Living as a Mod in the 21st Century

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Mod on the road

It’s day one of our 10-day road trip. The final destination: Chicago. I always wanted to see Bad Manners live and since they haven’t been to Montreal in decades, I decided to go to them. They are playing in Chicago with The English Beat and Chris Murray. It’s a win-win situation.

And what do they say about the journey? It’s full of stops at vintage shops, crate digging for northern soul and tasting local beer? That’s what I thought… You can see road trips in two different ways. One, you can plan everything ahead, book hotels, follow an itinerary and reserve tickets for the popular tourist attractions. That’s the girlfriend way. Or you can throw caution to the wind and see where the road takes you. Go with the flow. That’s the Patrick way!

Last summer, we decided to adhere to the girlfriend mantra on our trip to England, Scotland and Ireland. The same rules were applied in March in New Orleans. The experience was memorable and probably less stressful and expensive then if we decided to follow my method. But this time, we decided we would try it my way.

Our first stop was Buffalo, NY, home of the famous buffalo chicken wings. Not much of a destination for the consummate Mod but as on any road trip, you never know what waits around the corner. 

 After leaving our gear at a cheap motel a few miles out of downtown, we were ready for the cocktail hour. We ended up on Chippewa Street, where all the trendy nightclubs are situated. We stumbled upon The Chocolate Bar. With an impressive list of designer martinis, we instantly knew where we were going to spend the next hour. A hip place with walls painted every shade of chocolate you can imagine. Quirky sayings like “Nobody knows… the truffles I have seen” and “Chocolate, cheaper than therapy” posted here and there.

 I was tempted by the Banana Cream Pie Martini, a sweet alcoholic concoction that might be more suitable as desert than an aperitif. It was a bit too heavy on the cream for my taste but yummy nonetheless.

 The missus went for the Raspberry Truffle Martini. She qualified it simply as sexy. But like everything that sensuous, it’s better not to abuse it.

 We were then ready to get down and dirty and go try the famous buffalo wings at The Anchor Bar, the place that gave birth to the now worldwide known recipe. I’m always skeptical with these types of places because they often turn into tourist traps. 

 Was I really going to taste the best wings in the world? As luck would have it, I did! I went for the traditional 10 wings single serving with the medium spicy sauce. It’s served with celery stick and a serving of blue cheese ranch sauce. Simply scrumptious! Add to that a side of coleslaw and a pint of local amber beer and you’re in heaven! The wings were fried to perfection and the sauce was hot enough to leave you with a tingly sensation around the lips. A dish I’m happy I made the detour for. 

 To make it all perfect, the Jazz Example where playing right in front of us. What a welcomed surprise! The smooth voice of the singer made it even more enjoyable. Her version of Killing Me Softly With His Song by Roberta Flank rivaled the original.

On the way out, I noticed something peculiar. Amongst the vintage motorcycles on display, there was a 2002 Malaguti scooter. On the sign in front of it, it reads Lambretta. Really? A Malaguti Lambretta? This is the first I hear of it. Well… maybe only in Buffalo.

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