“Four gays walk into a sports bar…”
You know that timeless joke we tell around a crackling fireplace on hot summer nights? Well it came true recently due to some of my own deliberate scheming. We were just one short, Anderson Cooper unfortunately couldn’t make it as he was instagraming his face off at the #DNC12
I had my first taste of the excellent food coming out of Real Sports Bar and Grill this past winter when I was a moderator for a food panel during Social Media Week. Chef Tony Glitz had prepared several items from his menu so I followed up with him about coming in for a review.
I coordinated the tasting for the first week of September, just before TIFF took over the city. It was perfect timing as Chef Tony had just revamped the menu and would also be opening a new Real Sports in Ottawa in their Byward Market (Canadian politicians rejoice)! I arrived early to get a tour of the massive space. Real Sports is honestly “sports bar” on crack. With a resident DJ who coordinates the music and what appear like hundreds of screens showcasing whatever the tops sports are airing at that very moment. Walking into their arena of a dining room is an unforgettable experience. A true master stage for the sports fan with overwhelmingly ecstatic sensory overload.
Chef Tony showcased a selection of his newest menu items as well as a few sippers from the bar. Hands down Real Sports has the best chicken wings in the history of feathered friends. I remember staring up at Jonathan and our eyes both bulged out of our skulls as we nibbled on the perfectly crunchy skin. Their new flat bread offerings are also worth a try and the Cubano with sweet potato fries is worth sharing. Strawberry Cheesecake Chop is small enough to legitimize a sweet treat to finish off the game.
Chef Tony made a point to ensure I was aware that all of the food in his kitchen is made from scratch and never frozen. Far too many (read: majority) of sports bars and pubs across the country buy frozen. Real Sports wings really stand out as an exceptional snack, you can taste the freshness in each sticky bite.
Four gays that night did not come to Real Sports for the sporting. We arrived for a spectacle and were concerned firstly about the quality of food and drink. I can undoubtedly confirm that Real Sports is the best sports bar I have ever been to on earth. Tony’s emphasis on quality food remind me that I would honestly come back to Real Sports even if the screens were dead and the space was void of its beats. I actually have a history (with my dad) of avoiding sports bars because I have become so bored by their typical generic offerings. Perhaps I have become a Real Sports fan? You will now find the restaurant on my Toronto Top Restaurant list.
Special note/suggestion from the gays: It would be great if you could showcase the Oscars on your screens during the Academy Awards. I personally thought Nick’s idea to have a reality tv night entitled “Getting Real at Real Sports,” to be entirely marketable. A final suggestion involved a Sex and the City marathon night running a different episode of the popular HBO show on each screen. It would be a marathon, which is technically a sport, so what do you think?
We enjoyed (* notes my favorites):
tanq 10, tonic, grapefruit bitter
Dark and Stormy *
gloslings black rum and ginger beer
The White Bull *
boozy fruit muddled with triple sec, melon liq, cherry brandy topped with red bull and white wine
The Grapefruit League *
grapefruit vodka, grapefruit juice, pom juice, lime, mint and agave syrup
Schooner (32oz) Kronenbourg Blanc *
Flying Monkeys Anti Gravity Lite Ale
Ultimate Chicken Wings *
new peking flavour and award winning thai sweet chili sauce
Smoked Duck Confit Flat Bread *
grilled corn, arugula & blue cheese
grilled chicken, three cheese blend, pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream & jalapenos
Cubano Sandwich *
pulled pork, shaved ham, pickle, Swiss cheese on cuban bread
Fennel Sausage Orecchiette
rapini, roasted red peppers & caramelized onions
Strawberry Cheesecake Chomp *
Chocolate Brownie Chomp