Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Whister Part Deux: C-Level

Official Mountie uniform in bag
So here’s a sad realization. I’m cheap. For all the ladies out there – it’s just because I’m working freelance. Once I get those benefits again – I’ll be dropping mad Lincolns on y’all! Lincolns!!!

Allow me to proceed.

One of the best places to eat in Whistler is a Mongolian stirfry restaurant by the enigmatic name Mongolie Grill. You fill a bowl of whatever fresh ingredients you want –meats, seafood, vegetables, your choice of noodles. It’s weighed by the kilogram and then thrown onto a giant grill where cooks attend to eight or so different servings with what looks like a snow shovel. 

Notice lack of scallops
Because I’m paying by the kilo, like Vincent Chase with yayo, I’m carefully watching the cooks stir my fry, making sure they don’t spill anything off the grill or mix my awesome ingredients with someone else’s garbage. I’m locked onto my selection, an impeccable blend of udon, teriyaki beef, chicken, tofu, broccoli, green onions, and five scallops. The cooks grill all the food awfully close to the edge and while they work their spatulas like the Bride does a Hattori Hanzo sword, there are still plenty of wounded soldiers. I tensely watched as the cooks skirted my scallops near the grill’s edge, then pushed them back inland. Sometimes the homies would live too dangerously and a scallop would plummet to its doom. Four scallops. Spatula artistry. Three scallops. Don’t they know I’ve already paid for those heavenly scallops?!! They finish cooking my food, slap it on a plate, and call my number.

Oh snapzilla!! Not my number, not my food! I was following the wrong meal! What a relief. That poor sucker in front of me, who apparently has amazing ingredient-picking skills, just lost 60% of his scallops. I wonder if he even paid attention. Was I the only one analyzing these cooks like the guy who watched “Star Trek” so meticulously that he found the R2D2 cameo? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0gpuYWCHtw) Whatever, my meal was delicious and topped off with a solid Whistler Honey lager.

That font is not available in Word.
Mitch and I started talking with an awesomely-accented Canadian bartender, who happens to be from Squamish, the town we were staying in that night. Squamish is about 45 minutes south of Whistler. Every single room in Whistler was booked on account of it being President’s Day weekend and Family Day weekend in Canada. At the resort’s visitor center, we made a reservation for the Hotel Chieftain, which is expected to be a genuine half-star lodge. We ask the bartender if she knows of the Chieftain, and she flashes an immediate look of concern.

“Is it really that bad?” we ask.
“Well, it might have changed since I’ve been there last.”
“Oh yeah, when was that?”
“Couple months ago.”

It's not coincidence "HOL" is lit up
Why strive for B-level?
According to its website, the Chieftain has the city’s hottest bar/nightclub, and also has a liquor store and restaurant. As Mitch and I are driving to the “hotel,” a police car with flashing lights is just leaving. We pull up, and I swear the Chieftain is not a hotel, but a large Circle K with a closed Indian restaurant attached. On the marquee next to “Hotel Chieftain,” it says “C-Level Nightclub.” Mitch and I debated whether their original purpose was “Sea Level Nightclub” but made a mistake and were too lazy to change it; or if they really wanted to evoke a club that was not A or B level, but C level. Not sure if that name would make it in the states. Welcome to New York’s hippest new joint – The D-class… we’re almost average!!! 

Paying respects
To call the Chieftain a motel would be a disservice to all motels. Giant pipes went through our ceiling. It looked like Costco up there. We had to park the car in this shady lot behind the building where a bunch of 60-year-old skateboarders were riding. Seriously, these guys used to watch the Talkies. I was actually concerned these AARP hoodlums were going to break into my car, so I went back outside to check. Nope. Just me being judgmental.

Word on the street is Squamish is a beautiful town. It’s sandwiched between mountains and the ocean, and is actually known as the Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada. Seems like a great place to visit, but if you ever find yourself looking for lodging there, forgo the Chieftain. It’s not worth a Lincoln.
Hasta Canada!

Next episode: The live music capital of the world!

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