Germany, Ireland and Japadog?

by Carmen Cruz

So I started today with a visit to German Saxony House, which is in the rowing club in Stanley Park. Great atmosphere with a decent amount of space (don't know why, but I expected it to be bigger!). Really nice layout with a spectacular view (they also have a small, outdoor patio area. Nice!). So the obvious highlight here is the beer and bratwurst. I guess these people REALLY take their bratwurst seriously. The had the sausages made in Langley and German 'bratwurst specialists' were flown in (from Deutchland of course!) to oversee the preparation and to make sure that it was 100% true to the traditional way it's supposed to be made. Nope, they DO NOT mess with their bratwurst! This place is ideal for watching a game in a cozy environment where you can actually get to know the people around you. I like this place. So do many others, as you'll notice by the (surprise, surprise!) long lineups to get in. If you get a chance, swing by and check out their traditional German house band. I've gotta admit, it made me want to break out into a polka (I'm not ashamed to admit it. I know how to polka and I'm proud of it!!!). The staff that work there are pretty friendly as well. See video.

Next was the Irish House. You've probably noticed the lineup that goes past the Penthouse (at least, I THINK the line is just for Irish House! Unless the Penthouse has some sort of Olympic strip-off I'm not aware of). So the venue is on Seymore and Nelson. It's hard to miss with the flashing lights and rowdy crowd outside. We got a tour of the place and I've gotta say that it's HUGE! Lot's of room, lot's of people and above all, lot's of Canadian pride! I guess I pictured a bunch of Irish hooligans yelling and spilling beer everywhere, but nope, it's all about Canada. Don't get me wrong, they've got Celtic music and dancing, as well as a house cover band, but let me tell ya, this is the place where Canadians go to party! Consider it the Canadian spirit with an Irish twist. They have the usual pub style food, plus some traditional Irish food. I recommend trying the Guiness and steak pie with (what else) a glass of Guiness. See video.

Finally, Laurie and I were walking around downtown and ended up on Burrard street, right by the Scotia bank theater. Cars were passing slowly by with their drivers honking and yelling out their windows. People were running down the street waving Canadian flags, screaming and giving out the random high-five's. This is what happens when Canada wins a gold medal (yay to the womens hockey team!!!).

So I've lived in Vancouver for over 2 years and I've never had a Japadog. I decided it was time to change that but when I saw the lineup, I changed my mind. It was at least 50 people long! I guess it's kind of a right of passage here in Vancouver. Almost every Vancouverite has had a Japadog at least once. I'm still waiting...