Real Flamingos. Really the West end.
Flamingo Restaurant and Lounge
15835 87 Ave
I grew up on Edmonton’s west end. While I wasn’t terribly deep in the west end – 156 street and 95th is the area i claim – i still spent most of my time trying to escape. There were two major bus routes out of my area: the number One towards downtown and the number Four towards the University and Whyte Avenue. I usually opted for the latter. In all the years that I lived in my father’s house I never once learned the bus schedule, which meant that I spent a lot of time standing at the corner of 87th Avenue and 158th Street waiting for the bus. This free time was shared with a handful of businesses, also waiting around for something to happen: my barber at the time (seriously, check for my barber blog in 2010), a music school, a pharmacist, a tanning salon famous for its shared taste in typeface with five other west-end kids, and more importantly, Flamingos Restaurant and Lounge. It had been a long time since my last visit to the joint, but on Tuesday I made the trek, and met my lil’ sis for dinner.
Here’s what’s up:
Originally based out of the Mayfield Commons area, Flamingos has been serving Edmonton’s west end since the two sevens clashed. They eventually moved to Meadowlark Plaza and show no signs of leaving. It is a basic family restaurant, with wooden decor and ridiculously nice staff (after dinner, my sister asked me if they knew I was writing about them). They also have a dimly lit lounge with 4 TVs and the same number of VLTs. The menu is pretty standard, and the same goes for the pizza selection. Waitresses serve water out of amazing plastic faux-wood jugs, and did I mention that they are very friendly?
Pasta is 20% off on Tuesdays after 3pm, and pizza is 20% off on Mondays after the same time. It being a Tuesday i was a bit disappointed, but ordered an 8 inch Mush and Feta anyways. The pizza was fine. A little too greasy and wet (?), and their “home-made” sauce did not need to be advertised as such; it was pretty bland.
My sister talked pretty big about their milkshakes, so we ordered a vanilla (in related news, i bought a Toyota Corolla today), which she refused to sip simultaneously with me.
I was also a bit disappointed to find out that the restaurant has a southside location. I felt like this place – a staple of my youth – was somehow cheapened now that i knew it wasn’t one-of-a-kind. I got over it when I imagined that a southside kid likely shared an experience similar to mine: eating mediocre pizza in a great restaurant, trying to escape from his father’s house.