Welcome back! I have just arrived at the Tide and Vine Oyster House in Ontario, after a bit of a prolonged trip across Canadian Customs. You see, I am at dinner with designer and Canadian native Daryl Andrews – a short diversion during the Gathering of Friends Convention in Niagara Falls, New York.

DTD: Oh, I like this. This place looks cool. Are you a big oyster guy? Are we gonna have to get oysters?

Daryl: We’re going to have to get oysters.

DTD: I mean this – I see oysters everywhere, so…

Daryl: Yeah.When in Rome.

DTD: When in Rome, make lemonade.

And when at Tide and Vine Oyster House, one gets oysters. Or oysterade. I think that might be akin to a clamato.

Host: Hi. How are you guys doing?

DTD: Good! Doing well.

Host: Good. Reservation tonight?

Daryl: Yeah, under Daryl Andrews.

Host: Daryl. Perfect. You guys been here before?

DTD: No.

Host: Welcome, got ya a table in the dining room tonight.

DTD: Awesome, man! Thank you.

Host: Big Table, small table, whatever you guys want to do.

DTD: Sure!

Daryl: That’s it – smart move.

Host: You guys from around here?

DTD: I’m from California, about as far as you can get.

I believe The Tide and Vine is 2,567 miles from my home. I could live farther from the restaurant, but it would be difficult. From San Ysidro, at the California-Mexican border, it is 2,578 miles. From Seattle I get 2,481 miles.

Daryl: I’m from Waterloo.

87 miles from the Tide and Vine. Lightweight.

Host:What brings you here? Special occasion?

DTD: Believe it or not, a board game convention.

Daryl: It’s actually just across the border at the Sheraton.

Host: Well, thanks for choosing us. Tap water, sparkling water to start?

When no socially appropriate response comes to mind, offer water.

Daryl: I’m good with tap.

DTD: Tap’s fine. Awesome. I forget I’m wearing the name tag. I’ve been wearing it everywhere.

Daryl: Me too. And then I’m like, “Oh, right, right, right.” [pointing to name tag]

DTD: And then I get surprised when, you know, I go to Starbucks or something and they go, “Corey!”

Daryl: [laughs] They’re like, “You’re Corey!”

I am, in fact, that famous. They all know me.

DTD: [laughs] It’s like, “How do know you my name? Do I know you?”

Daryl: Yeah, yeah. I know, I know you. “Have I been here too many times?”

DTD:  [laughs] Well, definitely at the Starbucks in the hotel. I’ve been there too many times now.

They did know me by the end of the Gathering. I went to that little hotel coffee shop with alarming frequency, and the baristas were very nice and pretended to not have my order ready for me before I arrived.

Daryl: I mean they don’t need it now, but I’m okay with that.

DTD: That’s true, that’s true.

Waitress: Hello gentlemen, how are we doing?

DTD: Hey, doing well thank you!

Waitress: I know we just sat down so I’m not going to bombard you with a bunch of things. But I just want to know if you prefer sparkling water or tap water.

DTD: Oh tap. Tap.

Daryl: I think someone already got that.

Waitress: Oh, spunky. OK, I’ll be right back with that.

I will just start by saying our waitress is amazing. She was friendly, energetic, and just made me feel better. Plus anyone who uses the word “spunky” gets my unending devotion.

Daryl: [laughs] Can’t complain about that! Excellent service.

DTD: No, no, that’s great. Oh, man. Well, it’s on me, so you know – four of everything. It’s great. You want the chilled seafood tower? I’m there.

There was, in fact, a “tower” of seafood on the menu. And it immediately caught my eye. I’m not sure I saw anything else on the menu. I threw the idea it out there frivolously, hyperbolically, chumming the waters so to speak. But I secretly hoped Daryl would bite.

Daryl: [laughs] I mean, sure. That makes things easy.

DTD: Yeah, whatever you want. I could eat all of this.

Daryl: All right, let’s share a tower!

DTD: You wanna?

Daryl: Let’s do it!

I won’t lie. I was a bit giddy at that moment. I swooned. I tittered.

DTD: Ah, that sounds awesome! It’d better be a tower. Like, I want something like this high [a very high gesture, trust me]. That is too cool.

Daryl: It all sounds tasty.

DTD: Oh yeah! It sounds amazing.

Daryl: Get a little taste of all of Canada it sounds like, too. It’s hilarious.

DTD: Oh, PEI mussels are the best.

Prince Edward Island. They make the best mussels and board game tutors.

Daryl: Yeah, have you ever been?

DTD: No.

Daryl: That is a great time. You were talking about it like…

Ironically, I had recalled a driving trip I made with my parents in the early 1970s. I had mistakingly said it was a trip into Quebec. After consulting the ancestors, it was actually a trip to PEI.

Waitress: Sorry for interrupting you. Just real quickly while I have you guys – Are we interested in doing any Oysters tonight?

DTD: I think we’re going to get the tower.

Waitress: Oh sweet! Awesome! Great. Do you want me to just put that in for you guys? You’re good with that?

Daryl: Sure, let’s get that!

DTD: So, we are talking…?

Waitress: Yeah, we’re talking tower.

I love this waitress. She answered the unspoken question I desperately wanted the answer to. She was so excited to hear our order. I feel fulfilled, like she was just waiting for two large men to order a seafood tower. And now, finally, her dreams and aspirations are fulfilled. It was the least I could do, to order that tower. It was my duty.

Daryl and DTD: Oh ho ho! Yeah! Great!

DTD: I’m excited! That’s awesome.

Waitress: You guys need anything to drink, or are we just going to start off with the tower? And do you need some more time?

“Start off with the tower”… What sort of people would order another dinner after a SEAFOOD TOWER? [ominous foreshadowing]

DTD: I haven’t even looked at the drinks yet.

Waitress: OK, I’ll give you guys a second, because I’m just jumping on you. You guys seem so fun.

DTD: Not a worry at all. I think that’s great.

Waitress: I’m gonna set this down here, actually just for when the tower does come. It does have ice.

DTD: I like that we are going to “start” with the tower.

Waitress: Oh yeah. Of course. You gotta keep it open, wiggle room.

DTD: And then, you know, we will bring in more stuff. And then maybe a burger. Like on top of the tower.

… foreshadowing … hubris … denouement … pretentiousness …

Daryl: We just keep stacking. It’s a stacking game, we didn’t even know.

DTD: Yeah, we’ll turn dinner into a Dexterity game.

Daryl: Yeah, I was saying, for PEI you were saying about like the woods and French. That was my experience for driving to PEI. My wife and I, we drove up to Montreal… First, we drove to Ottawa for Canada Day. The Queen was there, so we stood out and saw the Queen. Yeah. Then we drove up to Montreal for the… I’m trying to remember, we hit Montreal both ways. One way was the Jazz Festival. The other way was the Just for Laughs festival.

The Just For Laughs festival is held every July in Montreal since 1983.

DTD: Oh, that’s awesome, man. I so would love to do that.

Daryl: It was so cool. Oh, amazing, amazing. We went… Oh, I’m drawing a blank on his name; He passed. But we went to The Dirty Show with Greg… What’s his last name? You would know his name if you heard it, but anyways, it was a highlight. But the weird part was like a year later he passed away, and it was like “I just saw that dude!”.

I have done a bit of sleuthing to this story – I believe Daryl’s trip took place in 2010. Greg Giraldo performed at “The Nasty Show“, part of the Just for Laughs festival, and passed away in September 2010. Queen Elizabeth also visited Ottowa on Canada Day, July 1, 2010. The Queen also visited in 2002 and 2005, but I believe 2010 is the magic date.

DTD: I had that with… I don’t know if you know Mitch Hedberg?

Daryl: Yes!

DTD: I saw him 3-4 times in a row. And then he passed.

Mitch Hedberg is one of my favorite comedians, who unfortunately passed in 2005. Mitch was known for strange one liners, and a deadpan stoner-style delivery.

Daryl: Oh my, I would have loved to see Mitch in a show. Oh, he’s the best.

DTD: Mitch was the greatest. He’s only got like 3 albums out there. I listen to them over and over and over again.

Daryl: I have two guys that I do some co-design with, and they’re constantly referencing [Mitch]. They know comedians so much better than me, but Mitch is usually a default for us.

DTD: Oh, I am there. You know Myq Kaplan? M-Y-Q. I love his stuff.

Daryl: Oh yeah. We have a radio station, actually, that’s a comedy channel.

DTD: Really?

Daryl: I find that like, that’s just a great radio station.

DTD: I do that all the time. So, useless fact for you: a joke that has two halves to it, where the first half leads you in, and the second half completely surprises you. Is called “paraprosdokian“.

Might be my favorite word. Recently, I started to talk about paraprosdokian jokes with my friend Henry Audubon, feeling rather smart and smug. It turns out he knew more about them than I, with regards to philosophy, semantics, and the concept of the “garden path sentence“. Man that dude’s smart.

Daryl: Wow.That’s a unique word.

DTD: And Mitch Hedberg did almost all of that. So: “I haven’t eaten for a week.. Because that would be much too long”. That’s a paraprosdokian joke.

Daryl: I didn’t know that.

DTD: Yeah, nobody should know that.

Daryl: [laughs] It’s a fun fact.

DTD: This is… Things get stuck up here [pointing to my head].

Daryl: Sure, what a great word.

DTD: No, it’s just a weird word.

Daryl: It is. It’s awesome. It needs to be a game. That’s where my head goes every time

DTD: There you go. You need to make a board game called Paraprosdokian. And you lead in with the first half of the game, and then the second half is completely unexpected.

Daryl: Yeah, every time! Total turnaround.

DTD: It’s like, “Now that you’ve done this, it’s useless. You need to do that.”

Daryl: [laughs] Yeah, now over here.”

DTD: That sounds… Really frustrating. I would buy it.

Daryl: [laughs] I have this one game with a friend, where we have Mother Nature versus someone trying to survive.

DTD: Okay.

Daryl: And you’re running around, and Mother Nature is just trying to kill you.

Sounds about right. Unrelated, Survivorman and Naked and Afraid are my guilty pleasure TV shows.

DTD: So, it’s a two-player game.?

Daryl: Yeah, two-player game. And you’re just throwing blizzards and wolves and bears and trying to starve them to death.

DTD: Man,I love that.

Daryl: And the other person is just running around. And maybe we’ll need to do one of these… We have envelopes. Once you find a third shelter, you get to open an envelope. And then it tells you a story, and how do you win. So up to that point, you’re just running around, just to survive. And then all of a sudden you have this thing, like “Oh, Well now you need to find this and this and you do this before…” So now we’ll have to have one that’s just like, “Nothing you’ve done is helpful.” [laughs]

DTD: That’s insane.

Daryl: [laughs] “And here’s a totally new game you need to play right now.”

DTD: “You need to just lay down and die.”

Daryl: Yeah, yeah. “You have no chance.” [laughs]

I believe I have written “[laughs]” more during this interview with Daryl than in any other dinner I have transcribed. I just need to note here that Daryl is so happy and jovial, and it is infectious. You just feel special hanging out with the man.

DTD: That would actually be interesting, if all of a sudden your goal at the end was just to give up and succumb to death. And then Mother Nature is just like – sunshine, rain.

Daryl: Yeah, Mother Nature loses if you live.

DTD: That’s so bad. That’s so bad.

Daryl: [looking at drinks menu] I’m easy, I’m probably just getting a coke.

DTD: I have been hanging out with people who drink so much more than I do. So, every day it’s been beer after beer, and wine after wine, and it’s like… I’m kind of ready for an iced tea.

Daryl: Right, there you go. I will warn you: iced teas are maybe disappointing on this side of the border. Our iced teas… Although this [menu] says homemade. But I love getting iced tea when I’m in the states because our iced tea sucks. It’s like Brisk. It’s like, that’s what you got.

DTD: I’m not that fussy.

I have spoken with other people from Canada and Britain who find the concept of cold tea… less than pleasant. I’m looking at you, Mandi. Not to mention cold and sweet tea.

Daryl: OK, that’s fair. I love the cold sweet teas. Like the cold brews.

DTD: Well, that’s a totally different thing for me. I do love sweet tea.

Daryl: Sweet tea – that’s a treat. Because there’s nowhere you get that in Canada.

DTD: Oh, that’s an evil vice.I don’t usually get that, but I could drink a bathtub it. And it would be really bad.

Daryl: Yeah, same. Right. Oh, I agree.

DTD: Oh man, for a while, one of the fast food chains had sweet tea. You could get just a jug of it for like a buck.

Daryl: Was it Chick-fil-A? Because their sweet tea I have bought by the jug.

DTD: It might have been. Or it might have just been McDonald’s for a while. I don’t need an aquarium full of sweet tea.

I feel like maybe I do need that.

Daryl: You don’t, but it’s so good.

DTD: I love the taste.

Daryl: I am a sucker for it.

DTD: I had to give up sodas and all, that because I love sweet fruity drinks. I tend to overindulge.

Daryl: Yep. Oh yeah. That’s me, too.

DTD: Oh, it kills me.

Waitress: This is for the tower, guys.

I swear rays of sunshine entered the room with our waitresses voice – happy, interested, smart and precocious, and just a tinge of an accent on the vowels. I knew the tower would be great.

DTD: Uh oh.

Waitress: I’ll be right back with some sauces for the oysters, and you guys want something else to drink, or are you okay?

DTD: I think I’m just gonna get an iced tea.

Against advice of counsel.

Daryl: Yeah, I am going to do a Coke, and if you have some limes that would be awesome.

DTD: Oh man…I won’t lie, I ‘m a little disappointed that a strange utensil has not shown up for the tower.

Daryl: Nothing weird enough. Yeah, yeah.

DTD: You know, even like an ice pick or, you know, tongs.

Daryl: Yes, maybe it’ll come with it. But I would like, yeah, something very unique.

DTD: A crazy straw. Bubble wand.

My children used to like to play this game if we went out to a particularly fancy restaurant. As the wait staff would equip each diner with very specific cutlery for their individually ordered meal, we would wonder… What is the weirdest utensil they could put in front of a person, before the atmosphere turned from snooty to ridiculous? We usually settled on bubble wand.

Daryl: But like, you don’t understand. You need to dig and crack and grab something at the same time.

DTD: Yes. You need a jackhammer.

Daryl: But just a shape, that you’re like, “I don’t even understand how this works.”

DTD: I love it when that happens.

Fish knife. You know you’re in unexplored territory when they come out with the fish knife. Or the grapefruit spoon.

Daryl: There used to be like an old game show where there would be like really weird items, and then each person would tell a story. Do you remember this old show?

The show was Liar’s Club, which aired from 1969-1979 in the US.

DTD: They did it on “Whose Line [is it Anyway]”.

Daryl:  That, too. But this was like, they almost acted like they were historically accurate. And everyone… It was almost like a game of Balderdash, but with random items.

DTD: I love it.

In Balderdash, by designers Laura Robinson and Paul Toyne, a truly bizarre word is looked up in the dictionary, or picked from a stack of cards. Everybody makes up a plausible definition, then the real definition is added to the list. Now the players need to guess the real definition.

Daryl: Yeah, it was glorious. I want someone to bring it back in a board game. Like a picture, and just be like, “Now you make up what that thing’s for.” It’s like, “Oh, you don’t know that’s an Oyster Hammer, used for only Oysters bigger than 7 inches?”

DTD: The man-eating oysters.

Daryl: Right. But like, that’s what it was like every time. And people would come with these great descriptions. And then one of them was true.

DTD: And you had to pick which one. There was “What’s My Line.” But that was with people.

In What’s My Line, which aired 1950-1967, a person was brought on that was famous, or may have done something famous. Then the panel would interview that person and try to determine why they were so noteworthy.

Daryl: Yeah, I think that, too. They were like, “You gotta make that work now.”

DTD: That one was great, because they had some truly bizarre people. Like Salvador Dali was on, and [Frank] Zappa was on.

Daryl: They actually are on tour now. A lot of the original cast.

DTD: Oh, the “Whose “Line” people. The “What’s My Line” people I think are gone. But I saw the “Whose Line” people on tour years ago. It’s always Ryan Stiles, usually Colin Mochrie. A very fun show.

Daryl: Really, they’re still going?

My new favorite person, light of my life, iridescent beacon of my existance, the waitress, brought over some suspiciously homemade sauces.

Daryl: Oh wo, we’ve got options here.

DTD: Oh yeah, we got a tower, man!

Tower!

Waitress: So that is some sauces for the oysters. I will give y’all a little explanation in a second. Here’s a homemade iced tea.

Daryl: Amazing.

DTD: Love it.

Waitress: So, starting off with spicy; I’m not sure if any of you guys like hotness.

Both: Oh yeah.

I like spicy food. Very spicy food. And although I know how to gauge a Thai Restaurant asking “How hot would you like it?” [the answer is always “medium”], I really have no barometer for an oyster house in Ontario.

Waitress: Perfect. This guy [pointing] is like super hot, super forward with its heat. You’re going to know right away.

Daryl: Oh, Scotch Bonnet. Oh, that’s hot!

DTD: I grow those.

The Scotch Bonnet pepper is a close relative to the Habanero, used primarily in Jamaican and Caribbean food. A decently hot berry.

Waitress: Yeah, so you’re familiar. This is mainly Scotch Bonnet, a little bit of carrots, but it’s called Scotch Bonnet for a reason y’all. And then we have the Island Hot, has the Scotch Bonnet peppers, but a little more balanced with some cucumber, a little bit of turmeric, some mustard. This one kind of creeps up on you. It’s a little bit of a slow burn. You’re going to say “Oh my god, she said it’s hot, this literally doesn’t…”, and then it gets you when you least expect it, eh. And then I’ve got our Worcestershire – all of these we make in-house – and this one is a little bit different from your regular Worcestershire. We mainly add cinnamon to it. So it’s different.

DTD: Oh, that’s neat.

Waitress: It’s different, but it’s a lot of people say they really like the difference. If you use it on an oyster, it’s going to taste more steak-like, so it’s a really cool experience.  Then this is my personal favorite, house Mignonette, red wine vinaigrette with some shallots. Does not take away from the oysters, still really nice and briny. So, it’s perfect there.

A Mignonette sauce is traditional for oysters, and is composed mainly of shallots, vinegar, and cracked peppercorns. The rest of the sauce is a free for all, but it has to contain those big three to be a Mignonette.

DTD: That’s beautiful.

Waitress: You guys can toss any extra stuff you might have in that bucket, eh. And I’ll leave you guys be.

Daryl: That’s very nice. Amazing.

DTD: I love it. I’m literally translating every “eh” in the conversation.

I mean no disrespect, but the very mild Canadian touch to the tempo of our waitress’ speech, the tone of her vowels, and her choice of hesitation markers, just made me happy. Plus she brought me literal towers of food.

Daryl: Am I saying it much?

DTD: No, no. She is. [laughs]

Daryl: [laughs] I don’t notice when I do. I don’t think I do it very often, it’s pretty rare. The odd time I get caught…

DTD: That’s [the sauce] very sweet and spicy – it’s really good! But they put like a cinnamon or something in there. Or cardamom.

Daryl: I was super curious about how they put it in the Worcestershire sauce. I had never heard of that.

DTD: That sounded really interesting. Alright…

In every dinner interview, I forget to take pictures. And I need to decorate my blog posts with something. So at this point, I took out my camera, remembering to get some pictures. And Daryl did what Daryl is famous for doing – he game the “Daryl Gape”. Go ahead, google search pictures of Daryl Andrews. I’ll wait. Now you know.

DTD: I knew you were going to do that! [laughs] That’s perfect, I always forget to take pictures, which makes the web page a lot more boring.

Daryl: My favorite with the face is – have you ever met David Preti? He’s the president at CMoN [Cool Mini or Not].

DTD: Yes, I’ve met him once.

Daryl: OK, so he’s a very says-what-he-thinks, blunt guy – I love it. We get along great. But he hates, hates with a passion [the face]… I don’t know why so strongly, but every photo I take with my mouth open, he will contact either me or Eric Lang, and be like, “You need to tell Daryl to stop.” So, at GenCon… He’s told me this like 100 times. But every time he tells me, he thinks he’s informing me of something new.

Someone should interview that Eric Lang guy. And maybe talk about people like David Preti.

DTD: Like you’ve never heard it before.

Daryl: So, he was like, “Daryl, we need to talk.” And then he was all serious. And I’m all in my head going, “I know what this is about.” So, I’m like, “Okay, just give me a second…” I go to Eric, and I say, “Dude, get the camera ready.” And he was like, “What?” I was like, “Just go, and get ready.” So, then Preti’s like ranting at me, “You need to not do that, it’s… blah blah blah.” And I was like “Oh yeah?”, and he [Eric] took a photo of him [David] ranting at me about it, while I did it in the photo. It’s my most favorite GenCon photo of all time. And every time it comes up in the memory wall, I’m like “Oh, that was sooo good.”

DTD: I like it when you’re in a group of people, and behind you they’re all doing the face?

Daryl: I did one recently where everyone did it and I didn’t, and that was really funny.

DTD: [laughs] I think I saw that. That is awesome. That [iced tea] is really good. That is strange.

Daryl: And I warned you, and I’m glad you didn’t listen to the warning, because it sounds like you had an interesting iced tea!

I never heed warnings about food. For better or for worse.

DTD: I was good with whatever they brought me.

Daryl: That’s great.

DTD: Yeah, I’m excited about this one [sauce]. I started growing hot peppers in the yard, and I pickle them…

Daryl: A variety of different kinds?

DTD: Yeah, a lot of different kinds. And I pickle them, make jellies out of them. I’ve turned very domestic ever since the COVID hit.

Daryl: Dang.

DTD: Well, I’m in the desert, almost. You know, it’s warm all the time, what am I gonna do?

Daryl: I wish I was that diligent. I think I had four potters of just like some spices I use. But beyond that I had a little dill, a little cilantro.

DTD: You’re doing other stuff, you know – board games or something. Or at least that’s what you tell people.

Daryl: I guess. At least, that’s the cover story.

I knew it. Daryl Andrews, international spy.

DTD: So how did you get started doing It? I mean, it’s…

Daryl: Yeah, it’s funny, now that I look back, I can see I was into games and tinkering forever. I was an only child – Every time people came over, I’d force all the adults to play games with me. I took great pride in destroying them as much as I could. And they’d be like, “How can this kid beat me?” But I was by myself, figuring out the game. And like, what would be my strategy so that when we played, I was ready. I had a few games that were kind of ahead of their time – Scotland Yard.

DTD: That was a classic. I’ve played it recently.

A fantastic hidden movement game. The Mr X player takes buses, taxis, and subways around the huge map, while the rest of the players try to deduce where Mr X is by the modes of travel he uses. Really advanced for 1983. Recent games that are influenced by it definitely include Letters from Whitechapel and Fury of Dracula.

Daryl: And it was so good! It’s still good! And I remember as a kid being, “this game is different”. I played the Monopolys and everything, too. But that one stood out; Like, there’s more going on, more strategy. So I love that. Every year, I would ask for games. It’s like “Why is an only child asking for games?”

DTD: I was in the same boat. I was I was an only child, and really actively sought out board games. And I had quite a few of them, most of which I never played. Except just myself.

DTD: Right! I would play by myself even. I’d maybe play a hand, and then play another hand, even. Another one that I loved… I’m drawing a blank on the name, but you probably know it… Restoration Games did it. It’s the thief thing. Like you had this giant…

DTD:Stop Thief”! With the big chunky noise machine. Oh, it was great.

The original Stop Thief came out in 1979, and included a big hand held phone looking device. The device would tell the players where the thief was moving, by making different sounds for the different space types on the board. Restoration gave the title a re-polishing in 2017.

Daryl: Thank you. I have like 6 copies of that game, because anytime I see it, it’s like a Catcher in the Rye moment. Like, I just need to buy it.

DTD: You need that giant phone.

The device is officially called the ELECTRONIC CRIME SCANNER in the instructions.

Daryl: Yeah, and most of the time the phone doesn’t work. But that’s okay. It’s like the hunt.

Electric Crime Scanner.

DTD: That’s alright. The Restoration version does the classic sounds and the classic phone, which is amazing.

electronic crime scanner

Daryl: Yes, I love! I played it actually, with my uncle. Oh, here we go!

The curtains parted, angels sang their heavenly chorus, the mist cleared, and before us was the tower. A glorious marine construction of valves both bi- and mono-, pods both cephalo- and gastro-. It was glorious.

Daryl: Now there’s a tower!

Waitress: There you are! Okay, so I’m gonna start from the bottom, and Im gonna work my way down, OK? So, we have your ahi tuna up here. Oh, I can take pictures!

Daryl: No, I don’t mind doing it. You wanna be in?

Waitress: Yeah, I wanna be in a selfie!

Daryl: I love it, I love it! Thank you!

I stole the selfie from Daryl. Don’t tell him.

Waitress: So, we have your chilled Atlantic lobster tossed in some chili lime vinaigrette there for you. Then we’re going to move on over to these guys, these are wild Gulf Alabama shrimp. It pairs really well with this little cocktail sauce; we make it in-house. And if you can see, there’s a little bit of garlic on it; we brush it in some garlic oil. We make these crostini in house from challah [very Canadian pronunciation] so it’s nice and buttery crostini.

DTD: I love it.

Our waitress’ pronunciation of Challah was so very innocent, delightful, and North of the Border. My inner New Jersey child winced, but my soul was charmed.

Waitress: Your Ahi Tuna with a little bit of nori, tobiko, and on top, that is a soy sauce reduction. So, it’s gonna be sweeter than your regular soy sauce. Moving down, all these oysters are from PEI. Those are our savage blondes. They’re going to be really nice, salty, and briny there for ya. This is one of my personal favorites. It is a marinated mussel. It’s done differently than I’ve ever had, its like a vinaigrette almost. So, if you need to kind of, like get a little palette cleanser, that’s normally what I go for. And then Mediterranean-style marinated octopus with some lemon and herb there.

DTD: Lovely! What have we got here [pointing]?

Please let it be straight horseradish…

Waitress: Oh, that’s some horseradish, just freshly ground.

DTD: Perfect. I was hoping for that.

Yes…

Waitress: Let me know if you need extras of anything, or just dig on in and enjoy!

Daryl: What the…? This is wild!

DTD: I am so glad we did this. This is a creation! That is insane.

Daryl: That is so cool. Alright, where do I start?

DTD: I don’t know! Well, I mean if you go intense, you’re gonna lose the oysters. But it depends if you’re gonna do the oysters with the hot sauce.

I talk a mean game, but really I am devising Rube Goldberg type schemes to distract Daryl and eat the entire tower myself.

Daryl: Oh, maybe we should start with the oysters. I want at least one with a hot sauce.

DTD: I do, too.

Daryl: Should we Oyster first, and work our way up the heat?

DTD: Maybe, maybe. That doesn’t sound bad.

Daryl: Alright let’s start there: oyster.

DTD: Oyster. And I’m gonna go with the mignonette.

Daryl: Yeah, that seems like a good starter. All right cheers!

DTD: Cheers! [laughs]

In a food drunk delirium, we giggled and clinked our oyster shells together.

Daryl: Oh yeah, that is so tasty.

DTD: That is really good! Wow, that is fun. This is our shell bucket.

I was there, and I am still amused that right after this line, there was a deep, resonant clang as something hard hit a metal bucket.

Daryl: And we got some lemons down here too.

DTD: This is a beautiful restaurant pick. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Daryl: I’m glad it worked so far. Oh, actually, maybe I should try this one next. It’s probably lighter.

DTD: Oh, that’s the Worcestershire with the…

Daryl: With the cinnamon.

DTD: Oh, I gotta do that. I gotta do that.

Daryl: Oh yeah, that one’s cinnamon. You really taste the cinnamon.

DTD: That’s really good.

Daryl: I love that.

DTD: I gotta remember that. I gotta try that sometime.

And so we leave our heroes for a bit in an animalistic cacophony of slurping, smacking, moaning, and crunching. Next time, as the calories settle into our brains, Daryl reminisces about old board games, getting into the hobby, and the early steps of game design.

%d bloggers like this: