Velvet Olive

The more I think about it the more the name “Velvet Olive” actually sounds like a fruit that has been sitting out way too long and has grown some fuzz.  Regardless, it is a “martini” bar in downtown Red Deer with a back alley entrance off the main downtown street.  “Martini” is in brackets because, even with olive in the name, they offer only about 6 different martinis.  Honestly, that is ok with me because martinis taste like alcohol.

Ever since moving to Red Deer I have basically dreaded going out “on the town”.  The only options I’ve seen were: 1) Bellini’s (aka Redneck Jersey Shore bar from a previous post) and other similar establishments, or 2) a “pub”* which, to my dismay, ends up being the Keg or Toad and Turtle or some other cube-shaped establishment with a bar facade and televisions tuned to sporting events.

Fret no more!  The Velvet Olive feels like I’m back in Toronto, like you can hang out, sip a drink and have a good conversation while taking in the quirky local one or two-person talent.  It is small, seating about 20, dimly lit featuring local art on the walls.  It is a wait staff of one – a bit of a cranky vegan** who never did bring us our bowl of pretzels.  The drinks were tasty – I tried the “malibu stacey” – a pineapple one I’m sure has been done many times over but it was done well.  My friend tried the “lavender lush” which had that lovely grey/purple colour and tasted fantastic – big thumbs up to them for that drink.

Finally,  a place in Red Deer a bit off the beaten path and a little on the fun and funky side.  They’ll even BBQ for you out on the patio in the summer if you go for dinner.  My new fave place!

*Lots of quotations in this post.  They are necessary for the effect that everything in Red Deer is a box.
**Overheard conversation of the night:
Annoying hipster:  I just never knew you could get vegan Belgian waffles to taste good but I was proven wrong.
Crabby server:  You’re a vegan?  Me too!
AH:  Oh, yeah, I am.
CS:  But I eat eggs.
AH:  Oh, so you’re a vegetarian.
CS:  Really, what’s a label?  I just do what I can.

The funny part was I couldn’t choose a side to root for.  Both were annoyingly pretentious in their own ways.  The hipster clearly was not willing to share her hard-earned vegan hipster trophy label with just anyone.  The server definitely tried to pull the “labels are for chumps” card because she clearly tried to play vegan when she was not that hardcore.  Which side would you pick?

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