on a grey sunday a few weeks ago, my eye was caught by a bright yellow door. how long had it been there? i loved the way it looked against the brick building and dark sky. i snapped a photo and carried on my way.

fishshack

little did i know that a few weeks later i’d be dining there, helping celebrate the launch of rodney’s fish shack – the hip younger brother of rodney’s oyster house. like, if rodney grew a beard, got some tattoos, and wore cool hats.

thankfully i wasn’t too clueless to the new paint job, the doors to fish shack opened during stampede in july.

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this eclectic, urban eatery offers a concise menu of fast food favourites including: fish & chips, fish tacos, and breaded clams.

you order at the counter and can either get take-away or enjoy your meal at one of the counters or outside on benches parked along the sidewalk (terrible recent calgary rain permitting). the drink case is filled with the usuals, along with quirky original sodas and a variety of tallboys.

order the hard root beer, because it’s incredible. and if enough of us petition for it, maybe they’ll team up with village to get vanilla ice cream for a boozy root beer float.

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besides it being delicious, i’m a big fan of the fish shack’s simple philosophy: sustainable seafood that’s always fresh, never frozen.

being in a landlocked province, fresh is not often something we see. i’ve run into situations with still frozen sashimi. it wasn’t good.

fish

going for fish & chips was a regular occurrence of my childhood. being raised roman catholic, you didn’t eat meat on fridays, or religious days, etc. so fish it was! that didn’t last long past elementary school, but is still respected in mimi’s house.

mom would take us for halibut & chips at a little spot in the west end. we’d eat our beige-coloured meals at wooden tables and drink pop and cover our fries in malt vinegar. sister only ate the breading off of it; she’s not too huge into fish. and you’d pray you didn’t have to use the bathroom, because you’d have to go down a steep set of stairs, down a long hallway past all the storage rooms. this, of course, is all based on childhood memory, and i wonder how “scary” that basement actually is many years later, and inches taller.

i haven’t gone for fish & chips in the five years i’ve been in calgary, but rodney’s fish shack brought back enough childhood memories to know it will now be in my rotation.


are you a fish and chips fan?

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“you’ve lost weight,” he said, wrapping his arms around my waist and pulling me into him.

little did he know that ever since he emailed me two-weeks prior saying he never wanted to leave London i had a horrible feeling that didn’t allow me to get out of bed or keep down a meal. there was someone else, another girl, in England. i could feel it in my bones.

i smiled and looked up at him from under my lashes. we kissed deeply.

that night as we dangled our feet in my boss’ pool he told me he loved me. it was the beginning of the end.

three months later he dumped me. i was 22, heartbroken, and had already bought his christmas gift.

“see you soon,” he called out to me. a parting phrase second nature to him, with no real thought.

“i highly doubt that,” i snapped back, now almost a block away.

i heard the door shut and with that a chapter of my life closed on a chilly January evening. no, it couldn’t. i turned on my heel, headed back to his door and knocked. he answered, listening to a message on his cell. i recognized the voice of his best friend streaming through the ear piece. he stared at me while i unzipped my jacket and bent over to take off my boots.

“want to go upstairs?”

his cell phone snapped shut as we raced to the bedroom.

the street lights flooded through the open drapes creating dancing shadows on the wall as our bodies moved and we whispered to each other in the darkness.

as i lay in the dark wood sleigh bed i loved so much, with his blue with white floral print sheets pulled up over my chest, he reached over and swept my hair off my face and tucked it behind my ear. it felt like home, the home i had imagined for us months before.

memories came flooding back. i remembered the polkadot dress i wore when he asked me to be his girlfriend, and the smell of the fire and the sound of our beer bottles clinking as we agreed to our silly relationship. i remembered the feeling of his hand slipping around my waist as we walked to Hooters for wings after the Blue Jays game. i remembered the way his eyes would glisten and his forehead would crinkle when he talked to me, and only me. i remembered how nervous he always made me feel; the butterflies never stopped. i remembered how much we laughed, and how he made me smile bigger than i ever had. i remembered all the tears he caused me to shed. and i hated that i was drowning in these memories in his bed.


i’ve toyed with writing a memoir for years, and while the majority of it will be funny, the prologue breaks my heart all over again to write. this is a snippet. hope you enjoyed. 

i set my alarm for 6:30 a.m. this morning so i could go grocery shopping. if you ever needed proof that i am the coolest person you’ve ever met, exhibit a.

i find the price of groceries pretty expensive in calgary, and it’s even worse at the downtown stores. the best bet is to drive out of the suburbs and take advantage of their expansive parking lots and big box stores. superstore is usually my go-to, but at a reasonable time of day, it’s you and hundreds of your closest friends all fighting over the less expensive produce.

i’d rather stab myself with a safety pin until i bled.

i pulled into the parking lot at 7:03, and rolled back out to get home before 8. if that’s not a productive sunday morning, i’m not sure what is. my grandma tendencies and lack of saturday night plans win again.

i contemplated heading out on a solo trek in the mountains, but the common theme of rain and bears kept me in the city. soggy bear bait doesn’t sound too appealing. the thought of going back to bed did, but i fought the urge, packed up my laptop and decided to head to a newishly opened coffee shop.

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i’ve been a big fan of monogram coffee since their opened their altadore location. it’s so deceiving: in the middle of a little strip mall on a mostly residential street, you wouldn’t expect much from the tiny coffee shop. that is until you order a coffee. there is thought and effort poured into every cup. the stuff is good.

monogram expanded into the downtown core with a second, much larger location. that’s where me and otis decided on for the morning. at 9 a.m. on a sunday, i had my pick of any table, but i’m sure on a weekday i wouldn’t be as lucky.

a latte was a must – their london fog, and chai are also on my favourites list. and though my fridge was fully stocked, i left the house without breakfast; i decided to try their apple butter & cheese toast.

whatever you do, get the toast.

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thick cut, toasted sourdough bread slathered in labneh and apple butter, topped with cheddar curls. it was the perfect combination of salty, sweet, crunchy and buttery.

i think i’m in a serious relationship with that toast.

the main reason for coming here – free wifi and a change of scenery – worked, too. important emails sent, and i’ve caught up on some work. the sky had clouded over again, so i’m pretty sure my afternoon will consist of meal prep, cleaning, netflix and a couch nap, while listening to the impending rain.

sunday, you’ve been pretty dreamy so far. love, laur. xx


how was your sunday? when do you grocery shop?