What do you get when you mix two world-renowned gem hunters, some hand-picked antiques, an extensive collection of art and stained glass, and throw it all together on Queen West? The totally eclectic and totally unique The Lodge On Queen! A huge thanks to our friends at Diego Moura Photography for all the great shots!
Located at Queen and University, this venue is perfect for people who are looking for a fun and casual venue with stellar service, killer vibes, and even better nooks and crannies for photo ops. The venue hosted an open house this past week and I was thrilled drop by to check things out. The rooms were buzzing with great drinks, great tunes, and enough fantastic food to satisfy just about any appetite. Read on for more details, dear reader.
On entering the venue, the mood was set with DJ SuppaNatty playing great tunes welcoming you up the stairs and onto the main floor. Pop! Event Management was giving out the cutest little candy boxes; I immediately felt like I was welcomed brightly into a party that was sure to be a good time. Setting the tone right off the bat is so important at an event, and they totally nailed it!
After grabbing a drink at the bar (vodka soda, two limes please), I made my way over to a photo station made with hanging flowers and manned by BiancoNero.ca who assured me that my sweaty red face wouldn’t show up too much in the photos. Not sure if I believed him, but hey, the installation was fun!
Moving upstairs, I found the sweet motherload of food heaven. Listen. I’ve been to a lot of events and eaten a lot of boring event food. This? This was ANYTHING but boring!
I started off with a mushroom dumpling from Food Dudes which, if I’m being honest, is one of the best things I’ve tasted in a while. When it comes to good food, these dudes really know what they’re doing.
I didn’t think it could get any better until I walked three steps to the right and had a lobster roll from JP Fine Foods. And then a taco. And then another lobster roll because this girl could not get enough of the sweet buttery beautiful bite. What a dream!
I made my way to Aggressive Organics where I grabbed a Gin & Chronic; a mocktail made with non-alcoholic gin, mixed with tonic and a few drops of cannabis. We had a great conversation about how they’re pushing things forward with regard to serving cannabis-infused food and drink in Ontario, and had some smart (and delicious) ideas on how to incorporate them into events.
Gin & Chronic in hand, I made my way to Chau for a killer bao, tender popcorn chicken, and a little bite of beet hummus with fresh fig that, when I took my first bite, made me say out loud “holy f-word!”. If you told 7 year old Jenny that she’d be going back for beet hummus, she’d think you were crazy…but here we are.
After smashing a couple (or three) oysters at the oyster bar hosted by Rodney's Oyster House, I grabbed some drool-inducing chicken and coleslaw from ProvisionsTO and sat back to take it all in. Vendors here were both enthusiastic and generous about their food, producing mountains of amazing food – I desperately wished I had brought tupperware from home.
As the evening wound down, I went back to ProvisionsTO to stash another biscuit in my purse for later (a trick taught to me by my mother at many a Red Lobster visits through the years), and grabbed the most perfect lemon meringue tart from JP Fine Foods for the road. Stay classy San Diego!
Belly full, I stepped outside back into the heart of downtown feeling happy, inspired, and thrilled to have met so many great people at one of my favourite spaces in the city. Congrats to the Lodge on Queen and all the featured vendors for a wonderful and successful evening!