In the late 1990s, I spent a lot of time in Bukowski’s, a raucous bar and restaurant at Commercial & Grant that is sorely missed. I went there to drink, to eat, to party, and, just about every week, to shout my poetry above the din of the bar crowd. If your performance could grab attention at Bukowski’s, you were doing really well.
With the likes of RC Weslowski, Shane Koyczan, and Angus (the Svelte Ms Spelt) Adair also performing, I was never the best or the most popular, but I had a wonderful time; and that period of my life was heady and life-affirming and just plain fun.
I am sure my memory has gaps, but it seems to me at this distance that all I ever ate at Bukowski’s was their wonderful patatas bravas, a dish which, when Bukowski’s closed, was lost to me. So it was a joy when I was looking through some food videos on Youtube and came across a patatas bravas recipe from Food Wishes, one of my go-to video chefs.
I made it the first time (with some deliciously sauteed chicken) and it was, all modesty aside, just superb: I could eat that sauce with just about anything. Moreover, all those memories of Bukowski’s came flooding back to delight and entertain.
Proust was right.