Edmonton Twestival was a success!

Thanks to everyone who came out to Edmonton Twestival tonight! Mack and I were hoping 50 people would come out, and we came pretty close with a final tally of 45. Best of all, we managed to raise a total of $1000 for charity:water – definitely a great showing from the city for a great cause.

Following the #yeg hashtag live

This was actually my first time at Vintage Lounge (formerly Mangiamos), and I wasn’t sure what to expect. Jenn, the Event Coordinator for Vintage was great – accommodating (allowing us to set up a projector and screen at the front of the space), and made sure to check in with us throughout the night to make sure we were well taken care of.

My Passion of Brazil Cocktail

We ended up ordering some small plates to share, as we didn’t get a chance to have dinner before heading out to set up, and I was pretty happy with the food. The Grilled Cheese Bites ($10), made with provolone, havarti and cheddar were fantastic, and paired with the roasted tomato soup was a comforting bite on a cold day. The Duck Spring Rolls ($14) were a little less successful, probably because I”m used to vermicelli in my spring rolls. The house plum sauce was also a tad too spicy for my taste. When we went to pay our bill, however, it turned out that 5-8pm was happy hour, so all of the food and drink we ordered was actually 50% off – a steal!

Grilled Cheese Bites

Duck Spring Rolls

I think Edmonton Twestival was a great success – thanks to Mack for spearheading the Edmonton event! Thanks also to everyone who donated door prizes: @sassycakes, @transcendcoffee, @bruceclarke, @NAIT, @thechadj, @Out_Inc, @cmscritic, and @tonyratcliffe. I’m not sure which was the most coveted prize, but the car starter and cupcakes seemed pretty popular!

We did our best to try and take photos throughout, but they didn’t turn out as nice as @bruceclarke’s (of Moments in Digital)!

Chatting (photo by momentsindigital)

Mack trying to convert Eric and Amanda to Twitter (photo by momentsindigital)

Waiting for the door prizes to be drawn (photo by momentsindigital)

It was good to see some familiar faces, and some new ones as well. Onto the next Tweetup!

More Than Just Cocktails: Devlin’s

This guest post was written by Mack, an Edmonton-based geek who fancies himself a part-time foodie. You can find him online at his blog, and on Twitter.

Edmonton’s third tweetup, an event for local Twitter users to get together in person, was held on Thursday evening. The tweetups aren’t terribly hard to organize, all I need to do is pick a date, time and location. I asked Sharon to help me choose the venue this time, and she suggested Devlin’s Cocktail Lounge (10507 82 Avenue). I had enjoyed our visit in August, and agreed that it would be a good choice. I was keen to try the new fall menu that Sharon had written about in her Vue Weekly article. I called a couple of weeks in advance to ensure they could accommodate a group of 15 to 30 people, and they assured me that wouldn’t be a problem. A few days before the event, they called me back to confirm, which I thought was a nice touch.

When I arrived at the restaurant just before 6pm, I found it locked. After a moment of panic, I peered through the window and caught the attention of Executive Chef Sebastian Lysz who came to unlock the door for me. Fortunately, that was the only hiccup of the evening! My fellow Twitterers started streaming in, and soon we filled up the entire right side of the restaurant. We had around 25 people come and go by the time the evening was finished, and although not everyone ordered food, Sebastian was kept sufficiently busy in the kitchen.

Mack & Sharon
Mack & Sharon, photo courtesy Bruce Clarke

I was occupied chatting with people, so I was more than happy to let Sharon order for me. The first dish that arrived was the Wild Mushroom & Chicken flatbread ($9). Though it didn’t look incredibly appetizing being almost completely devoid of color, it tasted very good. The chicken (from a local producer in Ardrossan) was moist and the bread itself was nicely warm and chewy. I found the mushrooms flavorful, but not overpowering.

Flat bread

The second dish we ordered was also the one I was most looking forward to: the Surf & Turf ($15). Reminiscent of the sliders in its presentation, the dish was definitely easy on the eyes. Unfortunately the portion size was also similar to the sliders, and I found myself wanting more when the plate was empty. The tri-tip steak from Spring Creek Ranch was absolutely delicious, and I enjoyed the roasted potatoes too (though Sharon didn’t). We both agreed that the prawns were fairly average.

Surf and Turf

Usually we’re too full after dinner to have dessert, but that wasn’t a problem thanks to the small size of the dishes at Devlin’s. We decided to give the Dessert Sampler ($15) a try, as it sounded more interesting than the Creme Brulee. Though I couldn’t have the Peanut Butter Bombe (due to my mild peanut allergy), I was able to try the other items. I liked the warm Fruit Crumble in an over-sized shot glass, but my favorite was easily the Bacardi Rum Pumpkin Pie. I love both rum and pumpkin pie, so it was a match made in heaven for me! The Chai Voyant Nitro Ice Cream (with “nutella” powder) was interesting, but it didn’t evoke the familiar flavor of chai.

Dessert Platter

We received great service all night, and everyone seemed to enjoy the food and ambience. A number of people remarked that they were pleasantly surprised with the lounge, and said they’d probably be back. Devlin’s is not the place to go if you’re starving (or feeling the pinch in your wallet), but if all you’re looking for is something tasty to go along with conversation, I can safely say it’s a great choice for small and large groups alike.

The key thing to know about Twitter is that entries are restricted to 140 characters. With that in mind, here’s my mini-review of Devlin’s:

More than just a cocktail lounge, Devlin’s has unique, tasty food and adds something special to Whyte Avenue. Just don’t arrive too hungry!

Devlin’s Cocktail Lounge
10507 82 Avenue
(780) 437-7489