A little while ago, a very dear friend of mine found out she has Crohns. When I first heard about it, I knew it had to be bad but I wasn’t sure to the extend of how horrible it could be. Over the next little while I tried being there for her as best I could. Whenever she went into a flair it broke my heart because she would be in so much pain and there was nothing I could do. First of all I live in Toronto and she’s about an hour away. Anyway, recently she had one of two surgeries to help her deal with the severe pain and the numerous emergency room visits she had to endure during her flairs. While I couldn’t just drop my world and rush to be with her, I kept in touch via text messages and phone calls with her family members ensuring I was up-to-date on her condition. I even told my manager that she was going into surgery so if I suddenly get up and make for the door, not to freak out because I would be on my way to be with her. Thankfully, everything went well and she is on the mend right now. But a few days after she went under the knife, I had a day off and I got on the first Go Train I could to spend the day with her.
The ride on the Go is a really strange one. For some strange reason there were no trains heading into Hamilton–so I had to take one train from Scarborough to Union then run across the street like a crazy person to get on a bus which would then take me the rest of the way. I survived that-because honestly, it could be worse.
Anyways, I was really happy to be on my way there after so long of not seeing her and I would even endured a Greyhound nightmare to get there. (Yes ladies and gentlemen I have no luck with Greyhound – once they left me stranded in Bridgeport Connecticut because my driver was a jerk who told me his bus wasn’t the one I was supposed to be on which turns out he was wrong and it was the right bus – long and tedious story I might write about at some point but I digress).
Needless to say I survived the mad dash, during rush hour, from Union Station to the bus depot across the street and caught my bus just as the driver was gearing up to leave. Once I arrived I found out Hamilton has another bit drawback – There is absolutely no free parking. Every corner has one of those paid parking places because there are very few places on the street where you can park. It was maddening and I wasn’t even the driver.
Once I was there, it was one errand after another. Finally, we got some quiet time alone and I suggested we should have lunch together. It’d been a long time since we’ve done anything like that because of her flares and since we hadn’t gotten around to hit Wahlburgers yet, a place in town would have to do. AT first we were going to get sushi, then as we drover around looking for parking, we changed her mind from Sushi to an wings. We made another decision – Slainte–an Irish pub slash restaurant that was near to the parking lot.
Now, let’s talk about this pub. It was clean, well lit, welcoming. The staff were courteous and smiled. The one thing I have to say were the waitresses (And from what I could see there were no male servers except the bartender) wore really skimpy outfits. Yes, I know its an Irish pub and the clientele are mostly male, do I really need to see your midsection while you’re serving me iced-tea? Anyways, let’s carry on. Yes, the servers were polite and accommodating. My friend and I were freezing so they seated us at the fireplace which was amazing. It was a bit noisy inside but I figured it was because we went during the rush period of lunch. I overheard a few conversations and realized some people met there for business meetings. It seemed a bit weird to me to be making important decisions with alcohol but who I am to judge.
Everything moved along in a timely matter. You know when you go to some restaurant and they serve you your drink order then take half an hour to come back and take your food order, then take another half an hour to bring you your food and by the time that happens your food had been sitting on the counter for a long time so by the time you get it, its cold? Not this place. Our meal came to us hot and fresh. Everything came as if being timed.
My Juicy Lucy burger (yes that’s the name of my burger) was delicious. The burger itself was stuffed with cheese. I ordered this burger for two reasons, one, it’s called the Juicy Lucy, and two they said the patty was stuffed with cheese and I was curious if they could pull it off. I mean, was that even possible? When it came I was not disappointed. It was absolutely delicious!
Then came desert. It was chocolate and fudge and caramel and fruits! I couldn’t eat the blueberries because they were extremely sour but the cake itself was so good, I had to take a moment, close my eyes and savour.
And another thing, the music they played were awesome. I found myself dancing in my chair which isn’t at all strange for my friend because I’ve known her going on ten years now!
Overall, Slainte was a nice little get-away from Toronto. It was clean, nice atmosphere, staff you wouldn’t have to debate about tipping when you’re paying your bill because they were gracious and awesome. It’s one of those places that if you could, you would have your boy’s night there or just a night with the girls. I would definitely recommend this place if you’re in Hamilton .
Here are a few more pics from the day.