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Sometimes I really don’t like being a grown-up.  Life was more simple when I was younger and didn’t have to do proper adult stuff and be a responsible citizen.  Admittedly, life is a lot more settled and predictable now, which can be both a good and bad thing – good in that I’m not in a phase of constant flux, not knowing what the next day, week, or month will look like, but bad in that even in the predictability and natural rhythms of routine, one day you wake up and half the year is over with not much to show for it.

Time moving at lightning speed while the rest of me moves at glacial pace is what’s killing me.

All that was to preface the fact that more and more time elapses in between get-togethers with friends.  Remember back in the day when you could roll up to your BFF’s house at any time and you’d go and ride your bikes or drink copious amounts of Rev in a park?  Ok, maybe not that second one, but gone are the days when I could see my friends quite frequently.  Now it’s a true accomplishment if I can see them once every quarter.

I was so glad to be able to gather some of my favourite ladies for a weekday dinner at one of my favourite places, Boxwood.  You will recall that I held my wedding reception there.  Over a year later, we are still reminiscing about the food and their amazing Lemon Drop, which might be the best cocktail in all of Calgary (more on that later).  We took this opportunity to check out their Spring menu and have an acceptable amount of Lemon Drops to be able to function at work the next day.

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Naturally, to start, we ordered a round of Lemon Drops, which are deceptively smooth and go down way too easy.  It just tastes like a refreshing, sparkly lemonade, but it does have vodka in it.  All I know is that it’s ridiculously delicious.  Our server recommended that we get a pitcher instead.  WHAT?  They come in pitchers?  SIGN ME UP.  And sign yourselves up – it really is that awesome, the perfect balance of sweet and tart, and this is coming from someone who isn’t a huge fan of alcohol these days.

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One of our starters was the Red Lentil Hummus (Spiced Crackers, Roast Pepperonata), which is always a good pick.  The spiced crackers were crisp, nicely seasoned, and paired well with the hummus.  The hummus itself was smooth, creamy, and well-balanced.  I find that the crackers run out before all the hummus is consumed, so it’d be nice to get cracker refills.

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We also got a bucket of the Organic Chili Lime Popcorn.  I couldn’t quite pick up on the chili lime part, but it was still good.  It had a nice savory finish and a good shareable option to whet the appetite.

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This was one of my friend’s choices, the Ancho Chile Marinated Albacore Tuna “Poke” (Kohlrabi, Seaweed, Sesame, Frisée, Pumpkin Seed).  I tried a piece of the tuna and it was packed with ancho chili flavour.  I wouldn’t have thought to pair chili with tuna before, but the combination really works.  The pumpkin seeds added a nice contrast in texture to the tender tuna.  Overall, a very light, refreshing, but substantial dish.  My friend really enjoyed it and I took an order home for Mark, who promptly and happily consumed it in record time.

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The rest of us each got the Mountain View Rotisserie Chicken Sandwich (Piri Piri Aioli, Cucumber, Greens).  We contemplated getting a whole rotisserie chicken, but thought it’d be too ambitious. When the sandwich first arrived I thought, hmmmm, no sides?  But I quickly realized why they don’t offer any sides with the sandwich – it’s substantial enough on its own.  I think the ciabatta buns are house-baked and they’re the perfect choice for this sandwich.  The chicken was moist and tender, with the piri piri aioli giving it a nice kick and all the fresh greens rounding out and balancing all the flavours.

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I probably could’ve done without a dessert, but the chances to have any kind of dessert are few and far between for me so I went for it.  A couple of us were hoping that they still had their warm sticky toffee pudding on the menu, but alas it was not meant to be.  So instead, we settled on their Jonagold Apple Crisp topped with Fiasco Gelato’s Salted Caramel Gelato.  First of all, nobody can resist that salted caramel gelato.  NOBODY.  It’s the stuff of dreams.  Second, the apple crisp itself was hot and fresh with large chunks of beautifully sweetened and cinnamon-laced apple.

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The Warm Organic Fair Trade Chocolate Brownie (Fiasco’s Vanilla Gelato, Macerated Raspberries, Almond Praline) also made an appearance, but I declined to have a bite from being much too full.  Just enjoy how beautiful it is and the perfectly round scoop of vanilla gelato.  Seriously, how do they do that?  Whenever I scoop ice cream, it turns out deformed and sad looking.

We enjoyed a second pitcher of Lemon Drops and probably would’ve gone for another (or two) had it not been for work the next day.  I want to give a shout out to our amazing server who, without even asking, split the bill four ways, even the shared appetizers and pitchers.  I call that a customer service and general human awesomeness WIN.  We actually had so much fun that we vowed to return again soon, and I really hope we make it back before time takes another half year away from us.

Boxwood Cafe
Central Memorial Park
340 13 Ave. SW Calgary, AB T2R0W9
Phone: (403) 265-4006
http://www.boxwoodcafe.ca/

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