He Shoots He Scores!
Sitting around the pool aboard the Silverseas Whisper while cruising the azure waters of the Caribbean, my ears perk up when I hear loungers nearby talking hockey. Their accents unmistakably American, they relive the zone defense of a recent Toronto/ Pittsburgh game they had seen at the Air Canada Center. I turn and say that I too had seen that game, and I would bet that I had a better view. You cannot beat watching hockey on the two-story high television screen at the Real Sports Bar & Grill. They agree. They had been there for lunch.
Saturday night. Hockey night in Canada. You can see every bead of sweat, every flicker of an eyelash; you can feel the tension, and join the adrenalin rush when ‘he shoots, he scores’ and the crowd roars. Sitting on luxurious black leather chairs in the VIP lounge, surrounded by 200 television screens, I am hypnotized. I am the ice, the stick, the puck, the player and the referee. I am crossing the blue line. I am the manager bristling with controlled energy. It is too much.
I need to eat something and return to reality. It’s the end of the first period, and I tear my eyes away from intense television immersion to peruse the menu. The menu is an over-size novella of hockey-love. Full page photos and great quotes by sports greats like Wayne Gretzky: “You miss 100% of the shots you never take.” And Mario Andretti’s words: “If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough.” It could sell on Amazon for $29.95 (new).
We crave wings. Chef Tony Glitz dishes up ultimate chicken wings in a choice of a dozen seasonings (all sensually assertive) like bacon maple mustard, or Thai sweet chili, and we can order them by the pound. Burgers come Canadian or exotic, like the Mahalo Hawaiian burger with grilled pineapple, shaved ham, and honey garlic sauce. We love them all.
There are plenty of salads, leafy greens and more substantial offerings like honey garlic salmon and baby spinach; Harvard Crimson Boston salad which includes chicken, pears, walnuts and a whole lot of other ingredients that make it my choice for a future visit.
I’m having fun watching my family: the twelve year old hockey player who had a big game that day; and the 30-something year old who watched him play. These guys have big appetites, but they have a hard time concentrating on their 10 oz. baseball cut top sirloin with all that’s going on around them. One eye on the plate, and one eye on the puck seems to work. Had they paid more attention to the menu, they might have seen the Hail Mary, a 67 oz. (4.2 pounds) Canadian AAA grill roasted ribeye steak with 1 pound of fries and 1 pound of creamy coleslaw. Finish this in one hour and its free. There’s the wimp-out price, the girlfriend helps you eat it price, and the highest price—Senators and Habs fans. This menu reads as good as it tastes.
A scoreless game. The goalies are giants. In the shootout that follows, the Leafs are defeated. And so, we will have dessert. Chocolate will make us feel better. Ten layer chocolate cake seems appropriate, or perhaps the Wendel Sundae (bigger than Lord Stanley’s Cup).
I say, it’s not whether you win or lose, its how you see the game and what you eat while you are watching it.
Real Sports Bar & Grill ~ Voted #1 North America’s Best Sports Bar by ESPN
Maple Leaf Square, 15 York St. Unit A