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GC's Birthday Bass

We’ve been celebrating GC’s birthday for a couple of days now.

For his birthday I gave him a blood pressure machine and an art journaling book. He was thrilled with his blood pressure machine. It’s just what he always wanted. (Remind me to tell you about the thermometers someday.)

Thursday night we went to a Jamaican restaurant opening – The Giggling Jerks. Not only was it the grand opening, but it was being filmed for a new Food Network reality show called The Opener. Here’s the trailer:

We started with a short lineup to sign permission forms, then we moved to a longer lineup to get into the restaurant. After about 20 minutes, we were seated at the bar to wait for an available table.

We people-watched while we waited. There was an older couple there (I’d guess they were in their 70s) and she was swathed in leopard skin – even her earrings and bracelet were leopard skin. She wore rings on every finger of both hands. He was dressed in a wife-beater and tight jeans. They were both deeply tanned and somewhat disturbing.

You can only people-watch for so long on an empty stomach, and that “next available table” they spoke of never did materialize. Nobody ever moved from the bar to the restaurant, at least not while we were there. We left after about 45 minutes, with a promise to come back another night.

We walked around the Byward Market reading menus and trying to find somewhere good to eat, but by this time we had our hearts set on Jamaican food, and apart from the Cajun Attic, there didn’t seem to be anything like that. (And the Cajun Attic? We did go in for a peek, but there was just something about that place…)

Eventually we were pretty hungry and it was almost time for the baby birds’ next feeding, so we ducked into a shwarma joint for a quick bite. They only accepted cash and I didn’t have any, so GC had to pay for his birthday dinner. I promised him I’d take him out for a real dinner on Friday.

We tried to go to Caribbean Flavours on Friday, but we couldn’t find it, so we went to the Savanah Cafe on Gilmour Street instead. It’s a Caribbean/Thai fusion restaurant.

While we waited for our appetizers – chick pea pakoras, served with edible flowers, along with gazpacho for GC and kalaloo soup for me – we did a little people-watching. There was a young couple at the next table – maybe 24 years old – and as they ate their appetizers, she talked on the phone while he sat there looking first bored and eventually annoyed. She hung up when the main course arrived. They appeared to have a bit of a spat, and then ate most of their meal as if they were in different rooms. Almost no conversation. No smiles. No exchanging bites.

Photo: GC's Birthday Bass (the colour's not true because I didn't use a flash, but as you can see it looked pretty spectacular.)

GC ordered the catch of the day, which was sea bass roasted in banana leaf and served with chipotle lime demerara sugar lacquer, plantain chorizo fufu andsavana slaw. I ordered the Dhal Puri Chicken Roti with steamed greens and fried plantain.

We talked (not on the phone), smiled, and exchanged bites. For dessert we shared a creme brulee.

With the exception of my too-spicy soup, it was all absolutely delicious. Best meal I’ve had in ages. When we go back, I’m going to order the exact same thing, but with a different soup.

We would have gone out and partied the night away, except GC had a dog to walk, and I had baby birds to feed, and it was time to take our blood pressure.

Happy Birthday GC! I love you!

9 comments to GC’s birthday bass

  • Happy birthday, GC! Sounds like you’ve got the right idea: drag the celebration out for a few days and party gradually, so you get the benefits without any of the drawbacks. And hope the BP was within the desired limits when you got home!

  • XUP

    Caribbean Flavours is definitely worth finding. You should give it another try next time you’re in the mood for island food (nice rhyme there, eh?). It’s a tiny place in a strip-mall type set-up. Whatever you do order the “baby mild” of everything because they have an insanely heavy hand with the peppers. I’m a fan of spicy food, but everything other than “baby mild” (which isn’t even an option on the menu – you have to ask) is inedible to me.

  • Carmen

    Hé! Joyeux anniversaire GC! And don’t I know about obligations….such is life!

  • lucy

    Is Caribbean Flavours still in existence? If so, I wonder where. There were on Carling opposite the Canadian Tire, after the Somerset location burned down, but I don’t think they’re there any more, because I often go to the Can Tire and I don’t remember seeing them there for ages. If they’ve closed, that’s a pity; I never did get round to going there, but I always intended to and from what I’ve heard their food was good.

    If you do track them down, let us know!

    Belated birthday greetings to GC!

  • Heather

    Unless Caribbean Flavours has moved to some new secret location, I think it is closed. Sadly. Once I went when it was closed between lunch and dinner, but the owner forgot the lock the door, so when he emerged from the kitchen he was surprised and confused to see me sitting there (and I was confused that he was confused). But then he insisted that he couldn’t send someone away from his kitchen without feeding them, so he cooked for me anyway. It was great.

    Happy Birthday to GC – enjoy your shiny new blood pressure machine.

  • Hey Zoom and GC, so good to have you spend part of your ongoing birthday celebration at Strathcona Art in the Park yesterday. Spectacular weather and what a wonderful site for a show!

    Baby squirrel, Oscar, was babysat for the weekend and he and his diaper bag are due back at noon and I’ll resume being a stay-at-home mom.

    Everyone, please enjoy this glorious Sunday!

  • redfraggle

    My friends Emily and Tarek cook at Savanah cafe – and Willow used to hang out in the kitchen back in the good ol days when I worked part time and my friend took care of her in the evenings. They get a lot of their food from Mariposa farms, where Emily is helping to plan and grow the garden. I love it there!

  • Holy cow Zoom. What a menu. Definitely celebration worthy and maybe it will even give a blip on the blood pressure machine. What a loving set of gifts.

    Happy Birthday GC, you lucky man.

  • Sounds like a fabulous birthday.

    I think I can relate to GC. Thermometers, measuring are such clear pleasures.