usually involve a campsite more remote than those in a National Park, and a fair bit more planning.  Since May Long is about irresponsible drinking in a tent for me, I’ll stay in the city, and hit up patios and wonder around Princess Island Park.  It’s not the same, but I don’t feel like spending the whole weekend sober in a tent. 

Normally, I would just use all the tricks I learned in university, to drink in places I’m not supposed to drink.  There’s a small arsenal of clever prestidigitations, recipes and containers that are innocent to all but the most intense inspection.  But they’re really for drinking in movie theatres, or lecture halls, or getting from one party to the next.  Camping is about having a keg in the river and a Texas Mickey on the picnic table. 

Just so non-North American readers know what a Texas Mickey is..

Being this is the first time they’ll be shutting down the drinking, I suspect the Mounties will be out in full force.  They’ll confiscate your booze and write you a heavy ticket for something that’s been an accepted tradition since at least 1998. 

My camping this summer will all be on private property now.  Kodie’s family has land on the shore of Slave Lake.  Tall might be able to secure a cabin in the Rockies.  We also talked about going down to Waterton, and going to the U.S. side. 

In Alberta, the drinking age is 18.  People come here to tie one on young legally from other provinces and sometimes from Montana.  It’s surreal to be considering the States as our drinking destination, with their history of prohibition and their ridiculously high drinking age, just to celebrate an Albertan tradition. 

Being drunk in the wilderness.

Iron Man 2

Usually, I don’t need to be the first person to see or do something.  I tend to be a patient individual, waiting until the things I wanted are undefended, and then I take them. 



Like this pie

Like this pie...


Iron Man 2 was the exception.  I rarely see movies in theatres.  I don’t take extra thrill from a larger screen or bigger sound.  As long as I can see everything on my TV, I’ll save $12 on the movie and $15 on the snacks.  If I go to a movie theatre, it’s generally more about the social side than the particular movie.  There’s only one reason I ever need to see a movie in theatres; the rare occasions where I can’t wait.  

Mostly because I loved Iron Man.  Not the comic, but the original movie.  I mean, my obsession with Batman is well-known,  

So cool

and I think Dark Knight was the best comic book movie ever.  It was superior as a work of art, and complete as a story outside the genre.  I think it’s better than Iron Man.  

 But I enjoy Iron Man more.  It’s more entertaining, and the lighter tone makes it easier to watch repeatedly.  Plus, I relate better to a witty alcoholic narcissist than I do to an aggressive driven obsessive. 

 Gilly sent me a message a week before the movie came out, saying it was good.  I couldn’t figure out how she had already seen it, being that for my friend she’s astonishingly non-geeky, and as such wouldn’t see things at something like a comic convention secret sneak preview.  It turns out the release was earlier overseas because Paramount personally hates me. 

 I knew what I had to do.  No one else was going to see that movie before me like that jerk Gilly. 

 Tall and I went a day early for tickets.  Since we weren’t in it for the spectacle, we didn’t need 3D or IMAX or explod-o-vision. We had no trouble getting seats for the 10 pm show.  I was confused the next day when Matt, Ren, and David were all concerned.  They wanted to be there an hour early at least, and David insisted on an even bigger head start.  He was at the theatre at 8:30. 

 We needed it.  Yeah, we had tickets, but even ticket holders were lined up in front of the screening room.  David was about 15th in line when we got there.  Line as far as the eye could see, 45 minutes before show time, and it’s the version with no bells or whistles.  I can’t even imagine what the midnight IMAX showing would have been like, but I am forced to assume it involved a couple of overweight individuals in ill-fitting costumes, and some generally poor hygiene. 

 This was all old news for the staff at Chinook.  They had contingencies in place, and ordered us around with practiced ease when they needed to do something the line was blocking.  They ushered us into the theatre at 9:40 and waited 10 minutes before starting those pre-movie trivia things that come up before the show.  We had a great spot in the centre of the theatre, and due to Matt and Ren’s planning and David’s not really having a life, no matter what he tells you. 

Batman Cool

The movie itself was superb.  It played to the strengths of the original without rehashing old plot points.  They focused on the joyous excess, the price of success, and the sharp dialogue that made the original so good.  They were telling a story that happens to have a superhero in it, instead of a superhero story, a pitfall that plagues so many comic book movies, even today.  Honestly, the strength comes from the fact that the comic fights could have been replaced by board meetings or basketball games.  Everything was so good that the hero parts were just extra cool, not central. 

It didn’t feel the need to tell the original, giving the audience enough credit to continue the tale instead of redoing the first movie.  The plot and the characters only went forward.  

The casing was superb.  Robert Downey Junior, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Samuel Jackson were all as excellent as they were in the original, and their talent adds legitimacy to what could otherwise be a silly movie.  John Slattery plays Tony’s father, which is fitting, as Roger Sterling is nearly a non-superhero Tony stark in the 60s on Mad Men. 

Tony Stark cool

  Scarlett Johansen works for well as Black Widow, especially because they didn’t have her do the Russian accent and they did put her in a leather cat suit.  

I guess I can suffer through that.

The new actor for Rhodes was good, but I find Rhodes a pretty flat character to begin with.  I also enjoy that the movie acknowledges the change, in a scene that lets us know we should just get over it.  

The villain, Whiplash, played by Mickey Rourke, was great.  He had a legitimate grudge, understandable motivations, and was a challenge worthy of a more experienced Iron Man.  Superman movies, are you listening?  Villains should be worth the hero’s time, and should have reasons for what they do.  

Fuck Movie Lex Luthor

I really enjoyed how unobtrusive the special effects were.  They served the story, and never went over the top for their own sake.  Big explosions weren’t Bay-esque, and a large effect always had an in movie reason.  

In fact, the movie had amazing verisimilitude.  It stayed true to its own reality, and anything that looked like a logic flaw had an explanation.  I’m not Kodie, and I can’t say if they were scientifically sound, but they were sound enough for a movie about an international playboy in a robot suit.  

The movie is fun, exciting, and well done. It’s an excellent continuation of a great story, and it’s worth your theatre money.  

Even if you have to wait longer than the English.  


If You’re Wondering

I’m an English Geek, and because of that, the possibilities in this Weezer Song appeal to me.

Basically, I hear something different every time.  I assume some of you will also be amused by this:

  • If you’re wondering if I want you to, I want you to.
  • If you’re wondering if I want you to, I want you too.
  • If you’re wondering if I want you to, I want you two.
  • If you’re wondering if I want you too, I want you to.
  • If you’re wondering if I want you too, I want you too
  • If you’re wondering if I want you too, I want you two.
  • If you’re wondering if I want you two, I want you to.
  • If you’re wondering if I want you two, I want you too.
  • If you’re wondering if I want you two, I want you two.


While I assume only other English Geeks, like Lina, will be amused by the above, let me simplify it for you:

  • If you’re wondering if I want you to do that, I want you to do that.  So go ahead and do that.
  • If you’re wondering if I want you to do that, I want you as well. Some make less sense than others.
  • If you’re wondering if I want you to do that, I want you both.  Some are about threesomes.
  • If you’re wondering if I want you as well, I want you to do that.  I’m enigmatic and seductive.
  • If you’re wondering if I want you as well, I want you as well.  So we’re gonna get it on.
  • If you’re wondering if I want you as well, I want you both.  So we’re gonna get it on with your hot roommate.
  • If you’re wondering if I want you both, I want you to do that.  Because there’s a chance I’m not into the threesome…or so I’d have you believe.
  • If you’re wondering if I want you both, I want you as well.  Because I assume you both want me.
  • If you’re wondering if I want you both, I want you both.  Threesomes are cool.
Published in: on May 13, 2010 at 12:35 pm  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , , , , ,



Today at work, I got bored.  So I drew this bear.  Then I started sending it to people in emails that said things like “LEONARD LOOK OUT A BEAR!”

Then they would open it and see the bear.  Funny, no?

I want this thing to go viral.  So feel free to copy this bear, and send it to your friends, and warn them to look out.  It’s available above, or through my Deviant Art.  Trust me, everyone loves and fears this bear.

It’s under creative commons licence.  That means you can do whatever you want with it, as long as you don’t charge people.  So if you want to make it better, feel free.  If you want to make a T-Shirt, I’ve reserved those rights for the time being.


I love creative commons.  Since I put his up at midnight, Lina sent me this:



And Leonrd sent me this:


Published in: on May 8, 2010 at 12:01 am  Comments (4)  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Renegade Folk Heroing

I realize we are about a month into this blog, and I haven’t really defined what Renegade Folk is.  A lot of people who followed me from Livejournal, or all the way back from Myspace, before the whores took it over, have heard it before.  But it’s a living philosophy, so it changes, and I’m going to tell it differently here than I have before.  We’re going to follow it from its most distant roots. 

Let’s start with me as a kid, about 12 or 13.  At this point I was a hopeless romantic, and I’m comfortable blaming society for it.  I was starting to really take an interest in girls, and the models I had for that interaction were cultural.  I thought love was like the movies. 

Take, for example, Disney’s Aladdin. 

All smug there on his rug
All smug there on his rug…

It was released in 1992, so I was probably 10 years old when I saw it.  Aladdin meets a girl for all of five minutes, and they have an engaging conversation.  He builds a whole fake life to be perfect for her.  She finds out, feels betrayed, but then he kills a giant snake and she takes him back. 

That’s the set of expectations I was working with.  If you talk to a cute girl, and you feel any minor connection or have any interest in anything she says, that’s enough to fall in love.  You then have the right, no, the responsibility, to do whatever it takes to be near her, so she can realize she loves you back.  If she finds out you’ve been faking perfection, or is in any way not interested in you, all you really need to do is perform some over the top romantic gesture, and you are guaranteed to win her heart. 

It doesn’t matter that she doesn’t know you.  It’s fine you lied the entire time she’s known you, and pretended to be something you were not.  It doesn’t matter that you don’t fit her life, that you are completely unsuited for her, or that she’s never considered even the possibility of a romantic entanglement with you.  If you can prove you’ve loved her since that first slightly interesting conversation, as insignificant as it may have been for her, she will love you back.  She has to, because of how hard you loved her, and that you proved it.  Those are the rules. 

Now that I’m older, I know not to form my values on what Disney teaches me.  Then, it seemed reasonable.  I mean, Aladdin is friends with a monkey, and that’s cool.  I used Aladdin as an example, but any T.V. show or movie or book I saw at the time reinforced a similar model of relationships. 

Needless to say, my heart was broken a couple of times.  I would be too deeply in love with some cute girl, because I didn’t really require her involvement before the big gesture.  Then I would do something stupid, like sing her a Bryan Adams song, and be shocked she didn’t have an epiphany and come running to my arms.  Fuck, I just told her “Everything I do, I do for you.”  How could she not? 

I mean, I stole words from this guy!

I mean, I stole words from this guy!


After a few too many failures, I became a Cynic.  Everyone knows life is not a John Hughes movie, but I was bitter about it.  I was certain there was something wrong with the girls who rejected me.  They were the ones not following the rules.  You know, those sacred rules Hollywood taught me. 

And I was pissed at the people who told those stories.  I would drink while watching romantic comedies, and when they hit their lowest point, I would turn off the movie and announce “That’s how it works in real life.  The end.”  I would then go to bed.  My friends though it was funny and terrifying. 

I would still have one conversation with a cute girl, and fall in love with an imaginary perfect version of her.  I just wouldn’t do the big gesture.  I would be pissed off she didn’t love me back, but I no longer even tried to tell her.  You know, during my most mature phase. 

Then I was burned by eleven litres of hot deep fryer oil.  Literally.  I had second degree burns on my arms and face, and due to the constant pain, I was certain I was scarred for life.  It didn’t happen, but the constant agony and the odd texture of the healing skin made it seem like a certainty to my laboured brain. 

Assuming I was now the Phantom of the Opera,

Burn face phantom, not sexy mask phantom...

Burn face phantom, not sexy mask phantom...

and no one could love my face (because I’m seriously that shallow), I stopped caring about cute girls.  They were there, but it didn’t matter what I did, I was off the docket.  Suddenly, I relaxed around them.  I treated them like people, instead of objects of wonder.  I didn’t have complex agendas.  I didn’t try to live a perfect life before them, I just did what I felt like doing.  I stopped ensuring I never contradicted them, but called them on their bullshit and mocked them like I did with everyone else.  When I said whatever I felt like saying, suddenly they were interested in me.

Instead of returning to old patterns, I developed a new philosophy, and started calling it Renegade Folk Heroing.  While a lot of it comes out as “Follow your dreams,” and “Enjoy the little things,” being me, it’s still mostly about love.  Or at least lust, which wasn’t okay for Hopeless Romantics or Cynics, but Renegade Folk Heroes are allowed sex with no attachments, as long as everyone knows that’s what’s happening.  There’s also a lot of drinking, but it’s happy, joyful drinking, not bitter, how can this be my life drinking.  

Basically, it looks like this:

But I still lie about being able to play the guitar.


and it breaks down like this:

Renegade: This is the do what you feel like doing segment.  Don’t worry about what’s normal, or expected.  It’s better to be weird and happy then normal and miserable.  If everything you do is planning for tomorrow, what if you don’t make it there.  Enjoy what today has to offer too. 

Folk: Everyone is just people.  Cute girls aren’t different, except visually.  If someone hurts you in any way, it’s generally about them and their shit.  She didn’t break your heart because she hates you.  She did it because she was broken, and you should just move on.  Everyone is the same, and use that to understand why they do what they did. 

Heroing: Temper the first two with this aspect.  Don’t hurt people while doing whatever you want whenever you can avoid it.  Be honest.  If you aren’t proud of something you’re going to do, why are you doing it?  You better have a good reason.  Don’t let other people’s shit bring you down, but don’t let them drown in it either. 

Renegade Folk Heroing is for Hopeless Romantics the world broke.  When they’re done being miserable about it, and get over Cynicism, there’s still enough good left to enjoy, and if you’re lucky, protect.

Tommy Burger

I barely made it back from Portland in time for Tall’s birthday.  He wanted to go out on Friday night, and I was landing at midnight.  Being the unstoppable force of nature I am, I planned to take a cab home, drop off my bags, and catch up to the party.  The day before I left Oregon, I got a text, saying the festivities had been moved to Tommy Burger on Saturday afternoon.  That meant it would be easier to get there, and Kodie could pick me up at the airport, because he was no longer going to be at a party.  Everything was coming up Joey.  


A few months earlier, one of my coworkers, W1, had told me about a restaurant downtown where they served gourmet burgers, like a $40 Kobe Beef burger with lobster and white truffle Hollandaise sauce.  Only in Calgary, kids.    He told me about their wild game burgers, like elk, and the tuna, turkey, and bison.  Gilly was slightly disgusted for what passed for classy in Alberta when I told her about this place.  She couldn’t believe we would be willing to make burgers out of Kobe beef. On the drive home, Kodie was worried about the cost, but glad it was close.   

The next morning, I realized I was wrong.  W1 had told me about Lounge Burger, not Tommy Burger.    

Where we needed to be...

Where we needed to be...

 We were not going to the above restaurant.  My first concern was that Tommy Burger was a far ways South down McLeod Trail.  I called Kodie, who after all these years was still surprised I could be wrong.  His boyfriend, Shawn, was at work with his car.  We called him, and Shawn had thought to find the restaurant before he needed to leave.  He swung by to pick me up, and we grabbed Kodie and headed south.   


Tommy Burger turned out to be high-end casual dining rather than gourmet, which suited me better.  Casual dining, for those unfamiliar, means a restaurant is nice but not pretentious, the sort of place you aren’t ashamed to bring a date, but you know every item on the menu.  I don’t have a highly refined palate, as evidenced in my wine country tour.  I will eat anything, and I would try an ostrich burger, or whatever rich people insist on eating, but I generally prefer something simpler.   

We walked in, and the hostess was a beautiful blonde girl in a short dress so tight it looked like she had been dipped in half a bottle of ink.  I decided it was probably best I did the talking, since it would be wasted on the gays.  I told her we were there with people, and gave Tall’s name.  I was about to say something witty and charming, the details of which I won’t type here so that I don’t get promises of undying love from women I’ve never met, but then I remembered she was a hostess. I used to work in a restaurant, back in university.  There I learned the true reason restaurants have hostesses.  Sometimes, a jaw droppingly gorgeous girl will come in and apply for a job.  You would never guess by looking at her, but she turns out to be sixteen.  Alberta law requires servers to be eighteen in a licensed establishment.  Minors can only be employed in positions that don’t handle alcohol.  A restaurant does better with attractive serving staff, and a hostess is an investment in the future.  She has a job right out front, drawing customers into the restaurant, and she starts to learn how things are done.  When she turns eighteen, she can become a server.  

A Classy Interior

A Classy Interior

Jailbait is jailbait.  I bit my tongue and followed her to our table.  We were about twenty, so they put us in a section where our long table had walls on three sides, with just one opening into the rest of the restaurant.  The décor was designed to subtly remind one of a 1950s diner, but with enough restraint to keep it from being tacky.  Over half our party was there, so I let someone else entertain Kodie and Shawn while I perused the drink menu. 

What’s this?  Tokyo Iced Tea?  

Tokyo Iced Tea

Tokyo Iced Tea

Kiwi?  I fucking love Kiwi.  Our waitress was tall and smiled easily, and was too busy to give me her undivided attention.  I stopped flirting and sent her off to get one of these tiny wonders.  

Really, look at that drink.  Think about how good it could possibly be at its best.  It was better than that.  David showed up, and I told him needed to try one.  “Joey, that’s just a long island iced tea with kiwi.”   

“Yeah!  Kiwi!”   

He decided to sit at the far end of the table to avoid me.  I assumed he just didn’t want to compete with me should our cute waitress have three seconds to spare.   

Tall is a giant, and he eats like one.  Meals out with him generally include appetizers, to maximize the amount of food he can possibly consume in a single lifetime.  It was 2:12 by that point, and all that was sloshing around in my stomach was Tokyo Iced Tea, so I figured I had better get a starter.  Then I saw them; Kobe beef sliders.  Despite living reasonably near Kobe in Japan for a year, I never had their beef.  There was enough other exciting food.  Gilly might be right, putting Kobe beef in hamburgers, even tiny hamburgers, might ruin it.  

Also pictured; Shawn's bucket of poutine

Also pictured; Shawn's bucket of poutine

But trust me, sliders are not ruined by Kobe beef.  They were juicy, without being fatty.  I bet that’s what angels taste like.  They were amazing.   

For the main course, you could choose a prebuilt burger, or build your own.  I perused the ingredient list, and found a dilemma.  First of all, they make tamago burgers.  The Japanese may not know a lot about burgers, considering the fact that they won’t put Kobe beef in them, but there is one piece of burger technology they have perfected.  Everywhere you go, every chain, has a tamago burger.  First you take a regular burger.  Then you add a fried egg.  Then you’re done.  You’re welcome.   

But next to the second greatest hangover cure in the world (after Aquarius), was another burger-vation.  That is an innovation specifically related to burgers, by the way.  They would put a pineapple on my burger.  I love pineapple.  Pineapple makes me consider the possibility of a loving god who understands my taste buds.  So now I had to choose between tamago burger and pineapple burger.   

Some of you are probably thinking “Pick both!”  That’s a dangerous option.  What if the savory glory of the egg is compromised by the pristine tang of the pineapple?  In the past, I have melded such diverse ingredients and created chimeras of fantastic taste splendor, such as the Unholy Cheeseburger Pizza.  But that day was not the day to see if fried egg and pineapple mix.   

Mostly because they probably don’t.   

Instead, I had them put on fried onions, bacon, aged cheddar, and I went with pineapple.  

The Burger as Art

The Burger as Art

Some of you might not like the fruit, but let me tell you, this was as good as pineapple gets.  Imagine the best possible outcome for this burger.  Now add 25%.  That’s how good it was.   

 Tommy Burger was high end casual dining.  While it wasn’t the cheapest burger I’ve ever eaten, it didn’t break the bank.  It was worth every penny.  It was one of the best.  Top three, actually, after Freshness Burger and Hawaiian Kitchen in Koichi, Japan.  But if you’re not willing to leave the country, you may have to make due with Tommy Burger.  

 You know, which is like making due with a Rachel McAdams/Jessica Alba threesome.  

So Far, so good...

So Far, so good...

What? No Amy Smart? I'm out of here.

What? No Amy Smart? I'm out of here.


Tommy Burger gets 5 stars from me, and if you don’t go check it out, you are either a vegetarian, or you hate yourself.   Which most vegetarians do.  


Ratings Breakdown:

 Full Stars; Food, Drink, Staff, Price, and Atmosphere.  

Five Star Total


If you are a Calgary restaurant, and you’d like to have Joey review your restaurant, send an email to

Restaurant Rating System: 5 Stars

Before I put up my first restaurant blog, I wanted to create a rating system.  I want to use a five-star system, but really, what does a star mean?  A vague scale doesn’t really tell you anything.  So I’ve decided I’ll give stars based on specific criteria.  Each star can be full or half.  I’ll use these to rate a place.  A star is awarded for each of the following:

 Drink Star: This is generally the easiest star to get.  If you don’t water down the fountain pop, and your well vodka doesn’t make me sick, you’ll probably earn this one.  The real risk is if you promise and don’t deliver.  If you have a fancy drink that looks sounds delicious, but comes out crap, you’re risking this star.

 Food Star: The food star is mostly about meeting expectations.  McDonald’s gets a food star easier than a classy steak house.  I don’t expect the same experience from both.  A half star delivers without impressing.  A full star beats expectations.

 Atmosphere Star: Does the restaurant match the dining experience?  Again, this star is tempered by expectations.  A fast food place just needs to be clean, while a gourmet restaurant needs to be quiet, comfortable, and classy.  Tolerable gets a half star, and a place that is enjoyable gets full star.

 Staff Star:  For me, staff star is divided in half.  The first half is based on if they are knowledgeable, courteous, and attentive.  If they’re good at their job, they get a half star.  The other half comes from how attractive the staff is.  Some may feel this is not fair, but I want cute girls to bring me my food, and they want my tips.  As Bran Van 3000 taught us in “Supermodel,” “Now, everyone knows if you want to run a successful cafe, you have to hire the prettiest waitress.”  No matter how you feel about it, if I don’t find myself picturing someone nude, you’ll lose this star.

 Price Star:  If the quality of the experience matches the price, you get the price star.  Half star if it’s a bit expensive, but I would still consider coming back.

 Then I’ll total the stars, and give a final rating.  The bottom of the review will list the specific stars awarded.